MyNotes: Better Systems Management with VMware #tceasysadmin

A presentation by Bobby Robertson (Bryan ISD) at the TCEA System Admin 2015.

MyNotes

  1. About 16K students, 2000 adults, 14000 user devices
  2. Not an expert on VMware but using it for several years.
  3. Today’s Topics
    1. Virtualization benefits
    2. what’s new in vsphere 6
    3. how bryan isd utilizes vmware
    4. 10gb everything
    5. disaster recovery
    6. operations management with vRealize
  4. Virtualization Benefits
    1. Reduce footprint
    2. Reduce cost
    3. Improve uptime
    4. Increase hardware lifespan
    5. Decrease tickets
    6. Maximize performance
  5. What’s new in VSphere 6
    1. Fault tolerance – up to 4 vCPUs and 64GB RAM
    2. VMotion across slow/long distances
    3. Faster, more responsive web client
    4. NVIDIA GRID vGPU Support
    5. Virtual volumes
    6. NFS 4.1 support
    7. Storage IOPS reservations
    8. Improved vCenter Appliance
  6. Virtualization in Bryan ISD
    1. Main Cluster Setup
      1. 100+ virtual servers
      2. VSphere 6.0 Update 1
      3. 8 Hosts – 7 Enterprise Plus, 1 Standard
      4. 2 SANS – 1 hybrid array, 1 cheap-n-deep
      5. 2 Meraki MS420-48 10gb top of rack switches – redundancy is important that’s why I’m using 2 switches.
      6. 80+ Direct attach 10gb cables
      7. 6 additional hosts
        1. 1 standard, 5 free ESXi
  7. Reduced Footprint
    1. 80 old servers taking up 140U – 5 racks of hardware – Now Gone!
    2. No longer need UPSs, ToR switches, complex KVM switches
    3. Only 11 physical, non-ESXi servers
  8. Cost Savings We’ve Seen
    1. 80 servers is a lot to keep up with.
    2. Save on equipment
      1. over 80 servers replaced with vms or P2Ved
      2. Reduction in UPS maintenance
      3. $25K in new servers & VMware licensing a year, instead of $50K in new servers
    3. Save on OS licensing
      1. Easily try a linux solution before Windows
      2. Windows standard covers 2 virtual running instances
    4. Save on power and cooling
      1. 80 servers at avg of 2000 BTU/Hr = 160,000 BTU/hr
      2. $10K saved in power a year
      3. $16K saved in cooling a year
      4. No more idle servers
  9. Improved Uptime
    1. Things that don’t bring my vms down
      1. VMware upgrades and patches
      2. SAN/storage upgrades or migrations
      3. Server maintenance/replacement
      4. Switch failure/upgrades
      5. Hardware failures
      6. 10gb upgrade
    2. Testing is done on snapshots/clones
    3. Centralization means few panes of glass
    4. No more driving to work at 4AM
  10. Improved Hardware Lifespan
    1. Main cluster hosts are rotated every 4-5 years
    2. Retired hosts?
      1. Never
    3. The Trickle Down
      1. Cycled out Hosts are moved to secondary locations
      2. High School Hosts (2-5 vms)
      3. 1 to 1 CCTV servers
      4. Racked at DR site
  11. Decrease Helpdesk Tickets
    1. get ahead and stay proactive
    2. alerts detect problems before users
    3. self correcting actions like high availability
    4. reosurce utilziation with DRS
    5. Fix what isn’t broken
    6. No more Helpdesk tickets!
  12. Moving to 10gb
    1. Between Sites
      1. distributed data center
      2. fast backups, replications
      3. fast vMotions – 8vms at once with 10gb vs only 4 with 1gbs
    2. SAN/NAS
      1. makes replication/backups faster
      2. 4x 1gb may not cut it
    3. Hosts
      1. SPlit a couple 10gb connections using distr switches
  13. Disaster Recovery Planned
    1. Non-critical 1 to 1 servers can be moved to DR site (New cluster assembled out of the old)
    2. Storage array replications to dr site
      1. replicated data stores are easily attached to DR cluster
    3. VMWare Site Recovery Manager
      1. Automated Orchestration and testing of DR
    4. VMware vCloud Air Diaster Recovery
      1. Recovery as a service
  14. vRealize What’s Going On
    1. Easy to setup demo
    2. More than vSphere alerts
    3. Highlights problems, future problems, and performance issues
  15. More Savings
    1. Increase capacity utilization
    2. Increase consolidation ratios
    3. Increase hardware savings
    4. reduce diagnostics & problem resolution time
  16. Resources for You
    1. VMware community forums
    2. VMUG – Groups of users and not salespeople
    3. IRC chat on Freenode #vmware
    4. Regional VMware engineers


Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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