Servers are like snowmen - and virtualization is cool!


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Presentation given at 2011 MNCN Technology and Communications Conference

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Servers are like snowmen - and virtualization is cool!

  1. 1. Virtualization<br />Roger Hagedorn, DARTS IT Director<br />Dave Pederson, PPL Systems Support Manager<br />Jason Samuels, NCFR IT Manager<br />Minnesota Council on Nonprofits :: Technology and Communications Conference :: February 23, 2011<br />
  2. 2. Servers are like snowmen<br />2<br />and virtualization is cool!<br />
  3. 3. Servers are like snowmen<br />The base is the hardware <br />3<br />
  4. 4. Servers are like snowmen<br />The base is the hardware<br />The tummy is the operating system<br />4<br />
  5. 5. Servers are like snowmen<br />The base is the hardware<br />The tummy is the operating system<br />The head runs applications<br />5<br />
  6. 6. Servers are like snowmen<br />Put it all together and you have a snowman .. er, server to do your bidding<br />6<br />
  7. 7. Challenges<br />7<br />
  8. 8. Inefficiency<br />Server applications can conflict with other server applications. They need dedicated operating systems to function properly.<br />8<br />
  9. 9. Inefficiency<br />9<br />Servers have become more powerful than applications need. Over 90% of computing power could go unused.<br />
  10. 10. Inefficiency<br />10<br />The result can be “server sprawl”<br />Energy inefficient<br />Not cost effective<br />
  11. 11. Vulnerability<br />11<br />When equipment fails, the OS and applications need to be rebuilt.<br />X<br />
  12. 12. Vulnerability<br />12<br />Restoring a crashed server is stressful and costly.<br />
  13. 13. How virtualization helps<br />13<br />
  14. 14. The virtualization layer<br />14<br />Virtualization works at the base level, it pools resources and emulates hardware<br />
  15. 15. Emulation<br />15<br />emulate = mimic<br />The virtual layer serves emulated hardware from a resource pool, that operating systems interact with as if it’s actual hardware<br />
  16. 16. Efficiency<br />16<br />So your snowpile can form more virtual servers than there are physical hosts<br />
  17. 17. Efficiency<br />17<br />Computing resources are allocated based on each virtual server’s need<br />
  18. 18. Reliability<br />18<br />If a physical host fails, redundancy inside the virtualization layer picks up the slack<br />Virtual servers don’t need to be rebuilt from scratch<br />X<br />
  19. 19. Virtualization case studies<br />19<br />
  20. 20. NCFR Virtualization Case Study<br />By 2010, NCFR was down to four servers<br />Domain Controller / Exchange (2008)<br />Website / SharePoint front-end (2007)<br />Great Plains (accounting) / S.P. back-end (2005)<br />ListManager / Backup D.C. (2005)<br />Aging environment<br />Too many applications running together<br />20<br />
  21. 21. NCFR Virtualization Costs<br />One new server<br />Upgrades to existing server<br />iSCSI SAN<br />Two network switches<br />VMware Business Essentials Plus<br />Nonprofit pricing available!<br />Hardware & software cost: ~$16,500<br />21<br />
  22. 22. NCFR Upgrade Path<br />Upgraded OS and application platforms<br />Migrated DC/DNS/DHCP & file shares into a new Windows Server 2008R2 VM<br />Deployed Exchange 2010 on a new Windows Server 2008R2 VM & migrated mailboxes<br />Great Plains 2010 & ListManager 10.2 VMs<br />Physical-to-virtual conversions of web server and legacy accounting server<br />SharePoint 2010 VMs are next<br />22<br />
  23. 23. Also in use<br />Two repurposed desktop computers<br />VCenter<br />Management server for physical hosts<br />Backup server<br />Symantec Backup Exec 2010 (via TechSoup!)<br />1.5 TB hard drive installed for on-site backups<br />External hard drive (USB) for off-site backups<br />Backup Domain Controller / DNS / DHCP<br />23<br />
  24. 24. Other considerations<br />iSCSI SAN = most important hardware<br />Two disk arrays<br />550 GB high-performance (4x 15k RPM SAS, RAID 10)<br />3.5 TB high-capacity (5x 7,200 RPM SATA, RAID 5)<br />Provides storage for all VMs & data<br />No single point of failure<br />Each disk array has a hot-spare<br />Dual disk controllers<br />Redundant power supplies & network ports<br />Five year parts & service warrantee<br />24<br />
  25. 25. Other considerations<br />Processing power = not an issue<br />Operating systems only use needed<br />Haven’t seen utilization greater than 40%<br />Available RAM = big issue<br />Operating systems cache all they’re given<br />More = better!<br />VMware High Availability <br />Lets you rank which VMs take priority in case a physical host goes down<br />25<br />
  26. 26. What else can be virtualized?<br />26<br />
  27. 27. Virtual applications<br />27<br />Desktop applications can be virtualized <br />Desktops on the network can run the application like it’s installed locally, but it’s actually run from a virtual OS environment at the server<br />
  28. 28. Desktop virtualization<br />28<br />Desktop computers can be like snowmen too<br />Larger investment needed in servers<br />Inexpensive, energy efficient “thin-clients” work as virtual desktop terminals<br />
  29. 29. Mobile virtualization<br />29<br />Virtualization could run business and personal environments separately and simultaneously on one device<br />Expect to see offered on smart phones by 2013<br />
  30. 30. Infrastructure in the cloud<br />30<br />Cloud computing = location-independent<br />Faster bandwidth + datacenters + virtualization = alternatives to hosting servers on-site<br />
  31. 31. Bonus slide<br />31<br />CAUTION:<br />Do not actually put snowmen in your server room.<br />They are a metaphor.<br />X<br />