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Del 1

  1. 1. Avanade: Virtual Server notes from the field Bernt Lervik | berntl@avanade.com Infrastructure Architect Avanade
  2. 2. <ul><li>Avanade is the leading technology integrator specialising in the Microsoft platform. </li></ul><ul><li>Our people help customers around the world maximise their IT investment and create comprehensive solutions that dive business results. </li></ul><ul><li>Additional information can be found at www.avanade.com </li></ul>
  3. 3. Agenda <ul><li>Why virtualise? </li></ul><ul><li>Planning for virtualisation </li></ul><ul><li>Identifying candidates for virtualisation? </li></ul><ul><li>The process of virtualising </li></ul><ul><li>“ Gotchas” & hints for virtualisation </li></ul><ul><li>Case studies </li></ul>
  4. 4. Why virtualise? <ul><li>Increased server utilisation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Typically 80% as opposed to 5-15% </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reduced data centre costs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Beyond server hardware to space, power, network, cooling etc & licensing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Increased efficiency/reduced administrative costs : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Quicker server provisioning/deployment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Backup simplification </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The next step in server consolidation: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Support for multiple operating systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased security over traditional consolidation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ideal target for development/testing environments: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Patching and upgrade validation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Security segregation </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Planning for virtualisation <ul><li>Don’t underestimate planning, commitment and upfront investment </li></ul><ul><li>Address organisational challenges: internal business customers may envisage losing ownership of servers - benefits communication and buy-in is essential </li></ul><ul><li>Plan to treat virtual servers the same as physical servers </li></ul><ul><li>Planning must be completed tightly with networking and storage teams </li></ul><ul><li>Pay specific attention to security and management </li></ul><ul><li>Look at testing and administration environments first to gain experience and confidence before considering production systems </li></ul><ul><li>Plan to control and manage virtual server “sprawl” </li></ul>
  6. 6. Identifying candidates for virtualisation? <ul><li>Understand and measure performance characteristics </li></ul><ul><ul><li>System Center Virtual Machine Manager </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Server management tools – MOM (or other) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Windows PerfMon </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Avoid high I/O and CPU intensive systems </li></ul><ul><li>Consider support on virtual platform of application vendor </li></ul><ul><li>Balance with standard server consolidation in production </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Typically SQL Server better addressed by “farm” consolidation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exchange & AD servers scale! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Evaluate host & guest clustering versus standard server clustering </li></ul>
  7. 7. The process of virtualisation <ul><li>Approach is generic (applicable to physical and virtual): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Establish a baseline </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rapid build – virtualisation allows copying VMs (VHD and VMC files) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Configuration and refresh – automate (MSI packages and scripts) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Safe State” the environment – virtualisation allows differencing disks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Test automation (scripted) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Consider Physical to Virtual (P2V) tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Microsoft VSMT, Microsoft SCVMM, Platespin, LeoStream </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many pre-P2V tasks that must be completed prior to performing any migration – key step in all P2V work is planning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In reality, you will have to do some work on a small percentage of your conversions due to the configurations on your source servers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Remember the old saying, Junk in – Junk Out applies with P2V </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Often “new build” and data migration is the best approach </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. “ Gotchas” & hints for virtualisation <ul><li>Exclude VM files from Antivirus real time scans </li></ul><ul><ul><li>.vhd .vud .vsv .vfd .vmc </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The faster the disk, the faster the Virtual Environment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Consider dedicated disks per VM </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use multiple disks or ideally SAN storage </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use NTFS compression for the files </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It seems writing a big chunk to disk is slower than first compressing the chunk and then write it to disk. Additionally the files are around 30% smaller on the hard disk </li></ul></ul><ul><li>/3GB should not be used on the host </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This setting increases the user memory space at the expense of Kernel space. Virtual machines use more kernel memory than user memory – so enabling this switch on the host will decrease the amount of virtual machines that you can laun ch </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. “ Gotchas” & hints continued <ul><li>VS 2005 runs smoother when selecting Best performance for “Background Services” and selecting Memory Settings to Optimize for “System Cache” </li></ul><ul><li>Using Gigabit Ethernet network interface cards can improve overall performance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Even though the guest OS emulates a 100Mb connection, when you have multiple VMs running, the performance increase will be noticeable </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use D ifferencing disks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Differencing disks offer the ability to create a base .vhd (including just an OS, for example), and then write all differences to a new virtual disk. The differencing disk might contain alternate applications or configurations. By doing this you can safe space </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. “ Gotchas” & hints continued <ul><li>Always make sure the latest Virtual Machine additions are installed </li></ul><ul><li>Always have the VMs connected to a network – even if it is the “internal only” </li></ul><ul><li>Use RDP to connect to your VMs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You can copy and paste data into the virtual machine </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You can share data between your host and virtual machine directly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You can share access to your host's printer </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The smaller (and less fragmented) the VHD files the faster </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In the VM run defrag </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Run the VM precompactor </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. “ Gotchas” & hints continued <ul><li>Create the VHD as fixed size disk </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The space is allocated as one big chunk – more fragments will slow down the system </li></ul></ul><ul><li>If you have to copy files from the host to the Guest, use the shared folders </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Copy with drag and drop is 50% slower & copy through network is only 16 % of the performance of shared folders </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Make sure the VMs have sufficient RAM allocated to them </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Typically the “working set” from the measured performance characteristics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This avoids the need to swap too much memory as this is HD intensive </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Case study: Allstate <ul><li>Problem: </li></ul><ul><li>Allstate had ~ 3,500 servers </li></ul><ul><li>The number of servers in its data centres was increasing quickly </li></ul><ul><li>Vast majority of its servers were using less than 10% CPU </li></ul><ul><li>Time required to acquire a new server was from six to eight weeks </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual Server 2005 used for test & development environment: </li></ul><ul><li>Improved h/w efficiency by reducing server growth and associated costs </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced demand for more data centre floor space </li></ul><ul><li>Increase server utilization to 35 to 50 percent during the peak shift </li></ul><ul><li>Eliminated server acquisition time </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced server operating system deployment times from between 1 to 3 hours, to 5 or 10 minutes </li></ul><ul><li>Time savings increased administrator productivity </li></ul>http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/casestudy.aspx?casestudyid=53154
  13. 13. Case study: Accenture <ul><li>Problem: </li></ul><ul><li>Test a hosted service offering that included a new third-party desktop management application </li></ul><ul><li>Engineers had four weeks to build the environments </li></ul><ul><li>Neither purchasing nor leasing new servers/workstations was a cost-effective option as the systems were only required for a few months </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual Server 2005 & Virtual PC 2004 environment: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Virtual Server: Windows Server 2003/Windows 2000 Server for Active Directory & SQL Server 2000 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Virtual PC: Windows NT Workstation 4.0/Windows 2000 Professional/ Windows XP Professional/Red Hat Linux </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Met goal ahead of schedule, enabling more extensive testing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Significantly reduced its total cost of ownership (accelerated the setup of model environments by more than 200%, streamlined system administration, improved IT responsiveness with a smaller staff, and enabled more robust testing of products and service offerings) </li></ul></ul>http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/casestudy.aspx?casestudyid=1000004028

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