One of the easier project so far was a new web server. Our old web server was the same server as our aging Exchange 2003 server so to increase performance and remove some of the hard drive burden from Exchange I made a new Windows 2008 R2 server and transferred all web services. Working with the webmaster we successfully cleaned up all broken links and had the page working within a few hours.
Like I said, one of my easier projects.
Shortly after installing our Dell Powervault 3200i iSCSI SAN we started running out of space. Anticipating the worse I ordered four more 600 GB drives to double our capacity to 2.2TB. Unfortunately, the Thailand Flood hit and we were out of luck. Those who live there had it far worse than our hard drive space issues. Many months, several unsuccessful orders at double the price, and increased pressure to start work on projects waiting on that space we finally secured the four drives we needed at pre-flood prices.
Installing the Drives into the SAN was as easy as; install into drive, enter configuration utility and make the extra space available. However, letting XenServer know that there is added space available was a little tricky, at the same time not difficult. The instructions that follow are adapted to our use from the Citrix XenServer support pages. We use several physical servers and Multi-pathing which required a few extra steps. We have XenServer 5.6 but the 5.5 works perfectly.
If you have resized the LUN on which a iSCSI or HBA SR is based, use the following procedures to reflect the size change in XenServer:
iSCSI SRs with software initiator
- Shut down all virtual machines on the SR.
- Enter Maintenance mode on all physical servers.
- Turn off Multi-pathing on all servers.
- Note the Universally Unique Identifier (UUID) of the Storage Repository. Use the xe sr-list command on the XenServer host and identify the SR by its name label.
- Identify the Physical Block Device (PBD) UUID corresponding to the SR. Use the following command on XenServer:
# xe sr-param-list uuid=|grep PBD
whereUUID> is the UUID of the SR noted in step 2.
- Unplug the Physical Block Device (PBD) corresponding to the Storage Repository.
# xe pbd-unplug uuid=
where <PBD UUID> is the UUID of PBD noted in step 3.
- Plug the PBD.
# xe pbd-plug uuid=
Note: In previous versions of XenServer, explicit commands were required to resize the physical volume group of iSCSI and HBA SRs. These commands are now issued as part of the PBD plug operation and are no longer required.
- Turn on Multi-pathing
- Exit Maintenance Mode
- Power on the Virtual Machines.
The time is well overdue for a server refresh. After researching and discussions we decided to purchase four Dell PowerEdge R715s. Each with two AMD Opteron processors for a total of 24 cores per server. We maxed out the ram at 64GB for each server. All connected to a PowerVault md3200i iSCSI SAN with 1.2 TB of storage. All of our current physical servers, and the few virtual server we have, will eventually transition over to the Citrix XenServer 5.6 environment I am building on these servers. In the end we will have a total of about fourteen virtual servers running. The specs will give us ample speed plus have room to grow. I am sure the server count will increase before I finish the virtualization.
Anticipating the growth we purchased Windows Server 2008 R2 DataCenter. This give us unlimited server installs. The estimate is ten server installs to break even making this decision easier for us. A decent article I found on ZDNet explains the theory well. The simplicity of being able to install another server when the need comes without having to worry about licensing is worth the cost to me either way.
Planned Virtual Servers:
- Domain Controller 1
- Domain Controller 2
- File Server
- Web Server
- CRM server
- Citrix XenApp 1
- Citrix XenApp 2
- QuickBooks Server
- Network services server
- Exchange 2010 server
- Print Server
- SQL server
- ERP Server
- Domain Admin Remote login server – This allows the domain admins to login remotely to administer the entire network from offsite.