Question about HP ProLiant DL585 Server

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I'm using this server in my house for study pourpose. i'm trying to set up adomain network to execute tests. i'm using a Proliant DL585 G1 server with 4 dual core cpus 2x2gb of ram on the 2°board as advised from hp, smartarray 5i embended scsi backplane with two logical raid: 1-2x76gb 15k raid0 2-2x36gb 10k raid0. i allso have a smartarray6404 external scsi raid adapter where i'm going to connect a ultra3 14bay storageworks encclosure with 8 36gb 10k probably in raid6-ADG. The system is connected to a 10/100 switch with 3 broadcom dual gigabit server adapter all teamed in a 6gbps connection. My goal is to run a virtualized environment on this machine configured as follow: DC, file server, Isa server, Exchange server. I tryed to instal vmware ESXI but after booting it says that system memory is not properly configured or very badly distributed... probably for a valid reason since i have 14 of 16 free slot... So i moved to vmware server.. andi discovered it shouldn't be installed on a DC... installed the system again leaving gto the host machine the role of file server and i virtualized the DC. i made a disk immage with acronis true image server, but after a restore the host machine was not able anymore to connet to network and virtual DC encountered a Active directory corruption and wasn't able to boot. So now i think i'll move back to a host machine running allso the dc and file server, since the problem seems to be affecting recovery of virtual machine trougth a host system immage. moreover is better not to instal vmware on dc just cause it requre a lot of resources, and dc is a vital role in a network, but i hav just 5 clients connected and a lot of power avvailable. another solution would be to make a backup immage of the system not running virtual machine, just the host system, then deploy all the VMs and make snapshots of each using included utilities in vmware server. this woulod be the most elegant vbut allso the logest. a third would be to buy tons of pc3200 ecc register ram end go wit ESXI but i have no budget in my "week pay" so.... wich one would you advise me? can you think of something better? Best regards, Rocca Paolo.

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  • oloap88 May 18, 2010

    ok thank, i'll upgrade ram, and buy a 14x146gb fibre channel storageworks... found all for 300?!

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Hi. May I know which version of operating system you are using? I use a virtual drive myself loaded with win2003 server with windows Vista as the main OS and don't have any problems running both. Then only difference is i use the Microsoft virtual PC which leaves atleast 20-30 percent of my resources free despite of me configuring my server for most of the roles(SMTP, Database, POP3, multimedia you name it). Hence I would suggest that you try virtual PC and see if you are able to get a better performance. I would also recommend that you increase the virtual memory. Virtual memory means windows converts a selected amount of disk space into RAM and uses it for page file processing. The ideal size would be around 2.5 times the size of your RAM which is 10GB. If you are willing to sacrifice 10GB of your disk space for this then you can get a much better performance from your server. Let me know the OS on your server so that I can guide you with the procedure.

Sai.

Posted on May 15, 2010

  • 2 more comments 
  • oloap88 May 15, 2010

    hi thanks for replying, and sorry for bad english... and sorry allso cause the question didn't keep the format.

    i use windows server 2003 R2 standard x64 edition.



    i big goal is to have a system with a host system and two or three virtual machine running for ex one exchange server, one ISA server and another one for a torrent-p2p sandbox running xp.



    on the host system in this way i'd have to install the virtualization base and a DC, file server and media server.



    i'd keep the file server and media server on host machine since is easyer to handle disk space outside virtual disk....



    the second point is thath since it is a test network, ill need to recovery the wole virtual sistem very often so i need an efficent backup method.



    i tried virtualysing the DC but after a recovery the DC virtual machine wasn't working for a corruption of active directory.



    all this is to get confidece with sys virtualization and go for a cloud environment in the near future, like vSphere...



    the question is: how do you suggest to configure this environment on this hardware?



    Thanks,

    Paolo.



  • eagle338
    eagle338 May 15, 2010

    The best and easiest back up method is to have another copy of the virtual hard disk .vhd file. There are other methods but none of them are free for server based operating systems. Hence I would recommend that you maintain another copy of the vhd on removable drive like an external hard disk or something that you may be having. If you are willing to pay for a back up software then I would recommend acronis back up server(virtual edition) and recovery software but trust me it is rather expensive. There is a free software called fback up but it is not very ideal for virtual environments . http://www.fbackup.com/
    Your other question is regarding running one virtual machine for each type of server. This as you may have already seen requires tremendous amounts of re-sources as its almost like you are running 4 operating systems on one machine at the sametime. A ram upgrade is mandatory if you want to achieve this. I have an office server that runs a similar type of config but its dual quad core and 16GB RAM. That should give you a better idea about the amount of resources needed. You can try adding more virtual memory though but you would need atleast 8GB of RAM I think.


  • oloap88 May 15, 2010

    yes, thats exaxtly what i'm gonna do... a virtual machine for each service.. i have no problem of resources on processor side, since i have 4x opteron dual core 2,6ghz, but i'll have to buy 6x1gb pc3200 ecc reg modules... do you think vmware esxi will work with this config? 2x2gb on mail processor board, 2x1gb on the other 3 boards for a total of 10gb.

    since esxi doesn't work atm, i was wondering that was possible to virtualize 3 machines with just 4gb.

    after all i could give 512mb to each machine since they have to handle just 5 client rarely connected alltogheter....



    for the backup i'm using acronis true image enterprise server, i allso have the one from CA but i dont'like it.

    i tried to backup the host machine with installed vmware server and a virtualized DC. after a restore the virtual DC didn't boot anymore... thats the problem.... so i'm thinking about installing DC on the virtual machine so in case of disaster i'll have to manually restore only non vital machines like isa or exchange...



    paolo.

  • eagle338
    eagle338 May 15, 2010

    Yes additional ram would do. I do not advice a 512MB allocation for each vm session, you will need to allocate a min of 800MB-1GB as per my experience. If you add another 2GB module that would do the trick. As per the back up like I already said just maintain an extra copy of the vhd on an external drive. You can get a 250GB usb HDD for about 60$. It is the method I personally use and it had never let me down for the last 2 years I have been using it. Acronis is unlike any other but its very good, only problem is you can buy 2 servers with your current config for that price(Dell T300 servers cost me around 900 bucks each!)

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