V-Shpere Server Virtualisation

Next week I will be involved in the (commencement of) server virtualisation of a 10 Server 700 client 1600 user school network. 

The hardware has arrived; 3 HP servers with 32GB RAM and 2*8 core Zeon processors 4 + 4 GB NICs and 14.4TB of HP SAN will form the basis of the environment.

Cotham School plans to build a V-Sphere VM environment onto this hardware then transfer the server roles into the virtual world, god I hope the hardware installation team KNOW what they are doing 😕  Once they are finished its over to us to configure the Windows environment.

To complicate matters somewhat we need to take the opportunity here to update the server OS to Windows Server 2008 R2, update to Exchange Server 2010 (from 2003) plus we plan to roll out Windows 7 sitewide as soon as we have been able to test stability and ensure programs and services will continue to run.

As much as I plan to write about the experiences the IT Support Team at Cotham School have doing this (good and bad), I think the current question on my mind is this; is V-Sphere server virtualisation easy (or what)?

I have a couple of words of advice for myself:

  1. Make sure those system state backups are SOLID.
  2. Don’t throw everything in
  3. Retain the existing DCs as long as possible.

The initial aim will have to be to see the new (VM) environment and enable a simple file share from the SAN which can be accessed from the client(s) and go from there.  Once we are there I will feel much more comfortable.

If you happened across this page and have any advice or benefit of experience you can offer I will be grateful to hear from you.

About the author: Nate Allen

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