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First (test) Virtual Server… Up and Running!

I have begun testing VMware as a first step towards a virtual network.  I have a Dell PowerEdge 1650, Dual Xeon 2.0 Ghz processors with 2GB RAM (I am purchasing an additional 2GB RAM to bring the machine to 4GB RAM, which is the max this particular machine will hold).  Currently, I have installed the host OS, Windows 2003 Server, as well as one guest operating system which is also a Windows 2003 Server.  So far, so good.

I was able to get the Guest operating system up and running, joined to the domain, and accessible to the network.  For the guest machine, I gave it 20 GB guest C: drive (now I think that’s too much, so I’m either going to learn how to shrink this, or start over with a smaller drive size) and 512 MB RAM, being that it’s a test server.  Since this went well, I needed to see what I could actually put on this machine that’s not too critical but that I could have in production to see how the machine will perform.  So, I decided to install IIS and copy our Intranet site to this server.  I changed the DNS to point to this machine and its working great.  This was the easiest thing to make live because if something happens, I can quickly change DNS back to the original server I had the Intranet on since I only copied the site over and modified the DNS record.

I began installing VMware at church Saturday night. After installing VMware, I went to church service, and finished adding the first guest machine remotely from home (using the /console command so that I can work directly at the console of the server). Gotta love remote desktop! I am really excited about VMware and what it can do for us. Currently, we have 8 physical servers, many of which could be easily virtualized. I am planning on rolling out the actual production server on a PowerEdge 2950, Dual Quad Core Processors, with 8GB – 12GB of RAM. This PE Server will be attached to a Dell MD1000 DAS that we already have in house (currently half full with 3TB of usable storage). Any thoughts on using a DAS with virtual servers vs a SAN? The MD1000 can have two physical machines attached. If these machines are beefed up machines, this could potentially be 20+ servers connected to the DAS.

Now, my next test will be to add another Guest server to the VMware host to see how it performs. I have heard about VMware and Virtual Servers before, and read about it. But I didn’t realize how easy it actually is until I met with the many Church IT guys at the SharePoint training, who are currently using this technology. Thanks guys!!


One Response

  1. 20gb guest workstation drives aren’t too big… most of our templates are atleast that big…

    If you let the drive auto grow, it only takes up as much space as it needs… larger is better.. growing a drive is a pain.

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