Michael Leone on 21 Jun 2008 20:10:36 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] Why Virtualize?

On Sat, Jun 21, 2008 at 10:54 PM, JP Vossen <jp@jpsdomain.org> wrote:
> But here's the real biggie, that IMO this group has thus far missed.
> Lots/many/most Windows applications [very] strongly recommend/require a
> dedicated server.  IME that's very rare on Unix/Linux, but it's nearly
> universal on Windows (again IME).  Sure the really basic stuff will
> coexist, like F&P, DNS, DHCP.  Then again, with AD, how many people put
> services on whatever they call the domain controller now?  So you've got
> a big hairy box dedicated to--authentication...  Plus the backup DCs...
> Anyone who works in a big Windows shop chime in (we promise not to bite.
>  Too much. :).

That would be me, I guess. :-)

But my DCs are certainly not on "big hairy hardware", even with 1200
users. They do run DHCP and DNS, as well. But no F&P, or anything
else. You're right, that would be silly. :-)

All my other services - db, app, web servers, other - are on their own
individual boxes. The dbs are almost all clustered, too. The web
servers are all load balanced. We're a PeopleSoft shop.

At my old place (60 users) I had a DC in a VM. Works wonders for D/R -
restore the image; force ably seize the FSMO roles; and now now you
have your AD structure back. That *alone* is worth the price of
admission. :-) With the AD back, all your users are there, and your
Exchange extensions, etc.

> But that's what I've seen, you've got a ton of Windows
> boxes each only doing one thing, because otherwise Windows is even less
> stable or reliable, and the services (daemons) can step on each other
> because Windows architecture (really development policy and practice,
> but...) sucks.

My boxes are amazingly stable. The only failures I've seen in the 10
months I've been at my place have been hardware failures, of old
hardware. For 85 Windows servers, I rarely have any go down

> * And related, ever try to move a Windows hard drive from one physical
> machine to another after an MB or PSU failure?  Don't.  It really,
> really sucks, unless the machines are near identical (I can provide
> painful details if needed).

If they are identical, it works well. Just did it last week, moving a
3 drive raid from one box to another (unused) box, with the exact same
hardware and RAID controller.

Otherwise, BOY, are you right ....

>Virtualization removes that limit, which to
> me is worth it all by itself, esp. if the host is stable OS and free.
> Add the points above and it's a no brainer.


> Except...  If you app is very CPU or disk intensive, think again.  For
> example, I personally wouldn't run an heavy-duty Oracle server in a VM.

Ditto Exchange (which is a db, really, since all mail stores in a db.
Or MS SQL server.  Altho I have seen posts from guys on my Win Admin
lists who say they are doing it just fine ...

> Having said all of this, my admin and design experience in the Windows
> world is thankfully getting very dated.  I was a consultant and MCSE in
> the 90's but have been only an end-user on Windows at work for the last
> 6+ years.  So if I'm wrong and you dare to admit you work on Windows
> <g>, please correct me.

Yeah, I don't do religious OS stuff all that well, so sure, I'll admit
it. No, I'm not ashamed. I like what I do. In fact, these days, I
don't use Linux nearly as much as I used to.

Michael J. Leone

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