Monday, 18 August 2008

My Virtual Environment (Part 2). Configuration - Hyper about Hyper-V

In my last post I gave an overview of how I use a data-centre hosted solution to provide demonstrations of enterprise-class software functionality.

Well it's probably no surprise that the solution is based on a Virtualisation platform, Windows Server 2008's Hyper-V to be exact!

3 x Sun SunFire Virtual Machine 'Hosts' (specification detailed in previous posts) each run Windows 2008 64-Bit Server Operating Systems with the Hyper-V role enabled.  Prior to this I ran Virtual Server 2005/SP1 for years and the reliability was perfect.  Only since Hyper-V RTM'd did I make the jump to Microsoft's current Virtualisation platform . . . and I have not looked back!

Each of the 3 hosts will run between 4 and 6 virtual machines depending on physical host memory and disk allocation (as you can see immediately below). . .

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Each VM runs a Windows Server 2003 64-Bit OS (I'm currently in the process of testing and ensuring all VM guests will run applications successfully with Windows Server 2008)

Generally each VM is allocated two VHD's, one for the OS and the remainder for application data.

Services I demonstrate are: -

  1. Active Directory (DC01, DC02 & Dc03)
  2. Exchange 2007 (Client Access Role) (EXCAS01 & EXCAS02)
  3. Exchange 2007 (Hub Transport Role) (EXHT01 &EXHT02)
  4. Exchange 2007 (Unified Messaging Role) (EXUM01 & EXUM02)
  5. Exchange 2007 (CCR Mailbox Role) (EXMLB01 & EXMLB02)
  6. Windows Server Update Services (WSUS01)
  7. Office Communications Server 2007 (Unified Messaging integration with Exchange Unified Messaging Services) (OCS01)

There are 2 of each Exchange and 3 AD DC roles to demonstrate high-availability in the event of a loss of a service failure, single VM or Hyper-V/OS/hardware.

WSUS keeps patching of OS's and supported Applications current.

Office Communication Server provides UM integration functionality demonstrations.

I use virtual network for network load balancing functionality with the CAS and Edge Exchange 2007 roles. I also have a dedicated DMZ network for the Edge roles.  A dedicated virtual network also exists for the Exchange 2007 CCR VM's.

The 3 VM hosts are all in a workgroup and are security hardened for the Hyper-V role.  They've been running for nearly 2 months now with zero issues or downtime.

I'm seriously impressed with Hyper-V.  I'm not using shared storage so I've no clustering capabilities for Hyper-V itself.

It's support for 64-Bit Guest OS's, speed, ease of configuration etc are fantastic. Yes I know VMWare and other open-source solutions do all this as well. . . but I specialise in Microsoft Server Technologies so it's Hyper-V for me :-)

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