Tuesday 22 February 2011

Hyper-V Cluster – IMS, Second DC, Backup, and Power Hardware Configuration

We have a number of clustering projects coming down the pipe with quite a variety of configurations for the cluster nodes and common storage setup.

The following is a brief overview of one cluster configuration:

  1. Intel Modular Server MFSYS25v2 (new version).
    1. 3x Compute Modules.
      1. Dual Xeon E5640, 48GB RAM, Mezzanine NIC.
    2. Dual Storage Control Modules.
    3. Dual Ethernet Switch Modules.
    4. Four Power Supplies.
    5. 4x 160GB Intel X25-M Solid-State Drives.
      1. Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 OS partitions.
      2. Hyper-V based VM configuration/memory files (CSV).
      3. Quorum if another node is added.
    6. 10x 146GB Seagate Savvio 15K SAS Drives.
      1. VM OS and data partitions.

For Hyper-V clusters we need a DC to reside outside of the cluster.

  1. Intel Server System SR1625URR 1U 2P.
    1. Dual Intel Xeon X5660 CPUs, 48GB, Intel RAID, Intel PRO ET Dual Port NIC.
    2. 8x 146GB Seagate Savvio 15K SAS drives.

This particular setup will give us our second DC but also give us the ability to run a VM or multiple VMs when there is a requirement which in this particular case there will be.

For backup purposes we will be configuring the following setup:

  1. 2x Q-Nap 1U 4 SATA drive NAS with redundant power.
    1. 2x eSATA connections for external storage.
    2. VM’s native backup will be configured to run to VHDs stored on both Q-Nap NAS devices.
    3. Backups will be switched between each NAS for “rotation” purposes.
  2. 2TB external eSATA hard drives.
    1. ShadowProtect by StorageCraft will be configured on all VMs.
    2. Backups will be AES-128 bit encrypted and stored on the eSATA drives.
    3. eSATA drives will be rotated off-site twice per month.

Power protection will be provided by an APC Smart-UPS RT 6000VA (208 volt) with additional Smart-UPS RT 192V Battery Packs to give us approximately 6-8 hours of runtime. An APC Step-Down Transformer will provide the needed 110 volt power to the IMS.

Additional power protection for the switches, ISP connections, external eSATA drives, and the Q-Nap NAS devices will be provided for by two additional APC Smart-UPS 2200VA (110 Volt 20 Amp) UPSs.

We will be using Cisco Small Business Pro series switches and security appliances for the necessary network connections and remote office VPN connections.

The main office will get two APC NetShelter SX 24U enclosures. One will house the UPS equipment while the other will house the server equipment. We do this to reduce the risk of damage to the server equipment if there is a major battery failure in one of the UPS devices.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

Windows Live Writer


stryqx said...

That's a nice setup. I'd add an APC ATS into that mix to provide power redundacy to the single-corded devices, enabling you to perform UPS maintenance without taking the single-corded devices offline.

Philip Elder Cluster MVP said...


Thank you very much for the pointer! We will look into the ATS for sure.


Anonymous said...

Looks like another great configuration Philip, I’m hoping you can help me with a few things though in configuring an MFSYS25v2 for one of my clients. We were planning on setting it up in the following configuration:

- MFSYS25v2
- 1x compute module
- Single E5620, 24GB RAM
- Single storage control module
- Single Ethernet switch module
- 2x Power supplies
- 2x1TB 7.2k RAID 1 for Bulk Storage VHDs (Redirected Folders)
- 2x600GB RAID 1 for database VHDs (Exchange/SQL)
- 2x600GB RAID 1 for Hyper-V Server OS Partition and VM OS VHDs
- 2x73GB RAID 1 for Logs
- Backup done via a remote DPM 2010 server that has the capability of restoring and booting up all the VMs that are ran on-site.

The system is a first server for a rapidly growing company that wants the ability to someday soon move into an HA setup.

Do you have any advice you could give a fellow IT Consultant that is putting together a production IMS for the first time for the purpose of virtualizing SBS 2011 Premium?

I mostly want to make sure that I don't make any decisions today with this setup that will lock me down in the future to not being able to move towards SBS 2011 running in a CSV configuration.

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I thought I should add that the biggest place I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around the IMS is with regards to the SAN configuration. I noticed that you have a very simple configuration with basically 2 arrays below, but Intel seems to recommend having at least 4 different arrays. When do you think it is important condense down the number of arrays even if they have conflicting sequential vs. random writing patterns, into higher performing RAID 10s by combining together?

Also, I noticed that you opted to use MLC SSDs. At what point in your experience do you think it is a good idea to use these SSDs.