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Old 23rd May, 2011, 09:58 PM
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Chasing some information on SAN + network

Trying to educate myself on something that interests me being high performance high availability servers / infrastructure. Unfortunately everything I seem to read is product specific and doesnt really help me with what I'm trying to achieve. I am looking at redoing our internal infrasture in a non-production environment so as to learn some new things.

What I want to build is layed out below on the attached diagram.

Just to add some definition:

Two internet connections connected via ethernet to WAN failover router.
Two ethernet connections from WAN failover router to two switches.
Two SAN devices connected via ethernet to two switches.
SAN devices connected to each other for data mirroring and redundancy
Two ethernet connections from server to switches. Each server has two NICs, one connected to each switch.
VMware vpshere running on all physical servers to pool and manage resources better. For example: my current DHCP server is Server 2008 Std 64bit on a 3.33ghz quadcore Xeon with 8gb RAM. Massive overkill.

Virtual servers for each of the functions I need that I can deploy new ones without any additional infrastructure purchases. I want to build this to last 5 years at current growth rates. Can anyone point me in the direction of educational material that is _NOT_ product biased.

I am not too worried whether solution is off the shelf, open sources or a mixture. I just want something that will work.
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Old 23rd June, 2011, 09:03 PM
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Rondog needs some help, can someone please lend him a hand?
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Old 24th June, 2011, 01:10 PM
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Ron - Basically everything out there is going to be product biased. There is just to much to learn otherwise.

- You seem to have already decided on VMware.

That is going to limit your server hardware;
If you are using the VSphere Hypervisor version, look into Intel MB whitebox systems.
If you are using Esx, look through and get a supported system.

If you still want to look at other high availability servers, you will be wanting to look at fail over clusters. IBM and the old Solaris stuff is what to look for.
Also look into VMware's vmotion and fault tolerance. Also have a look at XenServer, they have similar stuff with Xenmotion and Site recovery.

- Networking, there isn't a single course that is unbiased. Almost all lean towards Cisco.
The Cisco CCNA course will give you a very good understanding of networks, not just Cisco devices.

They use multiple protocols that are true standards so you don't need to use their proprietary stuff. Switching, routing, WAN, MAN, LAN, virtual networks, multi path redundancy protocols, etc

The other one which seems less product orientated, but more basic, is Comptia Network+, but again, you will get cisco based product material.

HP may have something centric around their products as well.

- SAN/NAS/etc.
Again IBM is the main contender for documentation. You may find HP, Oracle and a few others I can't remember the name of may have some documentation as well.

- As for the next 5 years. What is this used for?
Mail, DHCP, Domain Controller, network diagnostics? Anything else?

Looking at the Windows changes in the past 10 years, I spec'd an approximate 5 year hypervisor server for 4 people to test in-house built products on all MS products from XP/2k3;
48GB RAM
4TB HDD
Quad core (8 virtual core) Xeon
Dual gigabit networking


Personally for a dev environment, I would mirror the actual hardware of the prod environment as much as possible.

You just have to look and see if the hardware/software has the capability you need.

Make a list;
Needs/Requirements | Wants | Would likes | Dreams

Search for hardware that has all the needs, then the wants, etc. Then research how they do it. All companies will give basic information that is the same for everyone.
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