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RE: [Xen-users] Running MS Terminal Server andMSSmallBusinessServerunder

To: "Jamie J. Begin" <begin@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <xen-users@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: RE: [Xen-users] Running MS Terminal Server andMSSmallBusinessServerunder Xen?
From: "Ross S. W. Walker" <rwalker@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 5 May 2008 15:24:33 -0400
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Thread-topic: [Xen-users] Running MS Terminal Server andMSSmallBusinessServerunder Xen?
Jamie J. Begin wrote:
> > Jamie J. Begin wrote:
> > > >Jamie J. Begin wrote:
> > > >>
> > > >> I have the crazy idea to run both Microsoft Terminal Server
> > > >> and Small Business Server (SBS is a license-restricted
> > > >> version of Windows Server with Exchange for shop with <50
> > > >> users) in separate HVM domUs.  Assuming that I have a beefy
> > > >> enough underlying hardware, how likely do you think this
> > > >> would work?  I know that Exchange isn't one of those apps
> > > >> that are ideally suited for virtualization, but this would
> > > >> only be handling email for about 15 users.
> > > >
> > > >For 15 users you can get away with just about anything...
> > > >
> > > >Exchange can be virtualized, it's the storage that really
> > > >matters and with iSCSI and the ability to create multiple
> > > >exchange virtual servers to distribute the load it can
> > > >be made to scale in a virtualized environment.
> > > >
> > > > -Ross
> > >
> > > iSCSI is a bit beyond what I'd be looking at for this project.  ;-)
> > > What's more likely is a 2U Dell server with six 146GB 10k SAS drives in a
> > > RAID5/6 config.  Disk IO is my biggest concern if I attempt to do 
> > > this.  Any tips or tricks?  I'd hate to recommend that a $5k server be 
> > > purchased and then have this blow up in my face...
> > 
> > iSCSI isn't that complicated and there are free Linux iSCSI targets
> > and the Microsoft iSCSI initiator is free, so there is minimal cost
> > involved (just 1Gbe NICs and switches), but for this setup it isn't
> > necessary, I just used it as an illustration on how to scale
> > exchange to work in a virtualized environment.
> > 
> > Why not just buy a Dell 2950 though with Small Business Server
> > installed on it and be done with it?
> > 
> > Using Xen for this setup is kinda overkill.
> > 
> > A Dell 2950, 2 250GB SATA RAID1 for OS, and 4 250GB or 500GB SATA
> > RAID5 or RAID10 for application data. Use hardware RAID card with
> > decent sized battery backed up write-back cache and your good to
> > go. I suggest the 500GB drives in RAID10 as it should allow for
> > a universal IO pattern.
> > 
> > You are not really going to see a lot of IO with 15 users.
> > 
> > If the number of users grows large, add iSCSI to the box and use
> > the local storage for online backups/snapshots. For this reason
> > I always get an extra dual-port Gbe card factory installed.
> > 
> > -Ross
> > 
> The client is planning to move his operations into a datacenter to free him
> from the physical constraints of an office.  Most of his employees are
> either on the road or able to work from home.  He currently has the standard
> SBS setup with a handful of WinXP desktops.  The desktops are going away and
> I want to set up everyone to use RDP over HTTPS from anywhere they have a
> PC.

Not a bad plan, something like rackspace or so, but you still don't
need virtualization to achieve this. RDP protocol is built-in and
with remote management interface cards you can even cold-boot a
server remotely these days.

> We're looking at a 2U 2950 to host three virtual servers: SBS, Terminal
> services, and a linux server with Bacula and/or BackupPC for disk-based
> backups. A second server, a 1U 1950, will also be Xen-based and function as
> a firewall/OpenVPN, Asterisk, web, and secondary SMTP servers.  I'm looking
> at Xen because it will enable me to reduce rackspace and power requirements,
> save on hardware costs, plus all the usual virtualization manageability
> benefits.

2950 is a good box we have quite a few deployed here. How about just SBS
that acts as a terminal server. You will get maximum performance that
way. Xen might be a good idea on the 1u device though with different
Linux para-virtualized domains, one for firewall, one for mail, one
for asterisk.

> What's holding me up at the moment is finding a local datacenter that offers
> PRI connectivity (for the phone trunks) at a decent price, and the
> uncertainty of using Xen with Exchange and Terminal Services.

I got a product from Level3 for one of our offices that runs a
data T1 and PRI across a single circuit. Basically a full T1
of bandwidth that gets suppressed by 64K for each active BRI
in use.


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