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[personal profile] lensman

So I mentioned there was a server problem at work...
The server external HD array at work has been having problems all week, and the dept has grown to the point where they can't take this much down time... Time to look at failover solutions.

That is an area that is starting to get outside my current experience. So could any techies share some ideas, or caveats.



So far what I'm thinking is to use VMWare ESX/ESXi servers running Windows server VM's connected to a private non-routable back-end NAS ( About 6 TB of data, but easily expandable, and to have failover backup) I'd like to keep the users access to roll back snapshots of the file shares that Windows Server provides, and I'd also like to be able to keep the accounts accounts in a central AD domain (So that I don't have to worry about account provisioning & maint)...

I have a slight advantage leaning towards VMWare as the Inst has a pretty good lic deal, and the ESX & ESXi lic don't cost me anything at least. I'll have to double check on the VSphere Mgmnt lic. I think there would be a cost on that. Basically I'm looking to reasonably remove any single point failure possible with the exception of client side facing network which is run by our central IT, and I have no control past that point.

It's the end of the current budget Cycle so I'd like to move quickly, but we also want to take the time to design and build something that will be stable & scale as we continue to grow. We are looking at needing to be able to provision and roll out machines pretty quickly as the need arises for some of our joint work internationally. They are going to be looking into additional distance learning tools. I'd also like to be able to provide the users with access to their data through a Dropbox like sync app, but that allows us to retain the data. (Maybe something like iFolder. Although, surprisingly that project doesn't look like it's has much activity, so I'm a little leary. Other suggestions for this too are welcome.)

I've heard a couple of good things about EMC NAS's. The only NAS's I've had direct experience with have been cheap a$$ Buffalo Terrastations. (Which are actually not bad little linux boxes, but their upgrades are a pain/ or not available, and their domain connectivity is next to useless for an AD as large as ours at least using the default Samba they come with. Prior to the current situation I had been thinking about MS Windows Storage server versions of the Buffalo's for a possible NAS upgrade for one of my sub-groups as they've filled both a 2 & 4 TB arrays)
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lensman

June 2012

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