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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:31 am 
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Let's virtualize Dingolfing!

I performed some server consolidations last week. My first step was to add 8GB of memory to Dingolfing, bringing it to 16GB.

Here's the before state:
Image

I used VMWare's free Converter to perform a P2V (Physical to Virtual) conversion of Dingolfing into a VMWare virtual machine. I took this approach because Microsoft does not support a single machine P2V migration with their tools and I only have the one Windows machine. I first had to remove the RAID 1 mirror as this interfered with the P2V conversion. I copied the resulting VM files to the former mirror drive. I installed Server 2008R2 x64 EE and specified in the installation that the C: drive should be reformatted. With the server software installed, I brought it current of all updates via Windows Update. I then installed the Hyper-V role, and since I was planning on installing the System Control Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCCVMM) evaluation software, I also had to install the Active Directory and IIS roles in support of this software. I created a new domain named vmhosts.local and made this machine the controller for that domain.

Unfortunately, I was not able to use SCCVMM to convert the VMWare VM I created from Dingolfing directly. So much for that experiment. I ended up using a utility named Win Image to convert the VMWare virtual disk file (.vmdk) to the Virtual Hard Drive (.vhd) format that Hyper-V uses. I was then able to create a new virtual machine in Hyper-V's VM Manager using this virtual disk as the basis for it.

I initially had some difficulties with networking the new virtual machine. By default, Hyper-V created a virtual network adapter typed as legacy. I was not able to determine a way to cause this adapter to see my network. I created a new adapter via the virtual machine properties dialog and connected it to the virtual switch that Hyper-V uses as an abstraction layer for networking. I powered up the VM and configured the new virtual adapter, and it worked. I could then go in and deactivate the legacy adapter, which I subsequently removed after I next powered down the VM.

I had a 300GB drive in the server that I used for backing up the Small Business Server (SBS). I created a 200GB virtual hard disk on that drive, then reconfigured the backup facility in SBS to use this virtual drive and set a schedule for backups. That is all working fine now. My Exchange and SharePoint servers are working correctly, and the SBS console is showing all green. So much for Dingolfing!

My next project was to migrate a VMWare VM from my Mac Pro over to this new host in a Virtual to Virtual migration (V2V). This went a lot more smoothly than the P2V migration. I simply copied the virtual disk (.vmdk) and virtual machine settings (.vmx) files from the package on my Mac over to the server's hard drive. Hyper-V manager was able to import the VMWare VM directly and without issue. This new VM runs Server 2008R2 x64 EE and hosts a SQL Server 2008R2 EE server and I use it as a business intelligence development sandbox.

I think I may create one last VM for this server, a small one that runs Windows 7 and hosts the iTunes client that I use to feed video files to my Apple TVs. Once I do that, then my MediaSmart server becomes a candidate for replacement by a dedicated NAS device. I have not been happy with how the MSS handles Time Machine, and I expect the upcoming release of 10.7 Lion will cause problems with HP's drivers. I am currently leaning towards a Synology DS411J.

Here's an after:

Image

And here's my network environment:
Image
(updated 4/5/12 - I migrated SBS 2008 to SBS 2011 over the weekend son Dingolfing is no more - Koln is the new server. I also bailed on my Airport Extreme Base Stations and replaced the two of them with one Netgear N750)

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Synology DS411: 2 * WD20EARX and 2 * WD20EARS
DIY Small Business Server 2011
MP 8-core 2.26GHz, 2012 MBA13 i7/8GB/256GB, AppleTVs, iPhone


Last edited by Cliff on Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:50 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 10:19 am 
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I ended up creating a new Windows 7 x86 VM to handle video streaming from iTunes and I removed that role from my MSS. I used the 32 bit version of Windows because it only requires 1GB of memory while the 64 bit version has a 2GB requirement. I created a domain account specifically for this service and I gave it local administrator rights on this machine. I configured Windows 7 to automatically logon and run iTunes on startup. To configure autologon, I had to make some registry changes:

In the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\WinLogon\ key

AutoAdminLogon=1
DefaultUserName=<name>
DefaultPassword=<password>

And since this computer is attached to a domain:

DefaultDomainName=<domain>

I also added iTunes to the startup program group for all users so that it would automatically run when this computer is restarted. I also created a map to the share on my MSS box where my iTunes library is stored. That map is configured to reconnect on logon. Finally, I had to install the Virtual Audio Cable driver to suppress an error thrown on startup by iTunes.

I rebooted the virtual machine, and it came up cleanly and started iTunes. The VM is only using 1-2% of the parent machines CPU capacity when streaming, so the biggest hit this thing takes on resources is that 1GB of memory I had to dedicate to it.

My last big Dingolfing test will be running a power failure test. I have the VMs set to save their state when the parent machine shuts down, and to start when the parent machine starts up, providing they were in a running state when it shut down. The parent machine is using Server 2008's built in power management to go into hibernation mode when the battery capacity falls to 80%. When Dingolfing was a physical server, it would just resume from hibernation automatically when power resumed. That's the goal for this new configuration too, except that the physical server along with the 3 VMs will all have to come back online.

_________________
Synology DS411: 2 * WD20EARX and 2 * WD20EARS
DIY Small Business Server 2011
MP 8-core 2.26GHz, 2012 MBA13 i7/8GB/256GB, AppleTVs, iPhone


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yakuza
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 4:22 pm 
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Cliff,

I like your new setup & digram... It looks like the PC is your DHCP, DNS right?

Questions:

1. Do you have your mac on all the time?
2. Jakarta VM what do you use that for.
3. Spartanburg I see you have Bootcamp &VM can you explain that setup

I'm looking towards combining system into VM.. I just upgrade the same mac pro to 16GM Ram. The only difference is I have a iMac running snow leopard server & its my DNS, DHCP. I would like to setup a SBS to take the place of the iMac... or should I just keep my iMac


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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2011 12:45 am 
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coldrider wrote:
Cliff,

I like your new setup & digram... It looks like the PC is your DHCP, DNS right?

Questions:

1. Do you have your mac on all the time?
2. Jakarta VM what do you use that for.
3. Spartanburg I see you have Bootcamp &VM can you explain that setup

I'm looking towards combining system into VM.. I just upgrade the same mac pro to 16GM Ram. The only difference is I have a iMac running snow leopard server & its my DNS, DHCP. I would like to setup a SBS to take the place of the iMac... or should I just keep my iMac


Dingolfing is DHCP, DNS, Active Directory, Exchange Server, and has been upgraded to SharePoint 2010. I sleep the Mac Pro when it's not in use. Jakarta is a Cognos 8.4 Business Intelligence development sandbox that I haven't used in a while. I needed Bootcamp to configure my MSS. One of my first steps was to replace the original 1TB drive with a 1.5TB drive via the server recovery process and a VM wasn't enough to make that process work - it needed a full-on native Windows client that only Bootcamp was able to provide. I also wanted to install and use Bootcamp just to have the experience. I don't use it much as Cairo is my primary Windows 7 environment.

If you want to run SBS, do it on a dedicated machine either as a standalone install or as a Hyper-V guest on a Server 2008 server. If you run it as a VM inside your Mac, then you introduce a dependency cyclic with SBS is dependent on the Mac host environment and the Mac dependent on SBS for network services.

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Synology DS411: 2 * WD20EARX and 2 * WD20EARS
DIY Small Business Server 2011
MP 8-core 2.26GHz, 2012 MBA13 i7/8GB/256GB, AppleTVs, iPhone


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PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 2:21 am 
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cliff,

It looks like your Dingolfing is the main system. I was told that the SBS will not let you have a 2nd DC... is this true? Because if Dingolfing goes down looks like your entire network stops? Also was your Network Diagram done on a mac.. Do mind sharing a writeable copy with me.


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PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 3:32 am 
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SBS has to be the primary DC in the domain, but other servers can be secondaries. I don't have a secondary DC configured in my network and so far that hasn't been an issue. The AEBS is configured as a secondary DNS host, so if Dingolfing (or the vmhost) is down for maintenance the AEBS facilitates Internet connectivity. SBS is a LOT easier to manage running as a VM rather than as a physical server - virtualizing it was a good move.

Dingolfing was down for several days when I was upgrading it to SharePoint 2010. The loss of Exchange was painful, but my email goes to a server provided by my hosting provider if my Exchange server is unavailable.

No, the diagram was made with Visio - there are a number of things Microsoft does right, and Visio is one of those things. I have attached a zipped copy.


Attachments:
my network diagram.vsd.zip [4.1 MiB]
Downloaded 243 times

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Synology DS411: 2 * WD20EARX and 2 * WD20EARS
DIY Small Business Server 2011
MP 8-core 2.26GHz, 2012 MBA13 i7/8GB/256GB, AppleTVs, iPhone
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:02 pm 
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Dingolfing is no more. It has been replaced by Köln. I finally bit the bullet and migrated my SBS 2008 server to SBS 2011. That was a lot of fun as the primary migration document is 65 pages long. I spent the better part of the weekend Googling error codes to clear conditions that were preventing the migration from progressing. It finally completed and I could decommission Dingolfing and turn it off. Then I had to move Koln from the VMWare VM where I built it (on my Mac Pro) to a Hyper-V VM - but V2V migrations are pretty straightforward and I touched on that process earlier in this thread.

I had done some screwy stuff to my SBS 2008 server, such as installing SharePoint 2010 on it. That disrupted some basic behaviors (like successfully powering back up) and in hindsight was a mistake. I'll be leaving this SBS 2011 server mostly alone. SBS 2011 seems to be an improvement over 2008. 2008R2 on which it is based is a more solid OS, and the responsiveness of the server seems to be improved.

One big difference between 2008 and 2011 is that 2011 seems to have zero tolerance for routers that can't disable DHCP services. I had to buy a new router to replace my 2 Apple Airport Extreme base stations because of this. The choices at the local Best Buy constrained my options and I ended up selecting a Netgear N750. It received good reviews and performance is improved some over the (long in the tooth) Apple routers it replaced.

_________________
Synology DS411: 2 * WD20EARX and 2 * WD20EARS
DIY Small Business Server 2011
MP 8-core 2.26GHz, 2012 MBA13 i7/8GB/256GB, AppleTVs, iPhone


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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 9:20 pm 
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Cliff wrote:
I learned a critical lesson this evening: DO NOT DISABLE IPV6 PROTOCOL. SBS is dependent on it and won't boot if you do.


Disabling IPv6 does nasty things to server 2008 too - it's just more subtle. Your lucky it came back so easy - many people have had to re-install! You might want to re-run the network connect wizard (or whatever they call it now).

Moral of the story? Leave IPv6 alone on newer versions of Windows!


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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 9:24 pm 
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Cliff wrote:
The next step was to establish a VPN connection. This required having SBS take over DHCP server responsibilities from my router, an Apple Airport Extreme. This device does not like to relinquish being a DHCP server. Complicating things, I have two of these devices set up in a wireless distribution system (WDS). The solution ended up being having the Airport Extreme continue to be a DHCP server, but to distribute only one IP address: the one used by the remote in the WDS.


Hmm, I was able to disable DHCP on my AirportExtreme and I have it doing WDS on the 2GHz radio with an AirPort Express. Thank goodness the AE I have is dual band as WDS instantly halves the bandwidth for the band it's used on :oops: I'm using it because it's convenient, but I really want to finish putting in my cabling so I can ditch WDS.

And if you need two APs for coverage, look at the unifi line from Ubiquity networks. Awesome managed access points at a bargain price (compared to other managed solutions!)

EDIT: And I use pfSense on an HP Microserver for my router, firewall and DHCP services. I also support several non-profits that have SBS-2011 standard and they are all paired with pfSense running on the excellent SuperMicro 1U Atom based servers that can be found routinely on NewEgg for under $300.

After having to re-do an SBS 2011 install, and doing within a HyperV VM, I will never, EVER, install a production server directly onto bare metal hardware again.

BTW - unless you are using MSDN/Technet for licensing, the cheapest way to get "plus one" licensing for a full Windows server for your HyperV host is with MultiPoint Server Premium. And MPS provides a pretty cool virtual desktop server appliance.


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