Server Virtualisation


VMWare or Hyper V?

EAC Network Solutions have delivered numerous server virtualisation projects for our customers, on both Microsoft’s Hyper V virtualisation platform, and VMWare. There are benefits of both solutions, VMWare has greater cross vendor support when it comes to hosting virtual products (for example Meru’s virtual controllers are only supported on VMWare currently), whereas the total cost of ownership with Microsoft’s Hyper V is far lower, especially if you are entitled to Microsoft’s Education discounts.

High Availability

One of the biggest benefits of migrating to a virtual server environment, is the ability to add reliability and resilience into the server environment through what we call High Availability Clustering. Both Microsoft and VMWare solutions support HA Clustering. With HA Clustering, virtual servers can be moved between host servers automatically in the event of failure, or manually to support maintenance activities, with minimal downtime (usually 1 or 2 seconds at most).Setting up a HA Virtual Server environment requires additional capacity in the host servers to allow for at least one host to be offline, and a SAN (Storage Area Network) to provide centralised data storage, which allows multiple hosts to access the data, without the need to copy/transfer any files.

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Host Servers

EAC Network Solutions are able to provide server hardware from many different vendors as an independent solutions provider, however because of our channel relationships with HP and Dell, and their commitment to support and customer service, we typically recommend and supply HP or Dell Servers. hp-logo
When scoping the server hardware for a Virtual Server Solution, there are a number of factors to take into consideration, including CPU load, IOPS requirements, current and future RAM requirements, additional resiliency requirements such as Power, Network Interfaces, and UPS’s to ensure the customer gets the maximum return on investment for their investment in the project. dell-logo

SAN (Storage Area Network) Hardware

Scoping the requirements for your SAN is even more crucial than the host servers. In a HA environment, the SAN is the focal point of everything, it not only needs to cope with the capacity and throughput requirements identified, but it also needs to support your organisations definition of HA, and therefore needs to have its own levels of resilience, such as multiple controllers, power supplies, Network interfaces. The other major consideration is how the disks are best split to support resilience and capacity requirements without pushing the SAN over budget.EAC Network Solutions treat every project on it’s own requirements and work with a specialist storage partner to scope and supply the right SAN, from a variety of SAN vendors, ensuring it meets each customers requirements in terms of the feature-set and storage ans resiliency.

Network Infrastructure

A virtual server infrastructure is clearly more complex than having a bunch of physical servers, but the benefits can be huge. Because of the complexities it also means we often need to invest in the Core of the Network. Considering how we are going to connect the Host Servers, and the SAN(s), also taking into consideration how we ensure reliability and resilience. And maintain traffic separation security where required.
Please contact us to discuss your Virtual server requirements