Interweb Blog Hyper-V, App-V, Dell Equallogic, Forefront TMG Security, DPM 2010, SCVMM


Dell PowerConnect 5400 Switch config for EqualLogic iSCSI Network

At this current moment we use 2 PowerConnect 5424 switches for our iSCSI backend network.  The PowerConnect 5424 has 24 10/100/1000 BASE-T auto-sensing gigabit Ethernet switching ports and 4 SFP combo ports for fibre connectivity.

The PowerConnect series of switches have many good features some which are irrelevant to what I am talking about so I will leave this out and comment on the features which are important in relation to iSCSI backend networks. Notice I say backend, if this were not a backend network I may be interested in some of the other features such as multiple VLAN capability and iSCSI optimization and QOS. But as this is a backend network I will not require the use of multiple VLANS or iSCSI optimization as I don't see the need to optimise iSCSI on purely iSCSI network.


Dell EqualLogic PS Series iSCSI SAN in a Hyper-V Environment

Following on from my Hyper-V Post I thought I would carry on the theme of High Availability and clustered services.  Dell's EqualLogic PS Series iSCSI SAN  optimise's resources by automating volume and network load balancing.  A PS Series Group consists of one or more PS Series Array.  Group Members are connected to an IP network and managed as a single system.

iSCSI Protocol.

iSCSI or internet small computer systems interface to give it its full title, is a block level storage protocol that can be used to create a storage network over Ethernet.  iSCSI uses ethernet as a transport medium for data from servers to storage devices or SAN'S (Storage Area Networks) such as EqualLogic.  iSCSI encapsulates SCSI commands into TCP/IP and sends these commands over standard Ethernet, because of this iSCSI can be sent over LAN's and WAN's and these Arrays do not have to be located in the same room or even the same Galaxy as your servers.


Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 with Cluster Shared Volumes – Quick Overview

Virtualization I am sure has been on everyone's agenda for a while now, but fully embracing the virtual world wasn't quite there yet for us.  We were running VMware ESXi for little over 18 months when we decided to take a look at Microsoft's Hyper-V offering (mainly due to cost).  So we installed the Hyper-V server role on a full fat install of Windows Server 2008 R2 pre SP1, so dynamic memory was merely a rumour at this point! first impressions were good and after looking at Cluster Shared Volumes and alot of further testing we decided to go ahead and move our proof of concept into production.

Planning Physical to Virtual Conversions - Capacity Planning has to start somewhere !

If you are planning to convert existing physical servers to Hyper-V's with VMM 2008 R2, there is a good tool from Microsoft, the MAP toolkit (Microsoft Assessment and Planning toolkit).  The MAP toolkit is agentless and will help you gather the required information for you to plan your Hyper-V assault, providing information on candidates for virtualization and auto generating reports.  Also with the Microsoft Integrated Virtualization ROI Tool you can calculate potential power cost savings with Hyper-V before deploying, some useful information to have in your arsenal!

P2V planning also gives you a good starting point to spec up your hardware and plan your SAN capacity.


Blogging for the first time !

So ive never really been in to the bloging thing!  I quite frequently read through other blog sites and find some really interesting solutions to problems that others have experienced.  As a first introduction I will try and explain a little about what I do and the technologies that I work with on a day to day basis.

Firstly a little about me, I work in the Education sector providing IT Support to a top performing Sixth Form College, and have been providing IT support to the people of the world for 10 years now.  I would describe myself as a hardworking and commited person with sound technical knowledge of Microsoft technologies.  My aim is to blog about projects I undertake 'the good the bad and the ugly'!  Hopfully what I post will be of some use to someone somewhere and inturn inspire them to write about their day to day exploits as I have been inspired by others.  I will also include other blogs I have found useful as there has been many and keep the circle going.

What will I actually be talking about! As my main project over the past 12 months has been Virtualization with Microsoft Hyper-V and Dell's Equallogic iSCSI SAN, the main of what I talk about will be centered around  this but, I will also be posting about Forefront Threat Managment Gateway, Windows Server 2008 R2 (SP1) as now is, and anything else I think may be interesting to others, we will see how it goes.

Anyway until next time.

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