Datacenter Migration and Implementation using VMware
David A. Smith, MCSE
No part of this paper may be reproduced or distributed without the express written consent of its author David A Smith. Copyright 2010
Abstract The following whitepaper is a case study of how a long-term healthcare company moved from a hosted IT solution to an in-house self-managed solution using the latest in virtual computing technology. Guardian Healthcare Services is a long-term healthcare provider. Their IT infrastructure was hosted at a remote Application Service Provider off site and out of state. The project was initiated based on several business drivers including cost savings, more autonomy over systems and the need for agility in today’s healthcare market. The project case study presented here is how Guardian Healthcare Services IT Team took fourteen remote nursing home facilities covering three states and brought the entire infrastructure from their hosting provider to their own in-house solution. The challenges were great and the outcome was excellent. The technologies used in the project were provided by leaders in virtualization, server and storage, and software – VMware, HP and Microsoft. The following is the story of Guardian’s migration and datacenter implementation using VMWare to build a fully virtualized infrastructure.
Table of Contents Abstract Executive Summary Introduction to Virtualization Benefits of Virtualization Case Study: Guardian Healthcare Services Project Planning Infrastructure Plan High Level Migration and Datacenter Planning Server Consolidation HP Hardware and Installation ESX Installation Enterprise Servers 2008 Terminal Services Migration Unique Benefits Realized P2V Cloning and Templates Cost Effective Backup Conclusion References 2 5 6 7 10 14 15 16 18 21 24 25 27 28 30 30 31 31 32 33
List of Figures Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 6 Figure 7 Figure 8 VM Kernel Previous Network State Desired Network State Server Requirements VMware Server II ESX Environment Hewlett-Packard Hardware vCenter Virtual Environment Management 9 13 15 22 23 24 25 28
Hewlett-Packard hardware and Microsoft software products for their migration tasks as well as their new infrastructure..Guardian used VMware virtualization products. Guardian recently underwent a successful business-driven move from the hosted solution to a completely inhouse IT department. Guardian used an outsourced IT department for all of its needs. Their 14 remote nursing home facilities were connected by high speed Internet to a central hosting provider. servers and users and built an entire infrastructure using cutting edge virtualization techniques. By doing so they can be more agile in their market and provide superior infrastructure to their nursing staff which in provides quality care to its facility residents.
.Executive Summary Guardian Healthcare Services is a long-term care management company and healthcare provider operating in several. geographically dispersed states. This is an overview of how a healthcare provider migrated its services. Historically.
the leader in virtualization is VMware and it’s Virtual Infrastructure hypervisor. The host machine can be any architecture and any make. space requirements are reduced and power and cooling costs are reduced. Windows Server 2008 and Linux machines all living on the same underlying physical server. Now imagine being able to make efficient use all the physical hardware and being able to reduce multiple racks to one single rack of servers. This provides a new way to look at computing and more importantly at the datacenter. Multiple guests “live” on the same host machine. CPU scheduling. The way these guests are allowed to live on the same box is through the hypervisor. It is common to have Windows XP. Guests and hosts are terms used to describe the way in which the virtualization environment operates. Windows Server 2003. Memory management. Of these. Xen. The most commonly used and thought of are the hypervisor virtualization solutions like VMware. there would be no more underutilization of expensive processors and there would be no more wasted space in the datacenter. 2009)
. virtual switch and network data and access to specific hardware controllers all happen within this layer known as the VMkernel shown below (VMware. The host is the actual physical machine. VMware’s hypervisor is the foundation on which the management of underlying physical hardware occurs. The guests are of course the guest operating systems that reside on the hosts. We can now run multiple operating systems regardless of the physical box they are sitting on. We’re no longer stuck running one OS per physical server. Virtualization also provides the ability to run multiple instances of very different operating systems on the same machine. Hardware costs are reduced. That software provides a layer between the hardware and the guest operating systems called the hypervisor. There would be no more wasted RAM or disk space. hypervisor based virtualization and OS level virtualization. Virtual Iron and Microsoft’s Hyper-V. Server virtualization includes the ability to abstract the operating system from the underlying hardware. In these environments a single or multiple set of physical servers is loaded with virtualization software.Introduction to Virtualization Imagine being able to run multiple operating systems on the same set of physical hardware. There are two common forms of virtualization being used in today’s datacenter. In the upcoming scenarios Hewlett-Packard’s G385 dualquad core servers are used as the host machines in the virtual environment.
Figure 1 VMkernel
VMware’s software provides management of the underlying hardware and management of the guests. an x64 Window’s 2003 Server can be created that uses 2 processors and 4GB of RAM. Guests can be created that use any number of processors and any amount of RAM.
. The hypervisor layer handles the simulation of the requested hardware. For example. An x86 XP Professional machine can be created on the same host using a single processor and 1GB of RAM.
patch and release testing. upgrades and service packs to one system no longer negatively impact another system. Testing environments are quickly brought up and taken down with virtualized test machines. virtualization using VMware’s ESX Server with Virtual Infrastructure provides many other benefits just as important. power and cooling costs are reduced exponentially to one set of hosts instead of multiple racks of multiple servers and administration costs are reduced as well. Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity are greatly accelerated and enhanced through virtualization. These include. Individual test
. That duplicate image is the backup and the operating system – one only need to power on the virtual image and you are back in business with virtually no downtime. Servers typically run at well below of their total capacity. Consolidation is the ability to reduce the number of physical servers in the datacenter or the enterprise. Resource Provisioning provides the ability to give the operating systems and application the required resources to run effectively. This insulates operating systems and application from each other. application testing. Updates. from acquiring and configuring the physical hardware to loading and configuring the operating system to installing and loading the backup data to bringing the system back online. Application segregation and encapsulation is achieved through the separation of guests from each other and from the underlying hardware. processors are underworked. IT costs are reduced because one set of servers is managed centrally within the VMware Virtual Center instead of multiple administrators for multiple machines. RAM and processors are added at the click of a button instead of all the steps and planning tasks required to do so in the physical environment. Virtualization provides for these and on-the-fly re-allocation of resources. Virtualization provides the way to consolidate those servers and applications onto one set of physical hosts. Hardware costs are contained within the host server configuration. Consider all the steps that go into the standard recovery model. RAM is often underutilized. Thin provisioning is giving the operating system what it needs to run effectively and nothing more – the ultimate usage of just the right amount of resources. Virtualization provides cloning and snapshot technology that makes duplication of the complete operating system with all applications and data a matter of a few clicks of the mouse. disk space is not used efficiently and enterprise applications often depend on different architecture. cluster and farm testing and load testing. A typical recovery from a bare-metal disaster can take up to 40 hours. testing of individual operating systems.Benefits of Virtualization In addition to running to running multiple operating systems on the same physical hardware. Capital Reduction is achieved by virtualization of multiple servers.
. One only needs to bring the VM online and take down the physical machine and ship to the new location. Physical to Virtual or P2V conversions are the fastest and easiest way to migrate physical machines from one location to another. VMware’s Converter installs a small footprint on the physical host then copies the entire machine to a virtual file. hosted environment to a completely in-house solution with a robust. Migration tasks such as moving physical servers between datacenters and across the country are simplified with virtualization. VMware’s vMotion provides for moving guests off their underlying physical hardware to another host seamlessly with no interruption to service. A production server can be moved off a host while the host undergoes maintenance or hardware upgrades then migrated back all while powered on and serving clients. the virtual environment provides flexibility and more importantly agility to the datacenter administrator.machines and complete cluster and even domains can be quickly brought online with virtualized machines and virtual networks. As shown above virtualization provides the enterprise with the tools to be able to quickly and easily complete many tasks that were once cumbersome and time consuming. Hardware Maintenance is made easy with virtualization. The following case study shows how one long-term healthcare implemented VMware’s ESX Servers and Virtual Infrastructure on Hewlett-Packard Server and Storage hardware to migrate from an offsite. scalable and agile virtual infrastructure. That flat file is then easily copied to a new location or sent via FTP across the country to the new datacenter location. Centralized Management of the datacenter is the ultimate administration tool and with virtualization the entire datacenter is managed through one console. As a platform. The single pane of glass provided by VMware’s Virtual Center is an administrator’s dream. The benefits of virtualized environments are many. Individual servers are managed through the same console as disaster recovery. Operating system upgrades and updates are handled through the same console as provisioning RAM and adding processors.
the hosted solution began to show limitations. Guardian’s management services include: facility management. In order to serve the residents well. Guardian’s IT infrastructure has historically been hosted at an offsite and out of state service provider. Guardian also owns and operates its own pharmacy serving its homes and other third-party homes. Guardian requires multiple levels of staff and administration to supply these services. The pharmacy delivers medication to all the nursing homes through a daily carrier service. medical professional services. dietary and meal planning software and nursing and daily patient records systems. laboratory management and a myriad of other services.Case Study of Guardian Healthcare Services Guardian Healthcare Services is a skilled nursing care provider.
. They own and manage 14 long-term care homes and rehabilitation centers in three states. These systems range from the enterprise communication systems such as email and portal systems to specific applications such as electronic charting software. infection control. Healthcare facilities are responsible for handling huge amounts of data and information systems and electronic medical records are at the heart of Guardian’s operation. performance improvement. The ability to access patient records quickly is critical to the success of the business and the safety of the patients. As Guardian grew however. information technology and electronic medical records are at the heart of Guardian’s operations. electronics patient records systems and business-critical financial applications. The hosting provider delivered multiple services to Guardian. They also hosted several critical applications including scheduling software. They want the ability to quickly move on opportunities and be able to make business driven decisions quickly and independent of technology resources. This data ranges from day-to-day operational information to life and death patient information. Guardian’s ownership demands agility in the market. SharePoint server and SQL backend. nursing management. Guardian is committed to quality patient care and excellent service to residents is paramount. They hosted Outlook email and they provided server rack space for many of Guardian’s servers including their web server.
All other systems were hosted with the exception of the pharmacy servers at Tupelo. and other business software such as Microsoft Office and Outlook email.Previous Status As of January 1 of 2009 the infrastructure of Guardian was a mostly hosted solution with a few systems in-house.
. Email and communications systems were handled by the hosting provider as well as financial applications. The Citrix desktop connections and then connections to the systems were all maintained by the offsite hosting provider with T-1 connections to each of the facilities and a dedicated t-1 to the corporate offices in Nashville. Users at remote facilities would authenticate to the domain. Nurse users typically had only one or two critical application on their desktops and full office suite users had nursing applications.
Figure 2 Previous Network State
Under this topology Guardian maintained their own AD with a Window’s 2003 Server Domain Controller and a local file and print server for business and management operations at corporate headquarters. Facilities use a combination of thin clients and PCs to connect to the network. facility and user files. connect to Citrix and then access whatever application were loaded on their Citrix desktops. financial applications. print services and access to the systems through Citrix clients.
The hosting provider would either provision their servers for Guardian or Guardian would use their servers and ship or house them at the hosting provider site.
. The software vendor provided service to many companies at the same hosting provider location. Additional hosting followed the same procedures. However Citrix in addition to being somewhat costly was also plagued with printer issues and hung sessions. paying a fee for rent. one for each hosted company. The hosting provider owned the SQL server while Guardian owned its database and data. On the other hand it also creates a second layer of complexity that may or may not outweigh its benefits. This solution works well in small environments with relatively few problems. In order to add facilities to the Guardian network the project plan went through the hosting provider. all on a single or clustered set of servers located at the hosting provider. It eliminates the need for in-house IT staff and in-house helpdesk. They would schedule and supply the outside parties to complete the work and then charge Guardian for these services. Some applications such as the financial application were hosted. The hosting provider would determine what it needed to bring on a new site. User access was also granted through the various channels and finally through the hosting provider. rack space and administration tasks.Helpdesk and user connectivity issues were all handled by the hosting provider without much exception. It also removed the end user and client from maintenance and upgrades. the network and connectivity that it needed to support the site and any other additional requirements. This arrangement provides a great solution for companies who do not wish to handle their own infrastructure. For example. the hardware that would be required. SQL named instances were used.
Figure 3 Desired Network State
. servers and backend storage from Hewlett-Packard. to be creative. robust and manageable virtual infrastructure for Guardian Healthcare Services.Desired State As companies grow and need access to their data quickly. It is much easier to pull data from your own servers than it is to request and then access the data at the host site. to mine data and gather important operational information quickly and to present it effectively. Guardian decided to move away from the hosted solution to its own. The foundation for the new systems would rely on virtualization from VMware. It is also much easier to reset a session. business and office applications from Microsoft and specialized healthcare software from several well-known healthcare related software vendors. This is the story of the migration and how these products provided a solid. It would provide a way to maintain quality long-term care and provide new insights to improving processes and systems. Their new solution would provide a way to be agile. the hosted solution may not perform as well as expected. With the benefits of a self-hosted solution in hand. add servers or applications and even add a user to SharePoint or Exchange mailboxes if those systems are under the control of a single in house entity.
The plan helped them to meet goals and deliverable dates. SharePoint server and SQL backend server from the hosting company to corporate servers Migrate corporate email: build a Microsoft Exchange Server and migrate the mailboxes from the hosting company to corporate servers Migrate user.
. The migration project plan followed the basic tenets of good project planning.Project Planning The migration project started with a simple plan to migrate the servers and services from our hosting provider to our corporate offices. At first Guardian painted in very broad strokes and later worked out tasks in finer detail. The larger task was to migrate an entire company of over 1000 users. There was better internal coordination among IT. developed a plan. facility and global data to corporate servers Migrate applications from host to corporate servers Migrate users with minimal loss of connectivity to systems
Given these requirements it was easy to break them down into individual tasks and assign resources accordingly. thousands of residents. designed deliverables. The following tasks had to be done accomplished to fully migrate: Determine and implement the infrastructure hardware platform Determine and implement the desktop/remote user connectivity solution Move corporate information systems: move the web server. its systems and its data. 14 nursing homes. corporate and operations staff. Nurses and support staff are Guardian IT’s customers and by giving them a working plan with timelines and milestones the project was fully supported. With a plan in hand it was easier to gain buy in from stakeholders and participants. Guardian developed initial ideas. Project Goals The project plan set out a typical timeline using Microsoft Project 2007 which helped greatly in looking at the big picture – then breaking it down into smaller tasks. its servers. The plan also contributed to work morale as a blueprint for success. implemented the plan and then closed and evaluated the final outcome. Kathy Schwalbe (2007) in her book on project planning noted the some outcomes and advantages of a good project plan including: Better control of financial physical and human resources Improved customer relations Shorter development times Better internal coordination Positive impact on meeting goals Higher work morale
During the migration process Guardian found all of these to be true of its project plan.
For this project a more global approach was taken to find the most cost effective and easily implemented solution that provides for multiple platforms and requirements. They also accessed more specific applications such as financial package. The migration project and infrastructure construction projects were interdependent. a medical pharmacy server which supplies pharmacy information to all the remote facilities and two application specific mysql servers that are used for electric patient charting.
. These include server systems and networking equipment. An enterprises future is largely held back or empowered based its choice of technologies. Guardian needed a way to migrate services. dietary and meal planning software.999 percent uptime and contain a robust and dependable backup solution. User Configurations Administrative office users accessed Microsoft Office Suite including Word. different operating systems and applications. Excel and Outlook through the desktop. Typically each system is its own environment and platforms are chosen based on unique requirements of the application and software. While most organizations have a mixed environment the choice of Guardian has always been systems integration. and scheduling software. electronic charting software. These thin clients were mounted to rolling medical carts that are installed in each hallway. servers. A solution would have to be put into place that not only supported the migration efforts but that would be capable of supporting all of Guardian’s systems and provide for growth. users and data from the host with little to no interruption in service. Nurse users on the nursing home floors accessed the network via wireless thin clients.Infrastructure Planning One of the benefits of a self hosted solution is the ability to control and lead. They also needed an infrastructure that was agile enough to add any number of critical services. The nurse user typically accessed ECS software for patient charting and medication passes. The software used at the host company was a mix of everything from Citrix to Microsoft and from x86 dependant software to x64 bit and from Microsoft SQL to Mysql servers. Migration Considerations Guardian used the service provider to host several key pieces of equipment. sql and web. provide for 99. The servers included a Sharepoint farm of 3 servers. Application Considerations Also under consideration were application specific requirements. Sharepoint.
Platform Requirements o Determine number of expected users – inventory Active Directory for active user count for current number users to be used for licensing requirements and load balancing o Determine number of expected services – inventory with users and with hosting provider on the number of services provided including helpdesk. centrally managed platform that provided high-availability for critical patient systems and the ability to grow as Guardian grew to integrate data and applications seamlessly. Guardian owned the Citrix licensing and the hosting provider hosted the licenses and the Guardian desktops. It was easy to see what they had and why it did or in many cases did not work optimally to what they wanted and where they wanted to be.Remote Connectivity Considerations The service provider was using Citrix desktops as the remote access to internal servers and services. This provided remote connectivity for 1000 users and to 350 concurrent users. facility shared data.
High-Level Migration and Implementation Plan Migration Path o Determine owned/hosted servers – meeting with hosting provider to discuss which systems are owned and which are hosted o Determine owned/hosted network equipment .meeting with hosting provider to determine the scheduling and management of user migration from Minnesota to Tennessee. globally shared data and application data o Determine transfer of licensing – meeting with hosting providers and vendors to determine the account numbers and licensing transfer methods wit o Determine server migration – meeting with hosting provider to determine the schedule for migration of Sharepoint farm and pharmacy servers o Determine network equipment migration – meeting with hosting provider to determine the schedule for migrating routers o Determine data transfer method – meeting with hosting provider to determine the method of data transfer and setup of external FTP site o Determine user migration . With these elements in hand Guardian planned the direction of their future. leases and rents o Determine amount of hosted data – meeting with hosting provider to determine the amount of user data.meeting with hosting provider to discuss which systems are owned and which are hosted o Determine owned software licensing – meeting with hosting provider to determine which licenses Guardian owns. user adds and miscellaneous
. The goal was a complete.
ports and configurations o Determine number of expected servers – count number of servers at hosting provider. o Determine rack/space requirements – based on server requirements and number of VM hosts required o Determine power requirements – based on number of host servers. discuss load limits and consult application list for consolidation possibilities o Determine network requirements –discuss current networks with hosting provider and network service provider.o Determine number of expected applications – inventory with service provider on the number of installed applications on all hosted and owned servers o Determine application dependencies – work directly with individual vendors to determine the software requirements of each application listing dependencies. switches o Determine cooling requirements – based on racked servers and space Core Requirements Users
1000+ Users 350 Concurrent Users 150 Exchange Users 100 Office Users
Services and Application Microsoft Office Suite Exchange Electronic Charting Financial Applications Sharepoint Dietary and meal planning Purchasing software Scheduling software Remote application connectivity Helpdesk/User Support Printing Services Servers 10 Terminal Servers 1 Exchange Server 1 Sharepoint Server 1 Web Server 1 Mobile Information Server
. increase bandwidth to 3 T-1s to each site. storage arrays.
350 of which are concurrent users and 12 critical applications required for daily business activity as well as nursing and resident care. terminal servers. communications servers and file and print servers to support Guardian’s Active Directory domain. Added also is the need for various enterprise servers including domain servers. The applications oftentimes require their own SQL or Mysql server.
1 File/Print Server 2 Domain Controllers 1 SQL Server 2 MySQL Servers 1 Great Plains Server 1 VI Server Total Approximately 20 physical servers
The requirements gathering tasks identified over 1000 users.
Figure 4 Server Requirements
In most datacenters today.Server Consolidation Server consolidation is one of the key benefits of virtualization. Disks storage is getting cheaper and larger disks are being installed to provide for growth. easy way to reclaim the underused resources and put them to good use hosting other servers. By installing Virtual Server II on an XP machine with an extra 40Gb of disk space a platform is available for the install any operating system from Linux to Windows Server 2008. taking up space and capital. Virtualization using VMware provides several ways to consolidate servers. One of the most basic ideas to consolidation is the ability to share a common resource. Given the over purchasing of disk space and the over provisioned machines and the datacenter is left with machines that are underutilized. The host is used to install virtual machines of almost any operating system up to the size of the existing disk space. The guest operating system runs independently of the underlying operating system using a virtual network adapter and its own IP address. install the virtual server onto the existing operating system and it acts like any other application.
Figure 5 VMware's Server II
. It helps alleviate server sprawl and compacts the datacenter. The application accesses that extra empty disk space and those unused resources and presents them for use as a host. there is the tendency to over purchase disk space. The idea is simple. Growth that often never reaches the potential of the disk. VMware’s Server II is a fast. It’s also been estimated that servers use only 10-15% of their total processor and memory capacity.
While some of the servers could be installed as additional guests on physical servers. ESX Server is the enterprise solution and uses a shared storage or SAN as the storage for the virtual guests and utilizes the front end server’s memory and processor power for the guest machines. Guardian required around 20 servers total. rack. The number of servers required to build their infrastructure was the determining factor. The task of provisioning 20 servers.
Figure 6 ESX Environment
. The virtual platform was and is the best solution to building the datacenter because of its inherent abilities to dynamically share resources and storage. cooling and other related tasks was not only labor intensive but costly. This is where VMware’s ESX Servers and Virtual Infrastructure Client software provided the ultimate solution for server and datacenter consolidation.Consolidation is one of the key reasons that Guardian chose to virtualize its environment. power. the terminal servers and enterprise level servers needed a more solid foundation.
These requirements led Guardian to a clear winner in both cost and quality – the HP DL385 G5 servers with Dual Quad-Core Opteron processors.Guardian researched many server and storage options for their virtual datacenter. To support 20 or more virtual servers Guardian needed solid dependable hosts and an easy to manage storage solution that could grow as necessary. MSA 2000 series storage devices and HP ProCurve switches for connectivity.
Figure 7 HP Hardware
As host servers for the VMware ESX software they were a great choice.
Hardware Platform Installation Install the HP Rack– Install rack in corporate server room Install the DL385 servers. Guardian’s configuration uses 6 450 GB 15k SAS drives in each array configured as RAID 50 for redundancy and performance. The rackmounted and blade system servers are built with virtualization in mind.HP Hardware and Installation HP DL385r05 G5 Servers The DL385s are 2U enterprise class servers with integrated Lights Out (iLO2) remote management and 8 memory slots. HP DL385 servers have been leaders time and again in virtualization testing and the DL385 consistently outranks competition Dell and Sun (Hewlett-Packard. The MSAs provide superior performance using Ethernet networking and iSCSI connectivity. The MSA iSCSI setup and management is easy and fast and does not require expensive switches or adapters. Guardian’s solution was a 3 server cluster using the DL385s. The ProCurves work well in any environment and provide up to 256 separate VLANs. The storage array is inexpensive and provides for scalability with high performance SAS drives. low maintenance switch that is great for handling the virtual environment. security level or application. HP ProCurve 2810 Switches The ProCurve 2810 switch by HP is a low cost. Guardian’s choice of switch was largely based on the ProCurve’s Layer-2 switching and VLAN tagging capabilities.install three GL385 servers in rack Install MSA Storage – install two MSA 20211 Storage arrays in rack Install ProCurve switches – install two ProCurve HP switches in back of rack Install UPS Install two 1200 watt UPS in bottom of rack
. At around 2k each it was not only the perfect fit for the technological requirements but the minimal capital expenses allows even medium and small businesses to deploy virtualized environments. Guardian’s virtual environment contains 3 VLANs and the ProCurves provide room for future growth. It runs directly on top of the current TCP/IP network and integrates perfectly with Gigabit networks. Hewlett-Packard and VMware are long-term partners. HP MSA 2021i iSCSI Storage The MSA 2000 series storage arrays are enterprise-level 2U shared storage devices. Fiber channel networks are not only more expensive but they require skill sets beyond those of typical common network administration. Guardian’s choice of iSCSI over Fiber Channel was definitely based on cost but other factors as well. The HP ProCurve switches handling virtual LAN traffic and provide for virtual network growth and the ability separate those networks by function. They provide dual personality ports and connectivity for 10/100/1000Base-T or miniGBIC. 2009).
And finally it contains the switching network for connectivity between the servers and the storage and connectivity between the virtual machines and the network at large. It also contains the server hardware layer that provides processing power and memory for the virtual machines. Storage Installation Install 2 Storage Array Setup IP Addresses ESX Server Installation Install VMware ESX Server VLAN and Networking Installation Install Switches Create VLANs VM Production Network VM Management Network VM vMotion Network Add Subnets to Guardian Domain Add LUNS storage to server environment Virtual Environment Management Once the basics are setup and connectivity has been tested. the next steps are to install the management server component.Virtualization Platform Installation Install and Configure Switches – install two switches for use in virtualized environment as three separate VLANs Install VMware ESX servers – install ESX server on three HP cluster servers Install SAN – install HP Smart Array 1. The management server also known as the virtual center is used for all management tasks and is the dashboard for the virtual environment. vCenter Installation Install vCenter Install Licensing Install VM converter Install VM Update Manager Install VI Infrastructure vCenter Manager
.5 TB storage array as RAID 50 and create LUN for use by virtualized environment Setup Virtual Infrastructure – install virtual infrastructure server and setup virtualized environment The virtual infrastructure is generally a simple system consisting of three major parts. The environment contains disk storage for the virtual machines and necessary files for creating machines such as ISO images and clones. It too is a simple to follow install.
Figure 8 vCenter Virtual Environment Management
launch and use applications on each server and each terminal server. Similarly. x64 bit virtual machines can be built on top of any x86 chip sets that have Virtualization Technology (VT) capabilities.install required enterprise servers into the virtualized environment Install Microsoft Windows 2005 SQL Server .install required enterprise servers into the virtualized environment Install service packs and updates – install updates and service packs as necessary to all servers and setup update maintenance plans Install application software and updates– install applications and required updates on servers and shared applications on terminal servers Test installs and test connectivity – use test users to log on.install required enterprise servers into the virtualized environment Install Microsoft Windows 2007 Exchange Server .x64 Windows Server 2003 Standard SQL 2005 Server BES – Blackberry Enterprise Server db GP – Dynamics Great Plains db SP – Sharepoint dbs Vizioncore – Virtual machines backup solution db AHT – Financial db Technocare – Dietary and Meal Planning db GRDHC01SP – x64 Windows Server 2008 Enterprise MOSS 2007 Servers Sharepoint Corporate Sites Facility Sites My Sites
. The beauty of a virtualized environment is that servers x86 servers can be built on top of underlying x64 bit hosts.install required enterprise servers into the virtualized environment Install Microsoft Windows 2008 Terminal Servers .Enterprise Servers and Installation Within Guardian’s environment are several applications that rely on different architecture and platforms. In Guardian’s environment most applications ran well on x64 bit Windows 2008 Standard Servers. Servers Installed and Roles GRDHC01SQL . Software Installation Install Microsoft Windows 2003 Servers – install required enterprise servers into the virtualized environment Install Microsoft Windows 2008 Servers .
x64 Windows Server 2003 Enterprise 2007 Exchange Server 2007 Exchange Management Console GRDHC01BES – x86 Windows Server 2003 Standard BlackBerry Enterprise Server GRDHC01ECS1 x86 Windows Server 2003 Standard Electronic Charting Software mySQL server GRDHC01ECS2 Electronic Charting Software mySQL server GRDHC 01ALTSRV x86 Windows 2000 Server Thin Client Management Servers Alive SNMP Manager Network Monitoring GRDHC01ADDC02 x86 Windows 2003 Server Standard Corporate File Server Corporate Print Server
.GRDHC01FP – x86 Windows Server 2003 Standard File and Print File server Print server Profile server GRDHC01DC – x64 Windows Server 2008 Domain Controller AD DNS DHCP Terminal Services License Server GRDHC01GP – x64 Windows Server 2003 Standard Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains FRx Reporting Scribe Insight Dynamics Business Portal GRDHC01EXCH .
RemoteApp however creates a session in which the user only sees a single application instead of a complete remote desktop. Terminal Services Session Broker 2008 Terminal Services Session Broker is Microsoft’s built in answer to Terminal Services load balancing. Window’s 2008 Terminal Servers feature local and remote application publishing through its Remote Application Server. double-clicks the Remote Gateway created and the RDP protocol is tunneled over HTTPS to the internal resources (Microsoft. The application can be accessed through a specially created RDP icon which can then be emailed or published. There is no longer the need to use a VPN connection and then and RDP session. They may also need to access scheduling software that requires x86. To accommodate those mixtures of applications Guardian deployed Terminal Services 2008. Users are reconnected to existing connections and connected to new session depending
.2008 Terminal Servers Guardian’s unique mixture of long-term healthcare application required a mixture of both x86 and x64 bit machines including a way for remote clients to access both if necessary on the same session. Remote Application Server The Remote Application Server is a service of 2008 Terminal Services that presents remote application to the user as if they were locally installed. Guardian successfully used TS Web Access by publishing the page through SharePoint. The Terminal Services Gateway creates the RDP icon with built in credentials. The Session Broker is a service that runs and tracks all active sessions. The Remote Application or RemoteApp is similar to typical RDP sessions in that it uses the RDP protocol. The remote application will also start if a related file extension is accessed. the RemoteApp service provides the application session to the user. Those credentials are used to connect directly to and through an external server to the internal server containing the application. Users at remote nursing facilities accessed Sharepoint and then whatever application needed. The Gateway provides a way for remote users who are not connected to the network to use an Internet connection and a specially crafter RDP icon to access internal resources. The outside user simply connects to the internet. 2009). If a special or shared application is required remotely. For example. That terminal server is an x64 Windows 2008 Server. The web page is used to distribute individual application access and also provides a similar link that can be used for full RDP access. This application is an outstanding way to provide access to enterprise applications to remote or roaming users. The RemoteApp also comes with a built in web portal called Terminal Services Web Access. Terminal Services Gateway A second feature of 2008 Terminal Services is the Terminal Services Gateway. an administrative user may need to access a terminal server for their desktop.
on the information held by the Session Broker computer. This reduces the risk of data loss by allowing access only to specific applications and datasets. simplifying management. Logon storms were reduced as the Session Broker handled incoming requests among all the servers. presenting the user with a reconnection to their previous session and work. directing user’s sessions to less busy servers while maintaining current sessions seamlessly. Some users and doctors required access to internal applications from outside the network. As load on the terminal servers fluctuates during logon and other high traffic times. migration was a matter of scheduling and completing migration tasks. Set up of lad balanced server farms are greatly simplified with the service. The Session Broker acts like a traffic cop. some users required access to one or two application and not an entire desktop and some of the applications ran on only x86 bit servers. log off and then log users on to new domain
Migrate Corporate Information Systems SQL and Sharepoint Server Migration Backup using P2V images Migrate using P2V images
. applications and terminal servers in place. Migration Migrate Sharepoint – used simple and free VMware Converter to create P2V images of servers and placed on USB and over-nighted Migrate email – host to create updated PSTs of all corporate mailboxes hosted on the providers exchange servers. Migrate data – host to create zip files of each user data. the session broker re-establishes the connection for the client. If the session is a reconnection. have host ship PST mailboxes overnight. user profiles. facility shared data and global data and place on USB for shipment Migrate users – change thin client and PC settings to point to new Terminal Services farm. As was stated earlier. Remote computers are simply pointed to the DNS entry and the session broker does the rest of the work. determine cutoff time for email. the Terminal Services Session Broker provided a balanced usage of server resources to all users. The RemoteApp server allowed those individual applications to be published directly to the user or through the TS Web Access page. If a server is too busy. Servers are added into a farm of 2 or more servers and a single DNS entry identifies the farm. Terminal Services Gateway supplied those connections without granting access to the entire internal network. Guardian’s Implementation of 2008 Terminal Services solved many remote client challenges. load PST mailboxes on new Exchange 2007 server. the connections are brokered to another less busy server. point all clients to new mail server.
Migration With the infrastructure servers.
FTP and USB Transfer VMware Server II Create Datastore Load VMDK files Create VMs of SP and SQL Migrate Corporate Communication Systems Create Exchange Server Create Blackberry Server Copy Mailboxes/X-Merge Migrate Corporate and User Data Backup using P2V images Copy data via FTP Browse virtual image with UFS explorer Pull needed user files Load on virtualized File Server Migrate Users Point thin clients to VM term server farm Log on the virtualized domain Go Live Set thin clients and PCs to point to new domain Go Live with all client services
services. The intricacies of migration and datacenter virtualization however. the storage array should be configured as a RAID for redundancy and failures and the array should be backed up to a separate storage device. Physical to virtual conversions are the act of creating a virtual image or file out of an existing server. Guardian used P2V conversions for many tasks before during and after the migration project. The path was simple. VMware Server II was already installed and the virtual images were loaded. Second.
Cost-effective Backups Virtualization makes data more portable and not only the data but the entire server can be stored on a external hard drive devices such as a thumb drive. Before the migration P2Vs were used to take images of currently running machines. the data files and the configuration that make it a “virtual machine”. With these three levels of backup the data is safe. This provides three levels of data protection in case of any bare-metal disaster. Servers were moved instantly by simply shutting down the physical server at the remote site while the identical virtual server was powered on at the new site. users and data from the third party hosting provider to Guardian as the hosting provider. If these files are not properly handled the virtual machine is inaccessible. The converter ran and created a locally stored file – the virtual image.Unique Benefits Realized Most of the migration and datacenter setup was very straightforward. Special care must be taken to ensure that the datacenter is regularly backed up on three levels. First. provided some of the most interesting challenges for the Guardian team. P2V Conversions and Migration Physical to virtual conversions or P2Vs were used with great success. The converter program was installed on machines located at the hosting provider. That file contains the operating system. the datacenter is safe and the individual servers and their unique configurations are safe. In simple terms the converter repackages the operating system into a bootable file.
. VMware and its unique properties saved the day on more than one occasion. build up the infrastructure and shortly thereafter migrate the servers. Guardian then had the hosting provider ship the file overnight on a USB drive to corporate. Finally the data itself should be backed up using common backup software such as backup Exec or even ntbackup. Complete servers were brought online in minutes without requiring the physical machine and the cumbersome process of un-racking. the virtual machine itself must be backed which includes the associated VMDK files and virtual configuration files. packing shipping and re-racking to eat into valuable production time.
The Terminal Server role was added to that machine and then the required patches. The systems are duplicated exactly through VMware and stored as a clone.
. The clone image is a mirror of the original. the drivers and even the IP addresses are exactly duplicated. A clone and template were created from this original server with the exact same applications and settings. ip addresses and of course licensing were applied. Once the new cloned image is brought up and started it is just a matter of running sysprep on the machine to strip out any old identification that may conflict such as machine id and ip addressing. Now whenever a new server is required to serve additional clients. a virtual machine is created from the master template.Cloning and Templates The creation of exact copies of running operating systems is known as cloning. The machine is imaged to be an exact duplicate of the original system. The applications needed by remote users were loaded on the terminal server and it was placed in the terminal server farm. VMware was used to first create the VM of a Windows 2008 Server. It’s also way to create and store a master image of the systems for backup. This is extremely helpful when creating multiple servers with the same hardware and software requirements. the files. Since all terminal servers require the same applications for users and the same sets of permissions cloning was the perfect way to accomplish identical machines. the license keys. Guardian successfully used VM clones in its terminal server farm setup. updates.
Conclusion: A Completely Virtualized Environment One of the final and most exciting benefits realized through the use of these technologies is the final outcome. In the larger picture of healthcare. They can continue to grow and expand their services with their fully virtualized datacenter environment. Guardian is extremely happy with the final outcomes of the project from both the cost savings as well as the advanced and solid foundation they now have. long-term healthcare is a special segment that historically has not been involved with technology.
. A datacenter built completely on a virtual infrastructure is not only a positive way to use resources more effectively it is also a showpiece of technology. High-tech doctor’s offices and university hospitals are the segments that typically afford and leverage high-technology in the delivery of their healthcare services. Guardian benefits from visionary leadership that fully embraces technology as way to support its users so they can provide superior patient care. Long-term healthcare follows the model of smaller hospitals and patient care facilities in its use of technology.
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