University Project / Virtualization / SAN Implementation

Welcome back!  I’m hoping that you enjoyed my previous post about the VMware project I did for the SMB.  This new post will be somewhat similar but with the addition of scale computing SAN.


This project belonged to a university in St. Paul, MN.  I was hired to provide consulting and Infrastructure support.  Little that you know, the consulting company working on the project needed my assistance to design the new virtual architecture from legacy system.  After performing initial assessment, and approval from IT steering committee, we started working on the project.  Once again, this project also has a backup and DR part to it which I will not discuss since I had no part in it.  My initial approach would have been Veeam for backup and DR, but they decided to go with an enterprise solution.

This architecture included the cluster consists of following physical devices and the final configuration and will be running VMware vSphere (See the Visio Below):

  • (2) Fujitsu RX200S6 – Dual Quad Core 24GB RAM, 2x146GB SAS 15K Drives 6x1GBe NICs, Dual Power Supply
  • (2) Cisco 3750 Catalyst switches
  • (5) S1 Scale Nodes (1TB each), 4 x 1GBe Connectivity, 4 x 1GBe SAN MGMT Snapshots, Thin Provisioning, Remote Replication
  • VMware vSphere Essential Plus with vCenter Plus, and licensing for 3 vSphere 5 Hosts

Illustrated below is the original rack layout. All items are utilizing UPS power redundant power systems and are racked accordingly


In this architecture, I used (2) Fujitsu RX200S6 as the primary and secondary host to built the base of the environment.  Since we are dealing with a larger environment than my previous post on SMB client, I made sure that our licensing feature for the Hypervisor provided us with high availability for the virtual machines hence not all my eggs in one basket.  Once the ESXi hosts were up and configured, I implemented the switches and most importantly the SAN infrastructure to allocate the current VM’s and the future growth.  I decided to go with Scale Computing SAN.  I originally suggested Fujitsu SAN but the client already had purchased scale product to accommodate their already existing 2 scale nodes.  I decided to work with what they had instead of purchasing a new product.  We purchased 3 more nodes for future growth.

The LUN’s and Volumes carved out of the SAN were allocated for their current VM structure.  The client was provided proper documentation on allocating more space on their scale device for future purpose including adding more nodes.  They say that a picture is worth a thousand word.  I have my infrastructure Visio’s listed below with step by step process.

VMware vSphere 5 ESXi Host Settings:


ESXiHostConfigVMware vSphere 5 ESXi to Switch Configuration:



In closing, after wrapping up my part of the project, we successfully replaced and converted their older hardware infrastructure consists of 18 physical servers down to 2 physical hosts and 12 guest VM’s.  With the addition of VMware Essentials Plus licensing model, I was able to setup proper high availability (HA), vMotion, and DRS.  We also added refurbished Cisco managed switches, and added 3 more scale nodes.

If you haven’t worked with scale computing and KVM hypervisor, please let me know and I can describe the process in writing.  Feel free to reach out to me with any questions.  In the meantime, I will work on updating the site with more projects that I have worked on.  I have a feeling that maybe it’s time I can go over a backup and DR project.  Maybe in the next post!!

Thank you for visiting the site again.

To be continue ……

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