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Lab refresh - 2012

I will be taking the VCP410 this Friday and I am feeling pretty good about that (I came close to passing last time and didn't read any material - this time I've read/made notes on ALL exam curricula and done a ton of review/lab work).  Time to look forward!

The lab has been treated with kid gloves thus far, same password across the board, no LUN masking, haven't taken the time to set up the FC switch and use multi-pathing, no CHAP for iSCSI, no strong backup plan in place (vDR the last few weeks), and no backup tests!

This shall end after the VCP4 is done.  I will take my final backups and blow the entire thing out of the water.

Details below, but I really want the lab to emulate a production environment as much as possible.  It will also be my primary aid for the VCAP4 exams.  In 2013 I'll be focusing on vSphere5, so the hosts will get that refresh at that point.

Networking
New VLANs and trunks will be put in place:

  • DMZ (wiki, nagios, www site)
  • Pre-Prod (test ESXi hosts, VMs)
  • Prod (MSCS, Lync, Exchange, etc)
  • DB (SQL)
  • Heartbeat (MSCS heartbeat)
  • iSCSI storage (as is)
  • vMotion (as is)
  • FT logging
  • SNMP (necessary?)
The firewall will likewise be updated, I may move to something other than Astaro.  If I can find one, a quad PCIe NIC would come in handy so I'd have 6 instead of 4 uplinks.


Storage
Storage will be set up in a similar fashion, but with LUNs provisioned on a per-VM basis.  LUN masking will be put in place, and 'boot from SAN' will also be used.  The FC switch will be set up so that each host has a redundant link, and the root storage will then have a quad-link to the switch.

The Synology will be used to house the current production VMs (just the wiki/mysql and Nagios, really) via iSCSI, but prior to that I will also reprovision the iSCSI on it in a similar fashion - as-needed, not 'entire chunk'.

iSCSI will be used to house backups and NFS - maybe some replication of backups from SAN to Synology?

ESXi hosts
I'll be moving to boot from SAN, I think.  If nothing else, helps me mimic my current job environment.  They will stay ESXi 4.1.1 for now, with my dev ESXi VMs moving to v5.

I also would really like to get a few more NIC ports on each host...will need two more PCIe NICs.

VMs
One item I'll be looking at building in is MSCS using RDM.  Also want to do a Lync setup, which means a more involved and active Exchange 2010 install.  Linux systems will be reduced to the Wiki/mysql/nagios hosts.

AD
Service accounts, fo sho.  Also need to update the password policy, start configuring GPOs, and figure out a workable solution with my PC.  I think leave the actual PC off the domain, but run a workstation inside for tasks like email and whatnot.

Backup
Synology will still take the backups, will have to look into some sort of solution that will mimic a production environment.  VCB for sure, vDR for sure, and then something agent-y to install on the VMs.

Web
I want to stick with MediaWiki, but I'd be willing to look into moving it over to SQL Server instead of mysql, just so I can trim out a few more VMs.  I'd also have to move it to IIS - probably will require a complete re-install, but that's do-able.  I'd also want to move it over to HTTPS and a valid cert.

Need to investigate clustering for IIS (some places use load balancers and static configs instead).  Sharepoint is another item I want to get going.

SQL
Moving to a cluster for sure, also need to configure proper backups.

vCenter
Would be really nice to move this off the main hosts and onto the spare hardware I have - 3GB RAM saved is 2-3 MS VMs!  Also will move to 100% vDS networking.

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