Virtual Server Virtuosity

At Timico we recently installed a complete network solution for a customer in the UK. The requirement included installation of a domain controller, file and print server, Microsoft Exchange 2007, Microsoft SQL server various databases and for their document management system and a Citrix ZenApp for home workers to run the document management system remotely.

The company also needed to store lots of documents. They have a paperless office and all documents are scanned in by the document management system which required a redundant Storage Area Network (SAN).

100% uptime or as near to this as possible was also wanted but this came in tandem with a fairly tight budget which isn’t always consistent with high reliability.

The architecture that the Timico team came up with involved running all servers and the SAN in a virtualised environment. In this way the design challenge could be met by using only two physical servers called nodes that provided a fully load balanced and virtually clustered redundant solution.

By doing it this way we saved rackspace (5U) and power and 2 servers – we would otherwise have been looking at a pair of virtual servers and a pair of SAN servers.

Did it work? In the first week a hardware problem caused one of the 2 server nodes to temporarily fail. This was picked up by Timico’s monitoring desk but the customer, however, did not notice or experience any loss of service.

I’m Virtually Certain that this is the way forward.

Published by Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of trefor.net, writer, poet, philosopherontap.com

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