How would you build this


  • Service Provider

    Vendor has package that you must run. for your business.

    Vendor offers 2 choices.

    1. You can buy the hardware from the vendor. You will receive a server running RHEL + KVM. The actual product will be a RHEL instance running on this hardware.

    2. You buy the hardware yourself. The vendor allows you to use the hypervisor of your choice. and gives you the same RHEL instance to import.

    The vendor will obviously support the RHEL VM instance 100% either way, as it is theirs.

    To 100% avoid any finger pointing, you would go with option 1, but the markup is ~20% or more over what you can buy the hardware for yourself.

    If you go with option 2 and use KVM on RHEL, you can be nearly 100% full vendor support because that is the exact product they give you if you buy option 1. So there is somethingto say for going that route.

    You could go option 2 and go with KVM running on Fedora or CentOS. The only thing you are saving here is the $799 ($349 RHEL + $459 1 year support) for RHEL.

    With any of these choices, you will also need to decide how to handle the backups.

    Now because they also said that you can use whatever hypervisor you want, You could use VMWare or Hyper-V.

    You lose a bit of the near 100% no finger pointing because this is not the manufacturers designed system, but the instance is still 100% manufacturer. supported. On the other hand you gain the ability to use solutions like Veeam or Unitrends or whatever that you already have in house for backup.

    You could even use XS but lose the support of the Veeam style infrastructure. Though if you intentionally choose, this I would expect that you have a process in place for handling that.

    So with all of these options fairly wide open, with only varying levels of manufacturer support and backup options as the difference, what would you do?



  • What is the ball park price 10K +20% + the 808?

    So maybe 2K more?

    What issues do you think the vendor might throw at you? If the hardware is identical to what they would sell you, but you're choosing to purchase it yourself and configure it to match their setup I don't see why I would spend the 20% more.

    I'd likely match what they would sell me though so they'd have the exact setup as designed (if possible)


  • Service Provider

    You can use Veeam to back up any RHEL VM if you want. It's agent, not agentless, but for the context of this single system that is identical.


  • Service Provider

    Do they only support RHEL when branded as RHEL or do they support CentOS, too? That's an additional large cost savings.


  • Service Provider

    @scottalanmiller said in How would you build this:

    You can use Veeam to back up any RHEL VM if you want. It's agent, not agentless, but for the context of this single system that is identical.

    Adding a third party service that is not certified by the vendor into the VM is not currently allowed.
    Did not think to state that earlier, thanks.


  • Service Provider

    @scottalanmiller said in How would you build this:

    Do they only support RHEL when branded as RHEL or do they support CentOS, too? That's an additional large cost savings.

    They only support RHEL. And it is only $349 for RHEL and $450 per year to maintain RHEL support for the KVM box. It is a cost, but not very significant.

    The VM instance is RHEL, but not something to be touched without breaking the designed suport system.


  • Service Provider

    @JaredBusch said in How would you build this:

    @scottalanmiller said in How would you build this:

    You can use Veeam to back up any RHEL VM if you want. It's agent, not agentless, but for the context of this single system that is identical.

    Adding a third party service that is not certified by the vendor into the VM is not currently allowed.
    Did not think to state that earlier, thanks.

    Oh okay, that sucks. They don't provide a backup mechanism then? Or do they, just not one that you want?


  • Service Provider

    @JaredBusch said in How would you build this:

    @scottalanmiller said in How would you build this:

    Do they only support RHEL when branded as RHEL or do they support CentOS, too? That's an additional large cost savings.

    They only support RHEL. And it is only $349 for RHEL and $450 per year to maintain RHEL support for the KVM box. It is a cost, but not very significant.

    The VM instance is RHEL, but not something to be touched without breaking the designed suport system.

    So the KVM bit, though, you could do without RH and only get a license for the VM itself. Since you'd, I assume, not get support for Hyper-V in the same way, you don't need it for KVM.


  • Service Provider

    @scottalanmiller said in How would you build this:

    @JaredBusch said in How would you build this:

    @scottalanmiller said in How would you build this:

    You can use Veeam to back up any RHEL VM if you want. It's agent, not agentless, but for the context of this single system that is identical.

    Adding a third party service that is not certified by the vendor into the VM is not currently allowed.
    Did not think to state that earlier, thanks.

    Oh okay, that sucks. They don't provide a backup mechanism then? Or do they, just not one that you want?

    There is a backup mechanism for the data. But more options are always better. VM restoration is always faster than rebuild restore in a non-stateful system.


  • Service Provider

    @scottalanmiller said in How would you build this:

    @JaredBusch said in How would you build this:

    @scottalanmiller said in How would you build this:

    Do they only support RHEL when branded as RHEL or do they support CentOS, too? That's an additional large cost savings.

    They only support RHEL. And it is only $349 for RHEL and $450 per year to maintain RHEL support for the KVM box. It is a cost, but not very significant.

    The VM instance is RHEL, but not something to be touched without breaking the designed suport system.

    So the KVM bit, though, you could do without RH and only get a license for the VM itself. Since you'd, I assume, not get support for Hyper-V in the same way, you don't need it for KVM.

    Correct for hte hypervisor.
    For the VM, it has full RHEL support as part of the purchase from the vendor. That is never a question.



  • I like how well Hyper-V supports and runs RHEL.

    It sounds like the hardware will just be running one VM. Built-in back up on Hyper-V Server 2016 all the way via the host, no issues there if you can use block-level storage for your backups. It's so much easier and faster to backup and restore the VM as a whole anyways... no VM agent needed. Also, you get the option of "production" checkpoints (snapshots) on 2016. That's definitely noteworthy.

    Getting the hardware through xByte with a Dell warranty has you more than covered hardware wise.

    The hypervisor Hyper-V Server 2016 is just so solid on Dell hardware you don't even have to worry about that aspect.

    The only finger pointing you'll need with this setup is the Vendor's software and the OS itself... which they cover.

    That's the build I would choose. Lots of good reasons that point to great uptime and stability, plus easy backups and restores at the host level, with snapshot capability that is actually worth a damn.


  • Service Provider

    @Tim_G said in How would you build this:

    It sounds like the hardware will just be running one VM. Built-in back up on Hyper-V Server 2016 all the way via the host, no issues there if you can use block-level storage for your backups. It's so much easier and faster to backup and restore the VM as a whole anyways... no VM agent needed. Also, you get the option of "production" checkpoints (snapshots) on 2016. That's definitely noteworthy.

    What specific features are you talking about here? I have Hyper-V 2016 server up in a lab environment but have yet to actually test anything.


  • Service Provider

    @JaredBusch said in How would you build this:

    @scottalanmiller said in How would you build this:

    @JaredBusch said in How would you build this:

    @scottalanmiller said in How would you build this:

    Do they only support RHEL when branded as RHEL or do they support CentOS, too? That's an additional large cost savings.

    They only support RHEL. And it is only $349 for RHEL and $450 per year to maintain RHEL support for the KVM box. It is a cost, but not very significant.

    The VM instance is RHEL, but not something to be touched without breaking the designed suport system.

    So the KVM bit, though, you could do without RH and only get a license for the VM itself. Since you'd, I assume, not get support for Hyper-V in the same way, you don't need it for KVM.

    Correct for hte hypervisor.
    For the VM, it has full RHEL support as part of the purchase from the vendor. That is never a question.

    Makes sense. Not ideal, but not a big deal, either. Or maybe ideal for you individually if you wanted that support. Just not ideal not to have the flexibility to choose for yourself.


  • Service Provider

    @scottalanmiller said in How would you build this:

    @JaredBusch said in How would you build this:

    @scottalanmiller said in How would you build this:

    @JaredBusch said in How would you build this:

    @scottalanmiller said in How would you build this:

    Do they only support RHEL when branded as RHEL or do they support CentOS, too? That's an additional large cost savings.

    They only support RHEL. And it is only $349 for RHEL and $450 per year to maintain RHEL support for the KVM box. It is a cost, but not very significant.

    The VM instance is RHEL, but not something to be touched without breaking the designed suport system.

    So the KVM bit, though, you could do without RH and only get a license for the VM itself. Since you'd, I assume, not get support for Hyper-V in the same way, you don't need it for KVM.

    Correct for hte hypervisor.
    For the VM, it has full RHEL support as part of the purchase from the vendor. That is never a question.

    Makes sense. Not ideal, but not a big deal, either. Or maybe ideal for you individually if you wanted that support. Just not ideal not to have the flexibility to choose for yourself.

    Yes, and I have a personal preference for this situation, but I am keeping my questions and responses neutral. Because I want feedback and not an echo chamber for my ideas.



  • You are much more familiar with Hyper-v, if you are supporting this you might be better off.

    Plus the other benefits of choice you mentioned.

    Is this a super high performance application where it seems likely that then vendor will blame the hypervisor if there are problems?



  • Personally I'd run it on my own KVM machine. That way I could add the upstream QEMU repos for exporting snapshots through libvirt. But then again I manage 12 KVM hosts so I'm probably a little partial.

    I'm not surprised at only supporting RHEL. After it took over a month for CentOS to catch up to 7.3 I realized the merger didn't help any with releasing patches faster. I still use CentOS by default but I can understand where they are coming from, we have applications that are the same way.

    Anyway I vote for using your own host and what you know best.



  • @stacksofplates said in How would you build this:

    Anyway I vote for using your own host and what you know best.

    That would be my recommendation as well.

    Just the fact that they're giving me supported options is a great thing, that already rules out many software products.


  • Service Provider

    An obvious question is... does the customer have any needs beyond this that might influence it?



  • If we're talking a $10k solution, I would likely pick option one to simply avoid the finger pointing game and all of that.

    If this were a $100k solution, I'd opt to take the 20% savings.



  • @JaredBusch said in How would you build this:

    @Tim_G said in How would you build this:

    It sounds like the hardware will just be running one VM. Built-in back up on Hyper-V Server 2016 all the way via the host, no issues there if you can use block-level storage for your backups. It's so much easier and faster to backup and restore the VM as a whole anyways... no VM agent needed. Also, you get the option of "production" checkpoints (snapshots) on 2016. That's definitely noteworthy.

    What specific features are you talking about here? I have Hyper-V 2016 server up in a lab environment but have yet to actually test anything.

    I mentioned two in there. Windows Server Backup, and "Production Checkpoints".



  • Ok if it is a Vm what kind of finger pointing could be there? I think about performance and special setups. Virtualization is expected to abstract hw. If the vm image format is convertible I don't see why hypervisor/hw should matter.

    As first I could thick about performances, then guest agents not being available in vendor image, third strange network configs hard to be attained without kvm.

    For sure centos+your hw (can you buy the same machine?) should be near 100% ok!
    Other combinations should be checked for previous 3 points and if they are ok don't see any issue



  • @scottalanmiller said in How would you build this:

    An obvious question is... does the customer have any needs beyond this that might influence it?

    Wait is it to be run for your business or for a customers of yours? If it was for internal usage my previous post still hold. Otherwise I think that keeping the default witha 3rd party is better. Can they understand where a real issue is in case of finger pointing?



  • Beyond the aforementioned finger pointing, what prevents you from running the VM on your current virtual infrastructure w/o purchasing an additional server?



  • @Danp said in How would you build this:

    Beyond the aforementioned finger pointing, what prevents you from running the VM on your current virtual infrastructure w/o purchasing an additional server?

    just the hypervisor I think


  • Service Provider

    @Danp said in How would you build this:

    Beyond the aforementioned finger pointing, what prevents you from running the VM on your current virtual infrastructure w/o purchasing an additional server?

    Current infrastructure or not is a separate discussion point, and not one I need to have here. I know what is where with current infrastructure and how much that will weigh into a decision.

    This discussion is strictly regarding the information provided in the OP and follow up clarification posts.


  • Service Provider

    @Tim_G said in How would you build this:

    @JaredBusch said in How would you build this:

    @Tim_G said in How would you build this:

    It sounds like the hardware will just be running one VM. Built-in back up on Hyper-V Server 2016 all the way via the host, no issues there if you can use block-level storage for your backups. It's so much easier and faster to backup and restore the VM as a whole anyways... no VM agent needed. Also, you get the option of "production" checkpoints (snapshots) on 2016. That's definitely noteworthy.

    What specific features are you talking about here? I have Hyper-V 2016 server up in a lab environment but have yet to actually test anything.

    I mentioned two in there. Windows Server Backup, and "Production Checkpoints".

    I was not sure if those were that actual names of the features. I will have to check into them.

    Obviously Windows Server Backup used to be a specific thing in full installs of Windows Server. Likewise, Checkpoints are a standard thing, but I have not heard about Production checkpoints.



  • @JaredBusch said in How would you build this:

    @Tim_G said in How would you build this:

    @JaredBusch said in How would you build this:

    @Tim_G said in How would you build this:

    It sounds like the hardware will just be running one VM. Built-in back up on Hyper-V Server 2016 all the way via the host, no issues there if you can use block-level storage for your backups. It's so much easier and faster to backup and restore the VM as a whole anyways... no VM agent needed. Also, you get the option of "production" checkpoints (snapshots) on 2016. That's definitely noteworthy.

    What specific features are you talking about here? I have Hyper-V 2016 server up in a lab environment but have yet to actually test anything.

    I mentioned two in there. Windows Server Backup, and "Production Checkpoints".

    I was not sure if those were that actual names of the features. I will have to check into them.

    Obviously Windows Server Backup used to be a specific thing in full installs of Windows Server. Likewise, Checkpoints are a standard thing, but I have not heard about Production checkpoints.

    https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/virtualization/hyper-v-on-windows/user-guide/checkpoints

    Windows 10 and Server 2016 Hyper-V
    Standard Checkpoints -- takes a snapshot of the virtual machine and virtual machine memory state at the time the checkpoint is initiated. A snapshot is not a full backup and can cause data consistency issues with systems that replicate data between different nodes such as Active Directory.

    Production Checkpoints -- uses Volume Shadow Copy Service or File System Freeze on a Linux virtual machine to create a data-consistent backup of the virtual machine. No snapshot of the virtual machine memory state is taken.



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  • This is fairly low cost. Go with the vendor for the extra 20%. 2k isn't much. Should you save that now, and lose 'all' support, its only a few days of work on one issue, unsupported, perhaps less if you have to hire additional help, and that 2k is spent.

    One place to point the fingers at - spend the 2k.

    I'd make sure to have the support contract read and understood in detail to make sure that 2k actually gives me good support though.



  • @black3dynamite said in How would you build this:

    Production Checkpoints -- uses Volume Shadow Copy Service or File System Freeze on a Linux virtual machine to create a data-consistent backup of the virtual machine. No snapshot of the virtual machine memory state is taken.

    always using these in my hyper-v



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