Port - How to go about setting up a client to be virtualized?



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    Howdy,

    I have a software development background, but manage a client's IT infrastructure so sometimes there are questions or scenarios that I just am unsure of the best course of action. This is where I seek help from more experienced engineers like yourselves. A client of mine has a SBS2008 setup with AD, DNS & File server roles setup and they're looking to upgrade to a new server. I moved their exchange a while back to O365 so that's not an issue moving forward.

    I plan on having 4 800GB SSDs with RAID5 setup so I believe that gives me 2.4TB to play with. I proposed 2016 Server but am debating between physical or virtual. Is is stupid of me going physical? If I go virtual, should I create a server for their AD & DNS and then create another server just as a file server? The environment has 20-25 users and is an architectural firm so they will be using the file server to open AutoCAD & Revit files.

    My hesitation of going Virtual is the learning curve. I will learn it if it makes the most sense for the customer, if not, I would prefer not to.

    What are your thoughts/suggestions/comments?



  • OK besides already having a long drawn out conversation on the OP's topic about How to install Hyper-V (there is only 1 way for production use)

    Which is you download the ISO and install that Hyper-V ISO to the bare metal.

    What you then need is a way to manage Hyper-V, you can use RSAT (through MMC) or 5Nines (paid solution) to manage the server.

    You want to avoid using the local console on the server to manage it, create VM's, backup VM's etc.



  • For this size office, with such a small amount of storage requirements and few users OBR5 SSD's will be perfectly acceptable.

    But possibly expensive, you may be able to get the IOPS required using Winchester drives at higher storage capacity for a cheaper cost. Configured in OBR10 you'd be golden.



  • Server 2016 is the only reasonable Windows Server to be implementing for a new installation. Unless you had some really good reason to implement an old OS, you would never do it.

    Not for a new installation, period.

    (It doesn't seem you have any reason to use old software)



  • With Server 2016 you need to license the cores of the hardware server. A minimum of 16 cores must be licensed (assuming that is all the server has). But if you have 32 cores, you must license all 32 cores.

    Being a file server for AutoCAD a 16 core CPU setup is going to be more than enough.

    You mention needing AD, DNS etc. Create a separate VM for these, ideally all separated, but there is no harm in hosting all of your domain functions on a single VM.

    Use the second VM allotted from Server Standard Licensing to create the File Server.



  • For an office this small a single Hypervisor and proper backup solution is likely more than enough for the business. But this requires confirmation from the client for what kind of up time the business requires.

    Being a small AutoCAD shop standard availability is likely sufficient, going to High Availability is most likely wasted money.

    This needs to be evaluated.



  • If Hyper-V is scary and you're uncertain of how to manage it are you certain you should be setting up the client?

    Are you working for an MSP? Do you have team members that would be assisting / confirming what is in process?



  • The OP mentioned having SBS2008 or something - so likely they don't need more than a single server with enough storage and a NAS/cloud for backups.



  • @dashrender said in Port - How to go about setting up a client to be virtualized?:

    The OP mentioned having SBS2008 or something - so likely they don't need more than a single server with enough storage and a NAS/cloud for backups.

    That is my thought as well, a single hypervisor, a single onsite backup target and then some offsite storage.

    BackBlaze B2 would likely be a great fit here for that purpose.



  • If the client requires (not wants) HA (doesn't seem realistic based on the size, but who knows) you could go with 2 Servers and StarWinds VSAN for free, or the paid option with has support.



  • Right now, they have onsite backups using Acronis and HDDs. This was setup by the previous IT guy. Someone in the office has to physically swap HDDs every week and I want to avoid this. I was thinking that I take the old HDDs from the SBS, put them into a NAS enclosure and run backups to that. I haven't used BackBlaze B2, but looks simple and cheap so I think I will go with that for cloud backups. They also have a ton of old projects that they will likely not need, unless there is an audit or catastrophe, so I was thinking of moving that to AWS Glacier or Azure Cool storage. I'll have to check pricing but I believe the long term storage would be cheaper than putting everything in BackBlaze. So that would cover backups, what do you guys recommend for disaster recovery? If I make full backups of the VMs then is that sort of all encompassing? I apologize if that's an ignorant statement. Thoughts?
    I have something else I wanted to discuss, while we're at it. They have a peculiar setup, so let me try to explain. One of the owners want to "access all the projects" from anywhere, whether it's in the office, at home or outside the office in a meeting. They previously had VPN set up, but complain that it's too slow. Tough crowd to please.
    They have O365 licensing, which comes with OneDrive and asked if we can use that because they don't want to spend more money on another solution. I proposed this rig (for lack of a better word), where I shared a Sharepoint folder on the local network. This way users can access files locally, changes will replicate to SharePoint and, if someone is outside of the office, they can access the files through OneDrive (and vice-versa). I really banged my head trying to think of a better solution without adding a bunch of overhead, but feel free to chime in. I know it's not ideal, but it works. Feel free to drop comments.
    I hope this all makes sense and sorry for any typos, it's a lot to drop in here. I'll check back here in an hour or so. Thank you everyone for your help, it is much appreciated.



  • @luismc said in Port - How to go about setting up a client to be virtualized?:

    So that would cover backups, what do you guys recommend for disaster recovery? If I make full backups of the VMs then is that sort of all encompassing? I apologize if that's an ignorant statement. Thoughts?

    Yes the VM backups with something like Veeam will be all you need for DR in most cases. You backup to a local NAS, then you restore from there as well. FYI - Veeam requires a Windows box/VM to run from. Veeam can also then push your backups to your cloud backup provider as well.



  • @luismc said in Port - How to go about setting up a client to be virtualized?:

    I have something else I wanted to discuss, while we're at it. They have a peculiar setup, so let me try to explain. One of the owners want to "access all the projects" from anywhere, whether it's in the office, at home or outside the office in a meeting. They previously had VPN set up, but complain that it's too slow. Tough crowd to please.
    They have O365 licensing, which comes with OneDrive and asked if we can use that because they don't want to spend more money on another solution. I proposed this rig (for lack of a better word), where I shared a Sharepoint folder on the local network. This way users can access files locally, changes will replicate to SharePoint and, if someone is outside of the office, they can access the files through OneDrive (and vice-versa). I really banged my head trying to think of a better solution without adding a bunch of overhead, but feel free to chime in. I know it's not ideal, but it works. Feel free to drop comments.
    I hope this all makes sense and sorry for any typos, it's a lot to drop in here. I'll check back here in an hour or so. Thank you everyone for your help, it is much appreciated.

    What was slow about the VPN? They do add some overhead to any transfers, but I haven't, in general, notice they affect them that bad. What upload speed do you have in the office?

    Of course, it's like that MS through O365 is going to have great upload compared to most SMBs, so downloading a file from MS will likely always be possibly faster than from your office location.

    As for Sharepoint - You don't get that much storage in Sharepoint in O365, so you'll likely be paying for more storage there. Sharepoint also has a number of files per site limit, just something else to watch out for.



  • @dashrender said in Port - How to go about setting up a client to be virtualized?:

    @luismc said in Port - How to go about setting up a client to be virtualized?:

    So that would cover backups, what do you guys recommend for disaster recovery? If I make full backups of the VMs then is that sort of all encompassing? I apologize if that's an ignorant statement. Thoughts?

    Yes the VM backups with something like Veeam will be all you need for DR in most cases. You backup to a local NAS, then you restore from there as well. FYI - Veeam requires a Windows box/VM to run from. Veeam can also then push your backups to your cloud backup provider as well.

    Excellent!



  • @luismc said in Port - How to go about setting up a client to be virtualized?:

    Right now, they have onsite backups using Acronis and HDDs. This was setup by the previous IT guy. Someone in the office has to physically swap HDDs every week and I want to avoid this. I was thinking that I take the old HDDs from the SBS, put them into a NAS enclosure and run backups to that.

    Absolutely doable, and this is a reasonable way to reuse hardware that isn't EoL.

    I haven't used BackBlaze B2, but looks simple and cheap so I think I will go with that for cloud backups. They also have a ton of old projects that they will likely not need, unless there is an audit or catastrophe, so I was thinking of moving that to AWS Glacier or Azure Cool storage. I'll have to check pricing but I believe the long term storage would be cheaper than putting everything in BackBlaze.

    You might be surprised, AWS Glacier is pretty damn slow and is meant for files that are expected to never have to be accessed.

    So that would cover backups, what do you guys recommend for disaster recovery? If I make full backups of the VMs then is that sort of all encompassing? I apologize if that's an ignorant statement. Thoughts?

    Veeam is the golden solution here most of the time. If you were using other Hypervisors the answer may change.



  • @dashrender said in Port - How to go about setting up a client to be virtualized?:

    @luismc said in Port - How to go about setting up a client to be virtualized?:

    I have something else I wanted to discuss, while we're at it. They have a peculiar setup, so let me try to explain. One of the owners want to "access all the projects" from anywhere, whether it's in the office, at home or outside the office in a meeting. They previously had VPN set up, but complain that it's too slow. Tough crowd to please.
    They have O365 licensing, which comes with OneDrive and asked if we can use that because they don't want to spend more money on another solution. I proposed this rig (for lack of a better word), where I shared a Sharepoint folder on the local network. This way users can access files locally, changes will replicate to SharePoint and, if someone is outside of the office, they can access the files through OneDrive (and vice-versa). I really banged my head trying to think of a better solution without adding a bunch of overhead, but feel free to chime in. I know it's not ideal, but it works. Feel free to drop comments.
    I hope this all makes sense and sorry for any typos, it's a lot to drop in here. I'll check back here in an hour or so. Thank you everyone for your help, it is much appreciated.

    What was slow about the VPN? They do add some overhead to any transfers, but I haven't, in general, notice they affect them that bad. What upload speed do you have in the office?

    Of course, it's like that MS through O365 is going to have great upload compared to most SMBs, so downloading a file from MS will likely always be possibly faster than from your office location.

    As for Sharepoint - You don't get that much storage in Sharepoint in O365, so you'll likely be paying for more storage there. Sharepoint also has a number of files per site limit, just something else to watch out for.

    They have Comcast cable 50 down, 5 up and those are advertised speeds so it's likely less. The only other option they have from there is to go Fiber and I gave them the quote 1 year ago and they still haven't decided...They get 1TB in SharePoint and can upgrade (by paying), the item limit is 5k per library and 20k overall so I think they're okay.



  • @dustinb3403 said in Port - How to go about setting up a client to be virtualized?:

    @luismc said in Port - How to go about setting up a client to be virtualized?:

    Right now, they have onsite backups using Acronis and HDDs. This was setup by the previous IT guy. Someone in the office has to physically swap HDDs every week and I want to avoid this. I was thinking that I take the old HDDs from the SBS, put them into a NAS enclosure and run backups to that.

    Absolutely doable, and this is a reasonable way to reuse hardware that isn't EoL.

    I haven't used BackBlaze B2, but looks simple and cheap so I think I will go with that for cloud backups. They also have a ton of old projects that they will likely not need, unless there is an audit or catastrophe, so I was thinking of moving that to AWS Glacier or Azure Cool storage. I'll have to check pricing but I believe the long term storage would be cheaper than putting everything in BackBlaze.

    You might be surprised, AWS Glacier is pretty damn slow and is meant for files that are expected to never have to be accessed.

    So that would cover backups, what do you guys recommend for disaster recovery? If I make full backups of the VMs then is that sort of all encompassing? I apologize if that's an ignorant statement. Thoughts?

    Veeam is the golden solution here most of the time. If you were using other Hypervisors the answer may change.

    Great, thank you!



  • @luismc said in Port - How to go about setting up a client to be virtualized?:

    @dashrender said in Port - How to go about setting up a client to be virtualized?:

    @luismc said in Port - How to go about setting up a client to be virtualized?:

    I have something else I wanted to discuss, while we're at it. They have a peculiar setup, so let me try to explain. One of the owners want to "access all the projects" from anywhere, whether it's in the office, at home or outside the office in a meeting. They previously had VPN set up, but complain that it's too slow. Tough crowd to please.
    They have O365 licensing, which comes with OneDrive and asked if we can use that because they don't want to spend more money on another solution. I proposed this rig (for lack of a better word), where I shared a Sharepoint folder on the local network. This way users can access files locally, changes will replicate to SharePoint and, if someone is outside of the office, they can access the files through OneDrive (and vice-versa). I really banged my head trying to think of a better solution without adding a bunch of overhead, but feel free to chime in. I know it's not ideal, but it works. Feel free to drop comments.
    I hope this all makes sense and sorry for any typos, it's a lot to drop in here. I'll check back here in an hour or so. Thank you everyone for your help, it is much appreciated.

    What was slow about the VPN? They do add some overhead to any transfers, but I haven't, in general, notice they affect them that bad. What upload speed do you have in the office?

    Of course, it's like that MS through O365 is going to have great upload compared to most SMBs, so downloading a file from MS will likely always be possibly faster than from your office location.

    As for Sharepoint - You don't get that much storage in Sharepoint in O365, so you'll likely be paying for more storage there. Sharepoint also has a number of files per site limit, just something else to watch out for.

    They have Comcast cable 50 down, 5 up and those are advertised speeds so it's likely less. The only other option they have from there is to go Fiber and I gave them the quote 1 year ago and they still haven't decided...They get 1TB in SharePoint and can upgrade (by paying), the item limit is 5k per library and 20k overall so I think they're okay.

    Internet performance is the big issue here then. Moving to fiber and a symmetric service would likely help with the issues that they had with VPN.



  • Their internet is 10* times slower than my residential internet service.



  • @dustinb3403 said in Port - How to go about setting up a client to be virtualized?:

    @luismc said in Port - How to go about setting up a client to be virtualized?:

    @dashrender said in Port - How to go about setting up a client to be virtualized?:

    @luismc said in Port - How to go about setting up a client to be virtualized?:

    I have something else I wanted to discuss, while we're at it. They have a peculiar setup, so let me try to explain. One of the owners want to "access all the projects" from anywhere, whether it's in the office, at home or outside the office in a meeting. They previously had VPN set up, but complain that it's too slow. Tough crowd to please.
    They have O365 licensing, which comes with OneDrive and asked if we can use that because they don't want to spend more money on another solution. I proposed this rig (for lack of a better word), where I shared a Sharepoint folder on the local network. This way users can access files locally, changes will replicate to SharePoint and, if someone is outside of the office, they can access the files through OneDrive (and vice-versa). I really banged my head trying to think of a better solution without adding a bunch of overhead, but feel free to chime in. I know it's not ideal, but it works. Feel free to drop comments.
    I hope this all makes sense and sorry for any typos, it's a lot to drop in here. I'll check back here in an hour or so. Thank you everyone for your help, it is much appreciated.

    What was slow about the VPN? They do add some overhead to any transfers, but I haven't, in general, notice they affect them that bad. What upload speed do you have in the office?

    Of course, it's like that MS through O365 is going to have great upload compared to most SMBs, so downloading a file from MS will likely always be possibly faster than from your office location.

    As for Sharepoint - You don't get that much storage in Sharepoint in O365, so you'll likely be paying for more storage there. Sharepoint also has a number of files per site limit, just something else to watch out for.

    They have Comcast cable 50 down, 5 up and those are advertised speeds so it's likely less. The only other option they have from there is to go Fiber and I gave them the quote 1 year ago and they still haven't decided...They get 1TB in SharePoint and can upgrade (by paying), the item limit is 5k per library and 20k overall so I think they're okay.

    Internet performance is the big issue here then. Moving to fiber and a symmetric service would likely help with the issues that they had with VPN.

    Ultimately my concern would be the syncing of files into Sharepoint in the first place.



  • @luismc said in Port - How to go about setting up a client to be virtualized?:

    They get 1TB in SharePoint and can upgrade (by paying), the item limit is 5k per library and 20k overall so I think they're okay.

    Be careful here, cad part files can add up extremely quickly. I'm not in architecture, but our average job folder has 2k+ files. You'd burn through 20k files pretty quick if that's the case there too.


  • Service Provider

    @luismc said in Port - How to go about setting up a client to be virtualized?:

    I haven't used BackBlaze B2, but looks simple and cheap so I think I will go with that for cloud backups.

    Cheap yes, simple, no. B2 is pure object storage, nothing else. There is no "backup mechanism", this is purely tertiary storage for you to backup onto. You need to provide all of the backup software and planning and capabilities.


  • Service Provider

    @luismc said in Port - How to go about setting up a client to be virtualized?:

    They also have a ton of old projects that they will likely not need, unless there is an audit or catastrophe, so I was thinking of moving that to AWS Glacier or Azure Cool storage.

    Is Glacier cheap enough to justify that compared to B2? Having two storage locations instead of one will diminish your economy of scale while making you have to manually do a lot more work. I'd keep it all in B2. Keep it simple.


  • Service Provider

    @dustinb3403 said in Port - How to go about setting up a client to be virtualized?:

    You might be surprised, AWS Glacier is pretty damn slow and is meant for files that are expected to never have to be accessed.

    Assume days or weeks to recover.


  • Service Provider

    @luismc said in Port - How to go about setting up a client to be virtualized?:

    @dashrender said in Port - How to go about setting up a client to be virtualized?:

    @luismc said in Port - How to go about setting up a client to be virtualized?:

    I have something else I wanted to discuss, while we're at it. They have a peculiar setup, so let me try to explain. One of the owners want to "access all the projects" from anywhere, whether it's in the office, at home or outside the office in a meeting. They previously had VPN set up, but complain that it's too slow. Tough crowd to please.
    They have O365 licensing, which comes with OneDrive and asked if we can use that because they don't want to spend more money on another solution. I proposed this rig (for lack of a better word), where I shared a Sharepoint folder on the local network. This way users can access files locally, changes will replicate to SharePoint and, if someone is outside of the office, they can access the files through OneDrive (and vice-versa). I really banged my head trying to think of a better solution without adding a bunch of overhead, but feel free to chime in. I know it's not ideal, but it works. Feel free to drop comments.
    I hope this all makes sense and sorry for any typos, it's a lot to drop in here. I'll check back here in an hour or so. Thank you everyone for your help, it is much appreciated.

    What was slow about the VPN? They do add some overhead to any transfers, but I haven't, in general, notice they affect them that bad. What upload speed do you have in the office?

    Of course, it's like that MS through O365 is going to have great upload compared to most SMBs, so downloading a file from MS will likely always be possibly faster than from your office location.

    As for Sharepoint - You don't get that much storage in Sharepoint in O365, so you'll likely be paying for more storage there. Sharepoint also has a number of files per site limit, just something else to watch out for.

    They have Comcast cable 50 down, 5 up and those are advertised speeds so it's likely less. The only other option they have from there is to go Fiber and I gave them the quote 1 year ago and they still haven't decided...They get 1TB in SharePoint and can upgrade (by paying), the item limit is 5k per library and 20k overall so I think they're okay.

    In a business? That's ridiculously slow. No wonder their VPN feels slow for CAD. A VPN adds overhead and latency. In the real world, you'll be lucky if this gets 2-3Mb/s throughput. SMB (the Windows file transfer protocol) is not meant for use over a WAN and is very inefficient for this. Considering a 100Mb/s low latency local network connection is noticeably slow today and 1Gb/s is typical moving to 5Mb/s with high latency, VPN overhead and shared between all users on the network could easily mean a difference of 3,000x!


  • Service Provider

    @dustinb3403 said in Port - How to go about setting up a client to be virtualized?:

    Their internet is 10* times slower than my residential internet service.

    Yeah, I get 160Mb/s at home and could upgrade if it wasn't enough.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Port - How to go about setting up a client to be virtualized?:

    @dustinb3403 said in Port - How to go about setting up a client to be virtualized?:

    Their internet is 10* times slower than my residential internet service.

    Yeah, I get 160Mb/s at home and could upgrade if it wasn't enough.

    I'm getting 500/50 at my residence, and could still move up to 1000/100



  • @scottalanmiller said in Port - How to go about setting up a client to be virtualized?:

    @dustinb3403 said in Port - How to go about setting up a client to be virtualized?:

    Their internet is 10* times slower than my residential internet service.

    Yeah, I get 160Mb/s at home and could upgrade if it wasn't enough.

    Yeah this is about what I have. I think my max option is 300/60.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Port - How to go about setting up a client to be virtualized?:

    @luismc said in Port - How to go about setting up a client to be virtualized?:

    @dashrender said in Port - How to go about setting up a client to be virtualized?:

    @luismc said in Port - How to go about setting up a client to be virtualized?:

    I have something else I wanted to discuss, while we're at it. They have a peculiar setup, so let me try to explain. One of the owners want to "access all the projects" from anywhere, whether it's in the office, at home or outside the office in a meeting. They previously had VPN set up, but complain that it's too slow. Tough crowd to please.
    They have O365 licensing, which comes with OneDrive and asked if we can use that because they don't want to spend more money on another solution. I proposed this rig (for lack of a better word), where I shared a Sharepoint folder on the local network. This way users can access files locally, changes will replicate to SharePoint and, if someone is outside of the office, they can access the files through OneDrive (and vice-versa). I really banged my head trying to think of a better solution without adding a bunch of overhead, but feel free to chime in. I know it's not ideal, but it works. Feel free to drop comments.
    I hope this all makes sense and sorry for any typos, it's a lot to drop in here. I'll check back here in an hour or so. Thank you everyone for your help, it is much appreciated.

    What was slow about the VPN? They do add some overhead to any transfers, but I haven't, in general, notice they affect them that bad. What upload speed do you have in the office?

    Of course, it's like that MS through O365 is going to have great upload compared to most SMBs, so downloading a file from MS will likely always be possibly faster than from your office location.

    As for Sharepoint - You don't get that much storage in Sharepoint in O365, so you'll likely be paying for more storage there. Sharepoint also has a number of files per site limit, just something else to watch out for.

    They have Comcast cable 50 down, 5 up and those are advertised speeds so it's likely less. The only other option they have from there is to go Fiber and I gave them the quote 1 year ago and they still haven't decided...They get 1TB in SharePoint and can upgrade (by paying), the item limit is 5k per library and 20k overall so I think they're okay.

    In a business? That's ridiculously slow.

    Really? I suppose it really matters more what you are doing with it. The last time I looked at business connections from Cox a 50/5 cost around $150/month. My 100/20 costs me around $340 month.


  • Service Provider

    @dashrender said in Port - How to go about setting up a client to be virtualized?:

    @scottalanmiller said in Port - How to go about setting up a client to be virtualized?:

    @dustinb3403 said in Port - How to go about setting up a client to be virtualized?:

    Their internet is 10* times slower than my residential internet service.

    Yeah, I get 160Mb/s at home and could upgrade if it wasn't enough.

    Yeah this is about what I have. I think my max option is 300/60.

    160 is my upload.