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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What a way to begin the week tomorrow. Been delaying this for a few weeks now, while I investigate stuff, I really hate working on, and in particular upgrading poorly documented networks, always seem to be picking up other people's slap-dash installations. I spend at least 50% of my time on documentation of new installs, and quite enjoy doing the entire job from start to finish (can't beat being told, "Here's ?xxx, make a shopping list then make it work"). The server I built this time is not as heavy duty as the last one upon which it's based. Only four hard disks, on an Adaptec 2410 SATA RAID controller, 2x stripe, 1x parity, 1x hot spare. With two fans forcing air directly across them sideways through the case. Should defo outlast the warranty, and hopefully I won't still be in the same job when it does finally go wrong! At least I've fully documented what to do when it does! [;)]

Wish me luck guys, I want to get this one over and done with ASAP!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The main Windows Server networking bit shouldn't take half a day, it's the finishing off, tweaking all those undocumented, specialist 16-bit apps from 2-bit vendors to work again that is the frustrating and time consuming aspect. Their firewall is also not documented so I have to reset and reconfigure that. I requested an additional tech to come with me and help knock those little tasks on the head (there's a Gigabit switch and NICs to be installed all round as well) while I concetrate on the major tasks, otherwise it'll just drag on a bit longer. We have one client that uses a stupid database app that the vendor will not guarantee to run on anything that 98, because that's all they've validated it on. WTF? We even told them a few kludges to make it print properly under 2000, but, erm, meanwhile the world is on XP and looking towards the next version!

Also, why do users turn up and immediately start work when they know the server's got to be down for file transfer and all that?! This sort of thing should really be done at weekends, but I won't get out of bed for anything less than double time for weekends, so that ain't happening.
 

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Yeah picking up on other peoples fubars...is not good - but if you do a
good job the customer will always want you back. I pride myself
on my documentation and project skills as in the future when the
techies out there who are "just techies" will be left behind. But
hey I am trying to wing it at the moment setting up a global data
replication solution between London/NYC/Tokyo using the WAN and the
snapmirror feature netapp filers

Having no touched SATA just trying to work out the Raid Config...0+
parity? 5? I'd normally mirror the OS with a couple of disk, then
raid 5 the data - like that you can backup.restore individually.
But not one for clone servers myself - makes for inconsistency in
larger installations. It's bad enough working in a team of 16
supporting 2000 HP servers - trying to keep server spec/revisions and
firmware as standard as possible - and that is just London...
 

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lol chin up mate! Hope it goes well.

I've got to travel to South End tommorow. On my own so i can just bascially mess around the whole day.

Umm trip to VW to get my brake light switch sorted! Gave me the wrong one! Idiots.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I walked home with a bottle of champagne last time I spent 12 hours at this client to sort out a really weird problem on the old server. Their boss man said, "I knew you'd do it" [:)]
 

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I won't mention I migrated 4 servers to VMWare in the matter of an hour today then... [;)]

Know where you're coming from though mate, it's trying to find the needle in the haystack with existing documentation sometimes... we're steadily on the road to having everything in place to support a new engineer should one come on board - everything new is documented to the hilt and built to withstand DR situations. The new blade technology and VMWare is just making everything so much easier now...

Roll on our new SAN and something vaguely resembling asset management (long story...!)
 

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I won't mention I migrated 4 servers to VMWare in the matter of an hour today then... [;)]

Know where you're coming from though mate, it's trying to find the
needle in the haystack with existing documentation sometimes... we're
steadily on the road to having everything in place to support a new
engineer should one come on board - everything new is documented to the
hilt and built to withstand DR situations. The new blade technology and
VMWare is just making everything so much easier now...

Roll on our new SAN and something vaguely resembling asset management (long story...!)
You want to look into getting a copy of platespin P2V, V2P, V2V, P2P etc etc

What blades are you using - we've just ordered 400 HP Opteron ones, but
are having serious heat problems when they are configured with 2 hard
disks - fortunately the main use for them is a Grid Computing Solution
...How many CPU's Hmmm shed loads...
 

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I won't mention I migrated 4 servers to VMWare in the matter of an hour today then... [;)]

Know where you're coming from though mate, it's trying to find the needle in the haystack with existing documentation sometimes... we're steadily on the road to having everything in place to support a new engineer should one come on board - everything new is documented to the hilt and built to withstand DR situations. The new blade technology and VMWare is just making everything so much easier now...

Roll on our new SAN and something vaguely resembling asset management (long story...!)
You want to look into getting a copy of platespin P2V, V2P, V2V, P2P etc etc

What blades are you using - we've just ordered 400 HP Opteron ones, but are having serious heat problems when they are configured with 2 hard disks - fortunately the main use for them is a Grid Computing Solution ...How many CPU's Hmmm shed loads...
Yup, we're trying to get a copy licenced at the moment, but there's not much of a need as most of the new projects are going onto them and are getting deployed through virtual centre [:)]

We've got the HP ones as well, mostly BL20p's but we're moving to the 25's with the dual core opterons in them. They do kick out a fair amount of heat, however, we've re-routed the aircon to come out in from of the rack so that it gets sucked through. I know someone who didn't do this because they thought air was still sucked from bottom to top... several melted motherboards and a probably a small fire later....!!

There's a calculator on the HP website for this: http://h30099.www3.hp.com/configurator/calc/BL%20p-Class.xls in case you haven't seen it [:)]

Shuiming, try getting hold of VMWare Workstation, should help you on your way with VMWare and understanding some of the concepts are virtualisation.
 

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Hmmm our 2 datacentres in the office are almost at capacity :(
not much more power available nor aircon....they are looking at other
sites (fingers crossed MK as I am local :) )

Out of curiosity are you using vLan Tagging for your blades? We
only deploy ESX on HP 580's at present as we have 8 different vLans to
connect to for each ESX box.

Also did you see that release from Microsoft suggesting they will now
support Virtual Microsoft Platforms - but only to Premier Customers.
 

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Glad I am out of IT I have seen the worst of bothe sides in terms of
documentation, one company with none, and the last company I was with
we went for BS7799 and where in the first 3 Datacentres in the UK to
achieve it,

I spent 9 months writing documentation, it got so bad with some
projecys that move a server form a rack in room 1 to room 2 and update
the FW and OS took 9 forms to be signed of by 3 people and that was
before we did the server build which take anyweher between 2 and 6
pieces of doucumentation............. BS7799 and documentation is the
reason I left IT
 

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Hmmm our 2 datacentres in the office are almost at capacity :( not much more power available nor aircon....they are looking at other sites (fingers crossed MK as I am local :) )

Out of curiosity are you using vLan Tagging for your blades? We only deploy ESX on HP 580's at present as we have 8 different vLans to connect to for each ESX box.

Also did you see that release from Microsoft suggesting they will now support Virtual Microsoft Platforms - but only to Premier Customers.
Tagging - yes we do, we have 3 vlans at the mo, soon to become 2 (thank god - it cause no end of problems with access lists when they're not really needed!) Have you got a few extra cards in the 580's? That's the trouble you'd have if you started using blades with 4 NICs and 8 vlans... potential STP nightmare!! Saying that though, we've got to the point where we have an enclosure entirely for DMZ stuff now, and the other enclosures service the high, medium and low security vlans (soon to be normal and high)

Not seen that release from microsoft... shall have a look tomorrow for it - guessing they'll have lots of conditions in it though (MS Virtual Server only, must have a "t" in the day it went wrong etc...!)
 

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Documentation......whats that.

Seriously, at my place we have over 200 windows and Novel servers at
150 sites across the VPN and I have only seen documentation on how to
create an NDPS printer.....thats about it.
 

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Hmmm our 2 datacentres in
the office are almost at capacity :( not much more power
available nor aircon....they are looking at other sites (fingers
crossed MK as I am local :) )

Out of curiosity are you using
vLan Tagging for your blades? We only deploy ESX on HP 580's at
present as we have 8 different vLans to connect to for each ESX box.

Also
did you see that release from Microsoft suggesting they will now
support Virtual Microsoft Platforms - but only to Premier Customers.
Tagging - yes we do, we have 3 vlans at the mo, soon to become 2
(thank god - it cause no end of problems with access lists when they're
not really needed!) Have you got a few extra cards in the 580's? That's
the trouble you'd have if you started using blades with 4 NICs and 8
vlans... potential STP nightmare!! Saying that though, we've got to the
point where we have an enclosure entirely for DMZ stuff now, and the
other enclosures service the high, medium and low security vlans (soon
to be normal and high)

Not seen that release from microsoft... shall have a look tomorrow
for it - guessing they'll have lots of conditions in it though (MS
Virtual Server only, must have a "t" in the day it went wrong etc...!)
Mmmm 3 vLans now there is a wish....I recently asked Network Team for a
list of ours....erm well into 3 figures! last count was around
600 or so - each application has pretty much has it's own - goddam FSA
SOX etc etc
 

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I won't mention I migrated 4 servers to VMWare in the matter of an hour today then... [;)]

Know where you're coming from though mate, it's trying to find the needle in the haystack with existing documentation sometimes... we're steadily on the road to having everything in place to support a new engineer should one come on board - everything new is documented to the hilt and built to withstand DR situations. The new blade technology and VMWare is just making everything so much easier now...

Roll on our new SAN and something vaguely resembling asset management (long story...!)
SAN - Noobie question but what does that mean ? I just recognise some of those terms from where I work. (i'm not in hands on IT like you guys though.) Asset Management - Now I recognise that.. EVERYTHING has a barcode label on it. Even every component in the buildings here is kept track of.
 

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Documentation......whats that.

Seriously, at my place we have over 200 windows and Novel servers at
150 sites across the VPN and I have only seen documentation on how to
create an NDPS printer.....thats about it.
Sounds abit like here!! Our documentation is pretty poor
 

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I won't mention I migrated 4 servers to VMWare in the matter of an hour today then... [;)]

Know where you're coming from though mate, it's trying to find the
needle in the haystack with existing documentation sometimes... we're
steadily on the road to having everything in place to support a new
engineer should one come on board - everything new is documented to the
hilt and built to withstand DR situations. The new blade technology and
VMWare is just making everything so much easier now...

Roll on our new SAN and something vaguely resembling asset management (long story...!)
SAN - Noobie question but what does that mean ? I just
recognise some of those terms from where I work. (i'm not in hands
on IT like you guys though.) Asset Management - Now I recognise
that.. EVERYTHING has a barcode label on it. Even every component
in the buildings here is kept track of.
SAN - Storage Area Network.

Think of a LAN but for connecting to all your storage. For
example, you can get disk racks external to your system and what not,
or even entire ESS (Enterprise Storage Solutions) - and you connect 'em
up over Fibre to the systems that need to access the data.

Great for clustered systems - not cheap tho [;)]

C

PS - think that's understandable - I don't normally have to explain that one on a low level [:$]

EDIT: works for backups too - plug a backup server into your san and
you get LAN-free super-fast backups - again it's gotta be bloody worth
it to use that method [;)]
 

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Registered
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5,827 Posts
I won't mention I migrated 4 servers to VMWare in the matter of an hour today then... [;)]

Know where you're coming from though mate, it's trying to find the needle in the haystack with existing documentation sometimes... we're steadily on the road to having everything in place to support a new engineer should one come on board - everything new is documented to the hilt and built to withstand DR situations. The new blade technology and VMWare is just making everything so much easier now...

Roll on our new SAN and something vaguely resembling asset management (long story...!)
SAN - Noobie question but what does that mean ? I just recognise some of those terms from where I work. (i'm not in hands on IT like you guys though.) Asset Management - Now I recognise that.. EVERYTHING has a barcode label on it. Even every component in the buildings here is kept track of.
SAN - Storage Area Network.

Think of a LAN but for connecting to all your storage. For example, you can get disk racks external to your system and what not, or even entire ESS (Enterprise Storage Solutions) - and you connect 'em up over Fibre to the systems that need to access the data.

Great for clustered systems - not cheap tho [;)]

C

PS - think that's understandable - I don't normally have to explain that one on a low level [:$]

EDIT: works for backups too - plug a backup server into your san and you get LAN-free super-fast backups - again it's gotta be bloody worth it to use that method [;)]
Huzzah - I thought that was what it was.. seriously, I did, but didn't say owt in case I was wrong !

We have that here now, I think. all our drive mappings changed recently and it right screwed things up last week. so much so that my boss got someone from the it dept in big big trouble for doing it without telling us.. and all cos I mentionded she gave me a rude phone call.. whoops.. [;)] I couldn't do something that badly needed doing for three days, due to incorrect access permissions. Cost the company lots of $$'s. the $*** really hit the fan last week I can tell ya. And all cos of the new 'SAN' !
 
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