Technology at Geneseo Community School District 228
The High School Server room contains two older PowerEdge 6400 Servers that are called HSERVER01 and HSERVER02. These units have been workhorses and are the domain controllers, handle dns, dchp, active directory, file shares etc. The machines are huge , Pentium 3 based, and over a decade old. To phase these units out quietly with little to no disruption at all to the current setup I am converting them to Hyper V compatible machine images that will run virtually inside of a much more powerful R700 PowerEdge Server (A virtual computer is a computer that runs inside of another computer). To run these Server 2003 based machines inside of a Hyper V virtual environment just makes sense, for one these older units created enormous amounts of heat and are power hogs, the machines are enormous with three power supplies each (over 1000 watt used). Secondly newer technology with multicore processors have more then enough horsepower to simply run the entire machine as a virtual machine – making backup easier, making reboots quicker, management easier and greatly reducing the amount of electricity needed. The R700 Poweredge server currently has 8 gigs of RAM (plan on upgrading to 16 – possibly 32) and has 16 logical processors, this is enormous processing power that dwarfs the power of all 4 physical Pentium 3 processors that were in the old machine.
First step to move machine to a virtual system was to use the Disk2VHD utility. You can download the free utility here (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/ee656415). This machine will create VHD files for each of the logical drives on the server. With the VHD files you need to boot up Server 2008 (R2) and setup the Hyper V service. In the Hyper V service most of the options are pretty straightforward, assign a dedicated NIC for the network, configure devices, set boot order. It can be a little tricky reassigning your SCSI devices as IDE and correctly booting without a blue screen but other than this works well.
Once it is booting correctly simply install the Hyper V Integrations services and reboot.
(Installing Integration Services)
(Hyper V running HSERVER02)
(Retired PowerEdge 6400 -Massive machine)
I plan to move HSERVER01 and the MANILLA server over to virtual world of Hyper V and this R700 will simultaneously run 3 virtual images and one core OS. These servers are all huge power hungry inefficient machines of 10 years. At the High School I hope to greatly reduce the load on the 20 AMP circuit which should make battery backup redundancy more efficient and effective. Simply backing up the Hyper V host will backup up all virtual machines in the process making this process much more efficient.