Capacity Upgrades Made E-Z
“The latest challenge we experienced in our company was two-fold. First, we needed to add some new servers to our VMware environment for our accounting and reporting applications. This consists of 6 total servers, with two of them being large SQL 2012 servers. And, secondly, we wanted to setup a CIFS partition on our EMC VNX SAN, to replace a file server. This would also allow us to enable de-duplication of the shared data, and free-up more space. The reason we didn’t set this up when AOS first installed our SAN was because we were using Microsoft DPM as a backup solution…and DPM would not backup a CIFS partition. So, we had to wait until we upgraded our old backup solution that was VM-aware and could backup a CIFS partition. And, while we were waiting for this, we just setup a normal VM server with 1TB of drive space to act as our file server. It contained all departmental shares and home folders.”
After looking at our data growth since the original install of our SAN, AOS determined we needed to add more drive space on the production SAN and the DR SAN, to meet the challenge we presented. The additional drive space would allow us to add the extra VMs we needed, add a large CIFS partition, and provide us the free space we needed on the SAN for future growth. So, we decided to add a 3U 15-slot Disk Array Enclosure (DAE) on both SANs; production and DR. And, we decided to populate each DAE with 15 1TB drives. AOS installed the DAEs at both locations, added the drives, and set it all up in Unisphere. We added 4 more Data Stores for VMware to use to build the new servers. And, we added a 1.5TB CIFS partition. AOS setup the synchronization for both the Data Stores and the CIFS partition from production to DR.
“A problem we faced with all this was our lack of knowledge concerning the CIFS partition. We didn’t even know how to setup our file shares, once the CIFS partition was setup and ready for us to use. So, we setup a one-hour WebEx training session with AOS to transfer the knowledge we needed to use the new CIFS partition. All our questions were answered in this session, and we have a lot of information and screen shots on how to do things with CIFS now. We just cut-over all our shares from the file server to the CIFS partition this past weekend, and everything is working smoothly now. The end-users do not know that they are accessing all their shares through the CIFS partition, as we just changed their login scripts to map their shared drives to the new CIFS “server”, if you want to call it that. So, now we have our 4 new Data Stores setup for VMware. We have a CIFS partition setup to use as a file server. And, we have enough free space in our SAN for future growth. We are thrilled that we were able to add to the efficiency of our network capabilities with this one upgrade.
“We couldn’t add the additional accounting and reporting servers to our VMware environment. Which in and of itself isn’t that big of a deal, because we are already running them as physical servers. But, what was a big deal about it, is with those servers as VMs we can now replicate them to DR and have backups we can switch to within an hour, in case of a disaster. And, our file server would have continued to grow data-wise, as all file servers do, until we ran out of space. Plus, we wouldn’t have been able to take advantage of de-duplicating our data.”