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Starting Over OES2015

Hi,
We currently have a server system that's been a little cobbled together by various IT people.
Current system:
XenServer 6.2 host with 3 operational VMs
- OES11
- Windows 2012
- Windows 2012 with domain services
The server hardware is a "white box" with 8 SAS drives in RAID10. By the time this server was built, we had almost run out of space, so a NAS box was added on - running as an iSCSI SAN. This primarily contains the less active data.
We have had numerous issues with this hardware that no-one seems able to identify - the server re-boots every Saturday at 11am, often with a couple of follow-up restarts.

To the point, I am looking at starting over.
I've seen with OES2015 sp1, you can install a two node cluster. I was thinking of this as a way to possibly use cheaper hardware as the redundancy would be in having a failover to a separate server. By cheaper, I mean perhaps a Xeon chip on a standard motherboard, good quality single power supply etc. with an extra network card.
Storage would be an iSCSI SAN through a gigabit switch (HP Procurve) to a couple of NAS boxes setup as iSCSI targets. I figured these could be mirrored NSS pools.
As I understand it, the VMs would run off NSS pool...
OES 2015sp1 host
- OES 2015sp1 file server
- Windows 2012/16
- Windows 2012/16 with domain services

One of the Windows servers runs a small database and service that indexes the files stored through the OES11 server.
We have about 25 users. Primarily running Win10.

Does the above seem feasible?
Our active data is currently stored on SAS drives within the main server box. Would there be much additional latency expected for file access? Some files are up to 300MB.

On another note, we have a satellite office with 4 users. They access files over a VPN directly. This is a little slow even with fibre internet.
We want to set up a replica of the data in that office, so it would be accessed locally.
In a stretched cluster with mirrored NSS pools as mentioned above, I understand that when writing data, it must complete all writes before moving to the next, so everything would slow down to the slowest link.
Is there a way to do this that locks files when opened at one site and doesn't release until replication occurs?


We have spoken to a number of IT companies, who just tell us to change to Windows.
Even had one that was "Novell Partner" tell us that OES was obsolete and that we could just use Ubuntu as a SAMBA box.

There're other services that we've had access to and never set up i.e. Zenworks, Filr, iPrint etc. Just can't find anyone to help with setup.
We're in Perth, Western Australia.
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Knowledge Partner Knowledge Partner
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siraeryn;2469786 wrote:
Hi,
We currently have a server system that's been a little cobbled together by various IT people.
Current system:
XenServer 6.2 host with 3 operational VMs
- OES11
- Windows 2012
- Windows 2012 with domain services
The server hardware is a "white box" with 8 SAS drives in RAID10. By the time this server was built, we had almost run out of space, so a NAS box was added on - running as an iSCSI SAN. This primarily contains the less active data.
We have had numerous issues with this hardware that no-one seems able to identify - the server re-boots every Saturday at 11am, often with a couple of follow-up restarts.

To the point, I am looking at starting over.
I've seen with OES2015 sp1, you can install a two node cluster. I was thinking of this as a way to possibly use cheaper hardware as the redundancy would be in having a failover to a separate server. By cheaper, I mean perhaps a Xeon chip on a standard motherboard, good quality single power supply etc. with an extra network card.
Storage would be an iSCSI SAN through a gigabit switch (HP Procurve) to a couple of NAS boxes setup as iSCSI targets. I figured these could be mirrored NSS pools.
As I understand it, the VMs would run off NSS pool...
OES 2015sp1 host
- OES 2015sp1 file server
- Windows 2012/16
- Windows 2012/16 with domain services

One of the Windows servers runs a small database and service that indexes the files stored through the OES11 server.
We have about 25 users. Primarily running Win10.

Does the above seem feasible?
Our active data is currently stored on SAS drives within the main server box. Would there be much additional latency expected for file access? Some files are up to 300MB.

On another note, we have a satellite office with 4 users. They access files over a VPN directly. This is a little slow even with fibre internet.
We want to set up a replica of the data in that office, so it would be accessed locally.
In a stretched cluster with mirrored NSS pools as mentioned above, I understand that when writing data, it must complete all writes before moving to the next, so everything would slow down to the slowest link.
Is there a way to do this that locks files when opened at one site and doesn't release until replication occurs?


We have spoken to a number of IT companies, who just tell us to change to Windows.
Even had one that was "Novell Partner" tell us that OES was obsolete and that we could just use Ubuntu as a SAMBA box.

There're other services that we've had access to and never set up i.e. Zenworks, Filr, iPrint etc. Just can't find anyone to help with setup.
We're in Perth, Western Australia.


I could be wrong, but I didn't think Novell/MF supported OES as a Xen/KVM host?

(I'm assuming that's what you want to do when you list the format like):
OES 2015sp1 host
- OES 2015sp1 file server
- Windows 2012/16
- Windows 2012/16 with domain services

I could be wrong (trying to weed through the docs, but the "virtualization" docs link you directly over to SUSE without any mention of setting up OES 2015 SP1 as the VM *host*.

IMO, I'd stick with VMware as the host (but that's me) and just run things in the VM's.
You could (AFAIK) setup 2 Vmware ESXi servers (hosts) and run a 2-node cluster (one node on each host) with OES as the Guest, with some caveats (they're listed in the cluster docs).

I'm not sure a stretch cluster is your best bet, given your current setup, but it *might* be feasible. With 4 users and you having a fibre connection (similar to say, Verizon FIOS?) If you're seeing slow performance now, that probably doesn't bode well for a stretch cluster, IMO.

Lots to digest here, my colleagues have probably worked with some of the setups (I've never done stretch cluster, and never did 2-node cluster in a VM environment, except in lab testing).

--Kevin
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On 10/11/17 16:14, kjhurni wrote:

> I could be wrong, but I didn't think Novell/MF supported OES as a
> Xen/KVM host?
>
> (I'm assuming that's what you want to do when you list the format
> like):
> OES 2015sp1 host
> - OES 2015sp1 file server
> - Windows 2012/16
> - Windows 2012/16 with domain services
>
> I could be wrong (trying to weed through the docs, but the
> "virtualization" docs link you directly over to SUSE without any mention
> of setting up OES 2015 SP1 as the VM*host*.


Possibly Novell/Micro Focus previously supported OES as a virtualisation
host but now I think you're right as section 9.0 Virtualization in OES
2015 SP1 of the OES 2015 SP1 Planning and Implementation Guide[1]
doesn't call out OES as a host but links to the SLES11 Deployment Guide
(since OES 2015 SP1 is an add-on for SLES11 SP4).

So section 2.2.4 (not 2.4.4 - there's a typo in OES 2015 SP1 docs which
I'll report next) of aforementioned SLES11 Deployment Guide lists

- KVM on SLES 11 SP2+
- XEN on SLES 10 SP4 / 11 SP1+
- Citrix XenServer 6.0 / 6.1
- Microsoft Windows 2008 SP2+ / 2008 R2+ / 2012+
- Oracle VM 3.0 / 3.1 / 3.2
- VMware ESX 5.1 / ESXi 5.1 / ESX 5.2 / ESXi 5.2

as supported virtualization hosts but some of those versions probably
need reviewing as I'm sure later releases are in play.

HTH.

[1]
https://www.novell.com/documentation/oes2015/oes_implement_lx/data/run-virtualized.html
[2]
https://www.suse.com/documentation/sles11/book_sle_deployment/data/sec_x86_sysreqs.html
--
Simon
Micro Focus Knowledge Partner

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Absent Member.
Absent Member.

kjhurni;2469789 wrote:
I could be wrong, but I didn't think Novell/MF supported OES as a Xen/KVM host?

(I'm assuming that's what you want to do when you list the format like):
OES 2015sp1 host
- OES 2015sp1 file server
- Windows 2012/16
- Windows 2012/16 with domain services

I could be wrong (trying to weed through the docs, but the "virtualization" docs link you directly over to SUSE without any mention of setting up OES 2015 SP1 as the VM *host*.

--Kevin


Cheers Kevin,

Certainly on OES2, when I last looked at OES and XEN together, choosing OES disabled XEN and vice versa. I thought that this may be a change.
I did read in the docs a suggestion of running OES2015 as the host. I can't find that reference just now, though it does seem implied in this one: https://www.novell.com/documentation/oes2015/clus_admin_lx/data/bh2qjie.html
Also found this at https://www.novell.com/documentation/oes2015/clus_admin_lx/data/bmj4n7c.html: "Prerequisites for Xen Host Server Environments: You can install Novell Cluster Services on a Xen virtualization host server (Dom0) running OES."
Also mentioned as the host here: https://www.novell.com/documentation/oes2015/clus_admin_lx/data/babvh99.html

The idea was to run a simple server cluster to reduce the risk of a single point of failure. At the moment, with the server crashing out every week, it seems only a matter of time before it doesn't come back up.
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Absent Member.
Absent Member.

smflood;2469796 wrote:
On 10/11/17 16:14, kjhurni wrote:

> I could be wrong, but I didn't think Novell/MF supported OES as a
> Xen/KVM host?
> ...
>
> I could be wrong (trying to weed through the docs, but the
> "virtualization" docs link you directly over to SUSE without any mention
> of setting up OES 2015 SP1 as the VM*host*.


Possibly Novell/Micro Focus previously supported OES as a virtualisation
host but now I think you're right as section 9.0 Virtualization in OES
2015 SP1 of the OES 2015 SP1 Planning and Implementation Guide[1]
doesn't call out OES as a host but links to the SLES11 Deployment Guide
(since OES 2015 SP1 is an add-on for SLES11 SP4).

So section 2.2.4 (not 2.4.4 - there's a typo in OES 2015 SP1 docs which
I'll report next) of aforementioned SLES11 Deployment Guide lists
...

[1]
https://www.novell.com/documentation/oes2015/oes_implement_lx/data/run-virtualized.html
...



Section 9.2 of the above virtualization link is called Why install OES services on your VM Host? https://www.novell.com/documentation/oes2015/oes_implement_lx/data/run-virtualized-why-oes-host.html
This contains the cluster services.
Doesn't mention NSS though, so perhaps that is what is incompatible with XEN.
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Knowledge Partner Knowledge Partner
Knowledge Partner

siraeryn;2469823 wrote:
Cheers Kevin,

Certainly on OES2, when I last looked at OES and XEN together, choosing OES disabled XEN and vice versa. I thought that this may be a change.
I did read in the docs a suggestion of running OES2015 as the host. I can't find that reference just now, though it does seem implied in this one: https://www.novell.com/documentation/oes2015/clus_admin_lx/data/bh2qjie.html
Also found this at https://www.novell.com/documentation/oes2015/clus_admin_lx/data/bmj4n7c.html: "Prerequisites for Xen Host Server Environments: You can install Novell Cluster Services on a Xen virtualization host server (Dom0) running OES."
Also mentioned as the host here: https://www.novell.com/documentation/oes2015/clus_admin_lx/data/babvh99.html

The idea was to run a simple server cluster to reduce the risk of a single point of failure. At the moment, with the server crashing out every week, it seems only a matter of time before it doesn't come back up.


Hello,
Yes, I think I slightly misspoke regarding the OES2 as a XEN Host.
Technically it was supported, and I think even with NCS, but then if you looked at the "services" that were NOT supported (NSS, I think) and others, it essentially made it useless, (IMO).

IF it were me, and I had 2 "whiteboxes" with NAS or SAN-type hardware (fiber channel, FCOE, etc.) I'd setup two VMware ESXi servers, with an OES VM on each running the NCS software. Yes, you don't get the VMware DR, (on the free version that is), but theoretically if the entire VMware host barfs, the OES clustering would be aware of this and resume/run services on the other VMware host in the other guest VM.

I'm not familiar enough with KVM to suggest that route.

But there's 9 ways to skin the cat.
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My experiences running NCS clustering on physical and virtual hardware
1. Physical hardware is easier
2. In VMWARE you are running a cluster inside a cluster to there are rules:
a. one NCS node per ESX host per cluster ( in other words, for cluster X, only one node of cluster x can be on host a )
b. No vmotion, ever
c. resource disks have to be mapped to ALL hosts
3. We tried XEN as an experiment, correct, most of the services are borked or not supported
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