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Have You Virtualized EV?

AndrewB
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I'm curious if anyone is running EV in a virtualized production environment and how your experience has been. We performed our EV8 beta testing on a Win2k8 Hyper-V host and it worked well. However, we did not simulate anywhere near the load that the production boxes handle. If you have time to reply to this, please include such details as your EV version, virtualization platform, host hardware, guest config, storage, etc.
15 REPLIES 15

BitBucket
Level 4

I ran EV 7.5 and now run 8.0 in VMWare ESX Server 3.5 cluster.

The cluster consists of three machines with 32GB of RAM and 8 cores each.

The VM that hosts EV is configured with 2 CPU's and 3GB of RAM.  Symantec recommends that you have at least 4GB of RAM, but my setup seems to run fine with 3GB.  My EV database is on a cheap DELL NAS with 8TB of total storage.

 

So far, it runs extremely well and I've had no problems.  The particular cluster that EV runs on is also home to 35 other virtual servers, some of which are much more resource intensive than EV.

 

In my opinion, EV runs just fine in a virtualized environment which is set up correctly and you should have no problems.

 

AndrewB
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Thanks for the quick reply, BitBucket! Couple follow-up questions:

Are you running EV8 on Win2k3 or Win2k8? (if 2k3, 32 or 64-bit?)

Are you archiving exchange, file system, etc? If exchange, how many mailboxes are you archiving?

BitBucket
Level 4

I'm running EV8 on Win2k3 64-bit.

 

I'm archiving Exchange 2003, file system and Sharepoint.

 

Exchange has about 150 users and the file system is handling about 600 GB.

Sharepoint is relatively small right now with maybe 50 GB.

 

I will be migrating to Exchange 2007 soon which I hope will go smoothly in regards to EV.

 

GertjanA
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Hello Andrew, BitBucket,

 

We're running EV7.5SP2, windows2003SP1 Ent.Ed., Exchange 2003 SP1

I believe our VM environment is the same as mentioned here previously. We're running 9 journalarchiving servers, 15 mailboxarchivingservers in VM. Obviously, the Index and Store disks are physicaldisks (SAN). MSMQ however is also on a virtual disk. Our archiving servers were physically 4 processor, 4 gb ram, but now are 2 processor, 1.5gb ram (as VM-machine). Archiving is keeping up as it did when running on physical hardware! We have 75.000 mailboxes being archived, with an average of 25.000 mails a day..

Exchange and SQL are and will remain on physical hardware.

 

I heard a document about virtualizing and performance will be published by Symantec in a few months orso

 

Although I was scpetic in the beginning, I have to say that EV runs as good or better than it did before virtualizing. This probably depends on the underlying hardware, but results are good. Been running virtualized for akmost 2 months now.

 

GJ

Regards. Gertjan

Marc_Lueckert
Level 3

We are running EV 7.5SP2 for nearly 2500 Users under ESX 3.5.

We have 800GB Mail store and 80GB Index

 

The VM is configured with 2 vCPUs and only 2GB of RAM. We made about 800GB PST Migrations on this machine also during work days. The system was sometimes a bit overloaded (100% CPU over 12hours) but we never had complaints from our users ;)

 

It is running really well.

 

Marc

EV_Guru
Level 4
Partner

I saw many many installations of EV, some were virtualized some not. It's allways the same, it depends on how much you are using your archive and how much load the EV servers get.

 

Everyone will agree, then a heavy used system should allways be a physical one, like Exchange and so on...

 

When you have for example 5000 Exchange Users on 1 EV Server it's better to have a physical one, because their are allways faster. But in some enviroments it is enough to have a virtual one, but this depends on your requirements to the EV archive.

 

This can be checked during the Storage, Archive etc. calculations during the implementing phase of a project...

 

 

_________________

 

www.longerich.com

 

EDU
Level 4
I'm also looking at virtualizing EV.

What has anyone done in terms of performance testing before moving to VMs in production?

Regards,
Ethan

GertjanA
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Hello Ethan,

We did not do performance testing in a VM. We did take some performance monitoring of some of the heaviest used EV-servers when they were physical machines. We decided to start of with 2 cpu's and 1.5 GB RAM on the VM's, and upgrade if necessary.

We found that we only needed to upgrade one VM (to 3 GB RAM , 4 processors) to be able to keep up with journal archiving. The rest is running BETTER than the physical ones.

The exact difference between physical and virutal i do not exactly know, but the underlying vm-gardware is better. We're running VM since okt/nov 2008, and without problems.

Physical was converted to virtual. Physical machines were kept for 4 weeks, so in the event of not performing/other severe issues, we would have been able to return to the old situation (physicals) without problems.

Regards
Regards. Gertjan

jprknight-oldax
Level 6
We did the same kind of thing with GertjanA, no particular performance testing. I want to echo what GertjanA said about the performance, the VMs are giving BETTER performance than the physical counterparts.

We did not keep our physical machines so long as they were unstable and not even suitable for a disaster recovery scenario, let alone to run the entire production environment on.

EDU
Level 4
In my discussions with our VMWare team, I asked about using SAN disk for the indexes and MSMQ, but was told it shouldn't be necessary because the VMs would reside on fast SAN storage anyway.

Does anyone have any advice on the matter?

-Ethan

GertjanA
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Hi Ethan,

We have MSMQ as a virutal disk, the index and storage disks are SAN

We took this decision due to the amount of archiving/retrieval etc.

Gertjan
Regards. Gertjan

MichelZ
Level 6
Partner Accredited Certified
Hi guys

We're running EV8 on Windows 2008 x64 (WOW64...) on ESX 3.5 U4 boxes.
Running very well with 50 Machines on 2 ESX Boxes... (!)

MSMQ/Index is a virtual disk (NFS attached), archiving via CIFS to NetApp 2050.

However, we only have 50 Users, so archiving performance is not much of an issue... :)

Cheers

cloudficient - EV Migration, creators of EVComplete.

Bruce_Crankshaw
Level 6
Partner
I have installed EV on VMWARE at 2 customers
They are both running VMWARE 3.5 ,I asked the customer to size the EV images as if they were standalone e.g. 4 GB memory ,2 x Quad  core processor .The SQL servers were on standalone boxes .I have had no performance issues
I know Symantec is busy with an EV whitepaper on VMWARE ,that should be a useful read
Oh I forgot to add this ,the number of users are 2000 and 1800 at the 2 customers :)

MichelZ
Level 6
Partner Accredited Certified
An EV Image cannot have 2x Quad core... (8 Processors), only 4 are supported ;)
(With vSphere 4 Enterprise Plus you can have 8 vCPU's now...)

Cheers

cloudficient - EV Migration, creators of EVComplete.

jprknight-oldax
Level 6
We have EV 7.5 SP5 virtualised on ESX 3.5 in our organisation. Recently we virtualised EV and then soon after upgraded from 7.5 SP1 to 7.5 SP5. We have six Exchange 2000 active/passive clusters attached to each of our six EV servers.

We build new Windows 2003 Enterprise Ed. SP2 servers as vm machines. Dual Xeon, 4GB RAM, 2x 20GB SAN LUNs for a system drive and EV installation files. With slightly different machine names & different IP addresses.

When it came to installing the new servers into production we installed using the production DNS Aliases, got our SAN people to move the LUNs to the ESX cluster, update service locations.

The above gave us huge issues with our main EV server running as the directory server; hours of Symantec support ensued, however to give them credit it was all sorted. After the directory server, the process worked fine. Our only slight issue was the services still running off of the old servers, for this we just needed to do some database and registry updates on the new servers.

We have now gone from 70% of our support queue being consumed by Enterprise Vault, and now after the virtualisation and SP5 upgrade we have had one incident which we would contribute to EV, which only effected one user so we are very, very happy at this point. For us virtualising EV has been a huge success; although along the way we had issues.

We also have an Exchange 2007 cluster which we should be soon introducing into the EV environment.

If I have missed anything or anyone has any questions, post on this thread I have subscribed to it.

EDIT: Check out my blog 'Virtualising Enterprise Vault. Going from support hell to support heaven.' for further details on my exploits in virtualising EV.