Requirement to virtualise the main BES server

(imported topic written by ErinC91)

Hi, As the subject says, we require to virtualise our main BES server.

We currently run the BES server on a physical Blade server with a local SQL database.

We desire to migrate this server onto a VM server (VMWare ESX3.5) with a non-local (also VM’d) SQL server.

I’m assuming that we can basically follow the KB article http://support.bigfix.com/cgi-bin/kbdirect.pl?id=133 “How do I switch BigFix Server Computers ?”

I can’t find anything specifically about VMs on the BigFix Knowledge Base about this so thought I’d post here to get input from those that may have done this type of server migration before or anyone with any recommendations/warnings.

(imported comment written by SystemAdmin)

We run in the exact environment you are moving to. I’ve used that same environment at two different companies. We have a smaller BigFix deployment.

The only issue we ever had was unallocating CPU and Memory - we started off with a single proc and 2 GB on the BES server. The SQL server always had 2 procs and 4 GB. We adjusted up as needed after watching the environment for a few months. We had no other issues and the benefit of going virtual is that you can adjust and migrate to faster hardware as needed.

John

Edit:

boyd, good point on the disks. We’ve always used 15k Fiber disks (EMC CX3 / CX4) and haven’t had any IO issues, for what it’s worth.

(imported comment written by MattBoyd)

We’re running a virtualized BES Server and SQL Server as well. At the moment, they’re both running in the same VM. It’s a

very

beefy VM though :wink:

I’d say that disk IO is another thing you want to keep an eye on. It can definitely be a major bottleneck, depending on what kinds of disks you’re using. Since the BES server seems to make many small reads and writes, an SSD may be the ideal type of storage to use. This is just a theory though. We’re still using 15k SAS :slight_smile:

(imported comment written by cstoneba)

we are currently running VM with remote SQL (5000 clients), but will be moving to physical with the release of verion 8. Keep in mind that BigFix does not recommend using virtual to host the main bigfix server, but it obviously works depending on your number of clients.

(imported comment written by ErinC91)

Thanks for the input guys.

I’ve just had a word with our server team and now they tell me they first want to move

only

the SQL database to a non-VM SQL database!

The DB will be running on a beefy server with 15k rpm fiber disk SAN, quad cpu cores, 32GB RAM. This server will be hosting other SQL instances too. We will only have about 4000 clients all told so I think this should be fine.

Actually, moving just the DB first then virtualising the BES server later will give us a nice idea of how the DB performance is different on it’s own. I expect the BES server performance isn’t as important in the scope of things as the SQL server and the newly VM’d BES server will be a higher spec anyway.

For info for anyone else that finds this thread I found a word doc guide on setting up a remote database on the following KB page : http://support.bigfix.com/cgi-bin/kbdirect.pl?id=215

Our rough plan is;

  • Move the SQL DB to the new SQL server
  • Reconfigure the BigFix server to point to the new SQL DB (using the guide doc I mentioned above)
  • Test
  • Virtualise the BigFix server
  • Re-test