Tribulation when working with IT

August 9, 2012 § 2 Comments

Well first of all I apologise for taking my time to update, I am hoping that I haven’t lost all of my readers of which took an interest in the early days…

Hopefully my following explanation won’t be hard to elucidate.

Schools, out for summer!

I work in a secondary school in west(ish) London and school holidays are here. I can hear the laughing amongst the pitter patter of feet as the students and teachers vacate, the blissful silence of an empty school. However, for us IT, its not a holiday.

As anyone reading this will know, holiday time is the only time you can take down a network to make fundamental changes, also we had the small task of changing every single IP in the building from 172. to 10. this included all printers, switches, routers, computers.. well everything. Luckily we aren’t on IP phones, so that will make it a little easier.

A little run down of what we did.

So where the hell would you start when you have to alter the whole network’s IP range, it’s like a game of Jenga, if you pull the wrong piece out first you will make the whole thing collapse. That in mind our plan was to start with the Domain Controllers along side the Backup Domain Controller, changing a single computer from the old IP to the new accordingly, to access the servers. Subsequently we changed the rest of the servers, again assigning a static IP to a dedicated computer to access under the previous 172. to change it to 10.

Now it was on to change the DHCP and set up the reservations after that. The switches, copiers, macs e.t.c were next to be changed…Computers would update themselves because of being on DHCP with a good reboot, futhermore the software needed to be looked at, if it didn’t point to a DNS resolution but an IP needed to be changed.
After a week we had everything done! Team of 3 … a BIG secondary school in London, over 500 machines, 30 switches and many other devices… that has to be good!

Time to get tidy!

Another job over this summer break was to tidy up the Switch cabinets, this isn’t really that important to show,¬†nevertheless I am particularly impressed with the end result and wish to show the world!

I don’t have a before shot which is a pain, however anyone that knows anything about networking will know the state of some network cabinets, ours was no exception.

So to the left is a picture of the cabinet of which I slaved over for 2 and a half days! It even has colour!

Orange = Wifi

Blue = Phones

Green = Student Computers

Yellow = Staff Computers

I must say, I was rather happy with myself.

So what the hell has happened to the Virtual Project?

Well as you can all imagine the virtual project had to take a back seat, however we have made a few steps forward!!

I left the last post with a final comment of we have installed VMWare’s version of the Hypervisor and we were looking at Fusion cards… well that worked out far to expensive…¬† therefore we have decided to go with Citrix VDI in a box.

If you havn’t read my previous posts… Please scroll down and have a read, they are rather amusing and hopefully interesting!

I’m not going to go into detail about what we have done previously, and how many Uturns we had to make as that is outlined in the previous posts.

We wanted to include SSDs into our servers that would be running the Citrix Xen desktop, because the speed is mind blowing! And when you have over 200 virtual machines that need to be able to start the likes of Photoshop and Macromedia at the same time, you need some damn good speed! The only problm was the Fusion cards were so expensive… However we found one that wasn’t…

Intel 910 SSD

Perfect, an SSD that boasts speed, size and low cost! Okay they aren’t as ‘good’ as the fusion cards, the IOPS are alot lower, but when you have limited money, this is perfect!

When they arrived they came with both half height and full height brackets which was a nice touch, so we pulled our server out and installed them!

Of course… drivers… NO WORRIES, Intel boasts full Linux support, so we skipped over to the Intel website and downloaded their Linux drivers … for Redhat.. And what does Xen Server sit on… Cent OS.

Ah… and being a new SSD there aren’t many posts on forums about how to install them on VDI… so thats pretty much where we stopped.

Why XenServer, is it not expensive?

Keeping the virtual theme for the end of this post, you may ask why did we go with XenServer in the end, whilst most of this is outlined in my previous posts, I will explain one major point that grabbed us by the manlies and said. ‘USE ME!’

ITS FREE, I know there is a paid version of it, however when you are using Viab (VDI In a box) which is a ‘bundled’ version of citrix from lack of a better term, Viab already has alot of the features of which XenSever avowals.. Therefore isnt really needed! Just my opinion, may not be others!
Oh and for reference..

VDI In a Box Download Page 

Xen Server Download Page

Another day..

So that’s where we stand today… We have the network moved over to the new IP range, and the virtual project is nearly there. We know we are going to use Citrix also we have our ‘thin’ client ready to roll. We just need support for these cards and a little bit of money and we will can start to implement the system.

Oh and please head down to the new page I created titled ‘All About Me’ to see a lovely picture of me, and a little information on well… Me! (Is that too many ‘me’s’ … probably not).

Thanks for reading!!

§ 2 Responses to Tribulation when working with IT

  • dsidler says:

    Fun read! Any success getting the Intel 910 to run in XenServer? Thinking about doing the same for our ViaB setup here but not so sure if it will work, giving that there are no official drivers and all …

    • rjohnson39 says:

      Hi Dsidler,

      I hope that you have seen the new post, in this post I detailed why we found that the cards didn’t really provide the kind of improvement of which we would have wished for, however these cards are much cheaper than the fusions and im sure they provide much more ‘bang for buck’.

      Please have a read of the newest post, and I hope that a few of your questions will be answered.

      Thank you for your post and your input!

      Ryan

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