Friday, September 26, 2008

Tons of progress this week – VM, Exchange, Firewalls, Security, Storage/NAS

Had a very productive, and busy week. Balancing out server crashes taking down the production site, and the build-out project we are working on the team was very busy. I built over a dozen VMs, and 3 ESXi boxes.

I also worked on some of the config to finish out the main exchange 2007 implementation. We are waiting for ESXi boxes to ship to the remote offices, which will house a mailbox server, a domain controller, and possible a client access server.

One of my colleagues (who knows the setup of the WAN well) is working on the configuration and testing of our new firewall infrastructure. We are putting in all Sonicwall NSA series appliances. We have a 2400 for Shanghai, and 3500's for Atlanta and Geneva. The production environment will be off a pair of HA 4500 series boxes. The features, ease of setup, and price were excellent. We also have good resources from the reseller and the vendor if we need them.

We are also running a pilot (which has been going quite slow) of the Q1labs qradar product. I have used this product in previous companies, and its been a great tool for security, network analysis, and troubleshooting. The problem is running the pilot with these huge projects that need to be done over the next few months isn't really feasible. I hope to invest more time in testing it, but my priorities are dictating that not to be the case.

I also got rid of a couple older boxes this week by doing P2V using VMware converter starter edition. Now the enterprise ESXi boxes are pretty much full, so I need more disk space in order to do anymore work. That should be happening as we get the NAS implemented.

We wrapped up the Bluearc v. Netapp stuff, we are going with a couple of Netapps. The solution looks very good, and we should have it up in a couple weeks. I'm looking forward to building out some Exchange, MSSQL, and ESXi clusters using it!

Talk to you all soon, have a nice weekend. Loving the weather in Georgia J

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Updates on some projects – NAS/Firewalls

Senior management has given us a date of December to have our current production hosting here in Atlanta (colo, downtown) moved to Geneva (hosting facility we have there). In order to do this we'll need to virtualize a lot, and build out a much better network and storage infrastructure. This will also help us in the future as we grow the business as well.

We pretty much decided at this point that Bluearc is a better solution for us. It was very close between them and Netapp, but it was a matter of performance over more advanced software. We are looking to wrap up the deal soon and get the purchase completed.

We have also decided to go with a sonicwall solution at 5 locations. The product looks very good, and will enable us to have a proper VPN mesh between all sites. We will also be replacing some of our web and spam standalone filters with the new NSA UTM device.

Making some plans to move our Sharepoint and Spam filter from our colo to the corporate office.

Not much else going on at the moment…. That's the update.