Virtual Servers - 2


This is the actual setup and install of the 3 Dell servers some terminology used may only apply to the Dell products listed in my Virtual Servers - 1 post.


 Port setup and configuration:

  • 1 Ethernet port needs to be set as the DRAC (Dell Remote Access Controller).  This will serve as a remote management port for troubleshooting the server.  This can be setup in the bios upon system book.  Essentially you just choose which port will be the DRAC and then connect it to your primary switch.
  • 1 Ethernet port is needed to serve as the primary connection to the network
  • all remaining ports (6) are plugged into the switches.  I will be staggering them 3 on one switch and 3 on the other.

 Server install and setup

Installing server 2012 Data-center is a little different than 2008 R2 so I may have to go back and adjust this post.  During the install you have 2 options, Core mode or GUI mode.  I chose to set them all up in GUI mode because it can be removed at any time and it makes the setup process much easier.

After installing server 2012 I went into "network adapter properties and renamed all my adapters so I was familiar with which one it was and what port on the switch it went to.  For example:

  • Primary Switch 22
  • VM Switch 3
  • VM Switch4
  • iDRAC
Now that I know what each port is go into "Server Manager".  Under local machine you will see an option to turn on NIC Teaming   You will want to turn this on and then team your two data NICs and name is something you are familiar with like "Primary" or "Data".  For more info see this article from Microsoft
Do the same setup above for every server and then decide which server you want to be the management server.  The other two servers in the cluster will work as the primary VM servers, pooling their resources and creating redundancy for the system while the management server will manage infrastructure and if absolutely necessary be a fallback if the other two fail.

Here is a few screenshots on the NIC teaming process:

NIC Teaming is disabled by default. When you open it you can click on TASKS to add NICs to a team

First Select "New Team"
Select the NICs you want to be in that team and you are done!  I set a static IP address for my team "PRIMARY SWITCH"

Setting up Management

I love how easy managing servers is in server 2012.  Rite from the start you can add other servers directly into the management preferences and assign them into logical groups.


While the way the system is wired is to some degree a matter of preference, I chose the following configuration for my servers.  From here on out "Primary Switch" refers to my switch array for the LAN that all servers are connected to, and "VM Switch" as the 2 switches that are between the VM servers and SAS controller.
  • 1 Ethernet cable from each server going into a management VLAN on my primary network
  • 2 Ethernet cables from each server going into my primary switch as my data interface.  I will be utilizing NIC Teaming
  • 2 Ethernet cables into VM Switch 1 on every server
  • 2 Ethernet cables into VMSwitch 2 on every server
  • 1 Ethernet port on each server is currently left empty as a backup
As indicated in the diagram below:

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