Server Room Cleanup

We performed a server room clean up for one of our clients over the last two weeks. Their server room was very disorganized, with the current server stacked on top of the old one, the network equipment on a broken piece of furniture, and a very unclean wiring situation.

before-srvroom-cleanup

Phase 1 of the clean up took place during the week of August 18th, 2014.  We were not able to complete it on that day because the client stated they could not afford any downtime at all due to an imminent deadline. We installed a 25U Tripp Lite server rack and migrated everything into it, without unplugging any of the cabling.

after2-srvroom-cleanup

On August 26th, 2014, we returned to their office to replace the network cabling and re-organize the power cabling. We also installed a Juniper EX2200 switch to upgrade their LAN to 1000Base-T instead of 100Base-TX. Here is the finished rack:

after-srvroom-cleanup

Physical to Virtual Conversion Project

A client approached us many months ago and said: “Our infrastructure is aging. Bring us up to speed”.

We love projects like this. They had a mix of different servers all dedicated to one purpose. At Garden State Computing, we believe that virtualization is the future. The project involved converting all of their physical machines to virtual machines and setting up a small cluster. Our virtualization platform of choice is XenServer.
Unfortunately, I do not have a before picture to show you, but I do have afters.

We installed a custom SuperMicro storage appliance filled with Western Digital RAID Edition drives and 3 Dell R710’s. Two of the R710’s have 48GB of RAM (labeled “slaves”), and one has 96GB (labeled “master”). This will allow us to easily juggle virtual machines around, and in case of major failure, migrate everything to a single hypervisor.

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We connected these 4 devices together utilizing gigabit Ethernet. The storage appliance volumes are exported via iSCSI to the hypervisors. The cabling from these was again purchased from Monoprice.

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Last but not least, we replaced their legacy Cisco PIX firewall with a custom-built pfSense appliance. This firewall is powered by an Intel E3 series Xeon and an Intel SSD. It is running the latest pfSense.

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After completion of the project, we have received 100% positive feedback from the client that the network is running very well and they have noticed significant performance increases when working with various network services.