Migrating to Ubuntu VM

jrauch
New Contributor III

So I'm going to migrate our JSS to an Ubuntu VM. We've got plenty of resources and I'm tired of this single Mac Mini running everything and needing a restart once to twice a week and other TLC.

What is the best setup for the new server? I was originally thinking of throwing everything on the single Ubuntu VM but would it be wise to separate the MySQL?

What have others done in this case?

13 REPLIES 13

nmanager
New Contributor III

I am currently running my JSS on a Ubuntu VM with everything on one box. I have about 450 OSX devices and 560 iOS devices and have no issues.

nmanager
New Contributor III

I am currently running my JSS on a Ubuntu VM with everything on one box. I have about 450 OSX devices and 560 iOS devices and have no issues.

blackholemac
Valued Contributor III

I don't have your devices under management count so I can't make a good recommendation, but I can say this...don't make a snap decision.

Also factor in the topology of your network. If you separate tomcat and MySQL, Youll want to make sure The connection between any tomcat front ends and the MySQL backend is very fast. You also must factor in your Virtual infrastructure. If you have multiple VMs to play with and good resources attached to them, you have options.

I would also consider future growth of managed devices.

Is your overload on the existing server a burning problem or do you have time to schedule?

Do you have access to load balancers? Do you have a need for a dedicated admin console?

Sorry for all the questions ...I would also recommend that you consider taking the CJA course. They will teach you how to plan and scale the way data center pros do it. It was well worth the time/cost for us. I was able to scale our 4600 iOS device/450 Mac deployment and scale it up to a 4 member cluster that should hold us for 3-4 years.

Hope this helps

jrauch
New Contributor III

Perfect, this info helps. We are not looking at a lot of devices, about 700 max. Like I said we are only using a single mac mini right now to run everything and it's working....it's just slow.

sdagley
Honored Contributor II

@jrauch How many managed devices do you have and what's the spec on your mini? I've got a bit over 1200 managed Macs at my school, and am hosting our JSS on a 2012 i5 Mac mini w/16GB RAM and a 480GB SSD. In over two years of operation all I've needed to do to that mini (besides install JSS updates) is tweak the MySQL settings as described in this article: MySQL 5.6 service stopped

That said, my summer project is to migrate to a VM environment as well. I'll be running two Ubuntu VMs (my VM hardware is Lenovo) on site in a cluster configuration: VM1 will be the master and act as my admin JSS & MySQL server, VM2 will be the JSS the managed devices check in with. There will be a 3rd limited access JSS VM, probably on Windows Server to keep my district Microsoft centric admins happy, in our DMZ for machines off the district network to check in with.

blackholemac
Valued Contributor III

With 700, you could probably consider a single beefy VM but consider separation if you can. One of the benefits of clustering is easy scaling without heartache. If the boss comes to me and says "We have 800 more devices coming in.", I say hey let's add another tomcat instance to the cluster, add it to the balancer and double check my load on the MySQL server. Fairly easy to scale up when going horizontally. My bottleneck is hard disk space...the VMWare guys are fine giving me a new VM. They insist on micromanaging the disk space each VM receives...they will only add when we exceed a certain threshold. Sounds a little counterproductive, but scaling my cluster is otherwise easy for me.

It may also benefit you moving to Ubuntu Server....if you can spin everything up from command line, you won't have the GUI overhead of running on a Mac Mini.

jrauch
New Contributor III

We've got a 2012 Mac mini as well
8GB RAM
250GB (not an SSD)
External 6TB NAS to hold the data. (This NAS is also holding backups of our Office Managers Windows PC as well)

It's a little convoluted and I don't like it. (I started in this position in January so I'm still figuring everything out)
We just got a new Dell ESXi Server last summer with tons of extra resources. My logic, get rid of this setup and at the minimum go with a single Ubuntu VM (MySQL and JSS). Since we are a k-12 school district in rural Iowa, we don't get much flux in growth. I think next year we are going to have about 20 more freshman than usual.
It makes sense to me. By the way these are all very helpful posts.

sdagley
Honored Contributor II

EDIT: Off point comment about not using mini as DP deleted after noticing 6TB NAS reference

blackholemac
Valued Contributor III

We are a school district as well...after this summer our growth is done as all students will have a 1 to 1 device in the fall. I can appreciate you taking over an existing setup. We also started on a Mac mini and outgrew quickly. You seem to be taking a good deliberative approach. My best advice is to do role based servers (whatever that means for your environment).

I took the same approach you seem to be...study the alternatives...know what you have to work with and try to build from there.

Our cluster was built from 4 retired VMs from elsewhere on Windows (out of respect for our infrastructure guys who are primarily Windows-based). If I had it to rebuild, Ubuntu Server is better that way I could devote less resources to operating system overhead.

sdagley
Honored Contributor II

@jrauch Have you considered moving your distribution point from your NAS to a VM running an SMB share on your Dell ESXi Server as an interim improvement? It'd depend greatly on your network topology, and the interconnect between your Dell server and your network, but it should perform better than a basic NAS.

I'd also wholeheartedly 2nd the recommendation from @blackholemac on the CJA course being well worth the time and cost (and I'm speaking as one who paid for it out of their own pocket) in preparing you to re-design your Jamf installation. I recently completed it, and it definitely provided me the knowledge/experience/desire to rebuild my setup even though the chances of my campus (a 7th & 8th grade Middle School) adding a significant number of new devices in the foreseeable future is slim to none.

jrauch
New Contributor III

@blackholemac Thanks, I agree completely to do some role based servers. I'm leaning more and more towards the Ubuntu Server, it seems like the most logical route.

@sdagley Absolutely want to get the DP off the NAS. Since we are storing backups on that NAS as well....I'm not a fan. My plan is to make a SMB share as well as Ubuntu VM on the EXSi Host

I would love to take a CJA course, money is the issue. I'll either have to try to convince my boss for the funds or my wife the let me spend some savings...the ladder is likely not going to happen.

blackholemac
Valued Contributor III

I can understand the money issues for sure. The course is $2500, obvious travel expenses may come in cheaper if you take in a "cheaper city" and time. I recommend Minneapolis as its cheaper than most cities and taught at Jamf.

I justified the personal growth part easily (my background in Mac administration is evolutionary...I've been doing Apple admin stuff since System 7!!)

The application to mission part is somewhat easy...volleying with you here on JamfNation shows that you already are justifying it and know your orgs mission and how your job pertains to it.

When going to the boss though, only you can do that. What I did was give him three cost sheets (first one was what it would take to keep throwing resources over 2 more years at the single server vs the second one which planned on utilizing retired VMs on what we were already paying for.) In our case, I showed him that the class, travel and my labor to build the cluster was cheaper than continuing to throw resources (man hours, parts at a single box without solid scaling knowledge)...he was able to shift the money to make it happen...luckily my boss is also a forward thinking guy who realizes he can't pay us as well as my private sector counterparts, so he cares about us taking a personal growth opportunity once per year if the cost is not totally out of sight. The third was the cost of bringing in a contractor to scale us right. That would be more costly than building the knowledge and retaining it. Being said I've been with my organization for 15 years ...my boss knows very well what skills our group has vs what we lack.

Good luck if you go the persuasion route. If you go it alone, feel free to share the nuts and bolts of what you do with both your TAM and us. Everyone is very friendly and helpful here.

sdagley
Honored Contributor II

@jrauch Could you drop me a line, I'd like to ask you something offline about your Ubuntu VM migration? You can reach me by using my Jamf Nation username as an @mac.com email address. Thanks.