Virtual Casper Enviroment

krdell
New Contributor

Does anyone have much experience in running their primary JSS production server in a virtualized environment? We would like to explore moving in this direction since all of our PC based servers in our organization are. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks much!

20 REPLIES 20

localhorst
Contributor

A lot of us here run their whole JSS infrastructure virtualised. The predominant solution appears to be either based on Windows Server or Linux beeing virtualised on VMware ESX using standard commodity server hardware. I would not recommend using desktop products like Fusion or VMware Desktop.

johnnasset
Contributor

We just migrated our JSS to an Ubuntu VM from OS X server last week. Pretty painless migration and performance seems fine. I did have to re-build our built in CA and renew the APNS but other than that, the clients don't seem to care.

Matt
Valued Contributor

... and its so freeing being off OS X server!!!!

JesseNCSD
New Contributor III

We've never been physical for our JSS. I've never had it cause problems, nor did I have to do anything special.

donmontalvo
Esteemed Contributor II

We've been migrating JSS from Xserve to whatever the company uses for virtualization for some years now.

It doesn't really matter what platform, since you want the team who manages virtual servers to provide you the platform and step away. ;)

Just need to provide them with your requirements ("If you update Java without my permission I will cut you", etc.).

I wouldn't put MySQL on a VM, but it's fine to replicate to one.

Depending on your storage solution, might be able to leverage whatever SCCM uses (although might lose HTTP).

Don

--
https://donmontalvo.com

CasperSally
Valued Contributor II

The only place we've struggled with our windows VM is trying to match a report workflow we had on our Mac server with 8.x. With 8.x, we had our Mac server set up using the old Report Downloader tool to email us weekly reports. Support is struggling with a way for us to do something similar with 9.x (even though we have the mysql query, it's the email part that seems to be a struggle point).

bentoms
Honored Contributor III
Honored Contributor III

Shout out for the old school.

We have 11 Mac Mini's running our Mac estate, the other server guys don't want to carve out 500GB per site of tier one storage for machines that are 1/6th of the environment.

We use: AFP, ASUS, NetInstall, Caching & web services.

Working well too!

bentoms
Honored Contributor III
Honored Contributor III

@CasperSally, can you email direct from the mac server? Using the mail command?

CasperSally
Valued Contributor II

it's a custom setup using JSS Report Downloader and custom actions that once the file drops in the folder, an email gets triggered to go out.

franton
Valued Contributor III

My experience is that Windows servers give half the performance of Linux for twice the system requirements. (I could be exaggerating slightly here ...)

Our backend is entirely RHEL on various flavours of ESX. Since it was built to the current design, it's been utterly flawless. I agree with @localhorst that running on a desktop virtualisation platform is an exercise in pain unless you're doing it purely as a learning exercise.

Going entirely virtual with JDS and other technologies seems to be the way forward and that is our plan here. Our current xserves will probably not last the year and i've already had more drive failures than I care to count, or think about!

franton
Valued Contributor III

@donmontalvo

Quote:

Just need to provide them with your requirements ("If you update Java without my permission I will cut you", etc.).

HAHAHA! I'll have to try that sometime!

localhorst
Contributor

I would strongly agree with @franton that Windows is the less preferable option if you have the choice.

Just a bit of background info: we are running entirely on VMware Cloud Director (ESXi 5.5) in terms of hypervisor and all components of our JAMF infrastructure are running the only try OS named Debian GNU/Linux. @robo did an excellent job writing puppet recipies for all components including NetBoot, JSS, ha_proxy, Apache2, reposado, magerita, and many many more services.

John_Wetter
Contributor II

We've also been all virtual for some time to allow our servers to meet our DR requirements. As @localhorst said, run it in a 'real' environment, not a desktop. We are also on ESX vSphere with the SRM option as well for replication/recovery. We are running in Ubuntu Enterprise Server. As @franton mentioned, virtual is the way things are going as we also have JDS's, NetSUS, etc. all in the environment. Once the last Xserve is gone (soon) we'll only have a couple servers not in our virtual environment.

chris_kemp
Contributor III

What server configuration (memory, disk space, CPUs) have y'all configured for a virtual JSS?

@donmontalvo - why wouldn't you put MySQL on a VM?

donmontalvo
Esteemed Contributor II

@chris.kemp wrote:

@donmontalvo - why wouldn't you put MySQL on a VM?

We just tell the server team to shake what their momma gave them, and most times they choose hardware for MySQL.

--
https://donmontalvo.com

franton
Valued Contributor III

@localhorst Will you be releasing any of your Puppet stuff on the ox-it github?

franton
Valued Contributor III

@chris.kemp JSS servers get 4Gb RAM, 50Gb HD and 2 CPU's. MySQL server gets 8Gb RAM, 150Gb HD (100Gb for DB) and 2 CPU's.

This is over engineered by a ridiculous factor for RHEL servers but better safe than sorry. It's easier to beg forgiveness than to plead for more resources later.

localhorst
Contributor

@franton There are no plans yet, as it is very special to our environment, but I will bring it forward to the team. We are starting a major puppet recipe overhaul project Q3 this year. I would hope that as a result the majority of our work would go public.

However, if you are particularly interested in a module for a certain service, please drop me an email and we will see what we can do.

franton
Valued Contributor III

@localhorst We have a Puppet project in it's very infancy. I can afford to wait but it's something that would prove to be very useful. Sadly Puppet is not something i'm personally working on at the moment.

Thanks for the offer. Let's discuss more if @bentoms can get his meet up approved.

bentoms
Honored Contributor III
Honored Contributor III

@franton & @localhorst, I'm trying. Awaiting CEO approval!