Comparison of Riptide Hosting’s Windows VMs and Dedicated Hardware Servers

Windows Server Virtual Servers VMs:

  • Lower cost entry point when you have fewer users and fewer resource needs
  • Very flexible because cpu/ram/disk space can be added in minutes – so start smaller/less expensive and expand as needed
  • Able to bundle Riptide’s Microsoft Licensing via SPLA on both VMs or Dedicated for Windows, RDS, Office & SQL
  • Limitation on our VMs: Cannot use your own MS licensing, free SQL Express is ok.  Can only use Office & SQL Standard licensing through Riptide.
  • Full image backup included where we can restore a full VM in minutes
  • Includes 1 Public/Static IP address
  • Cannot use your own hardware firewall/vpn device (which you can colocate with a dedicated server)
  • Generally limited to 300 GB disk space is which plenty for most but not all clients

Windows Dedicated Hardware Servers:

  • Great for handling much higher levels of users, cpu, ram and disk space
  • Comes with much higher amounts of CPU, disk space and RAM
  • Includes 3 Public/Static IP addresses
  • Dedicated server is the only option to use your own Microsoft licensing for SQL Server Standard or Office due to Microsoft Licensing Terms
  • Not as flexible because we have to swap out hardware pieces to increase ram, cpu, disk space
  • More expensive entry-point
  • Able to use Riptide’s Microsoft Licensing via SPLA on both VMs or Dedicated for Windows, RDS, Office & SQL
  • If applicable, having a dedicated server is the only option for a client to co-locate a hardware firewall/VPN device in front of the server
  • We have an optional full image backup offering (starting at $150/mo) (which is more expensive than on VMs)
  • Dell Idrac Enterprise offering out-of-band console access (uses one of the three IP addresses)

vmware vcenter upgrade with cisco 1000v host disappears

Hopefully this helps people save a lot of time.

If you no longer see your VMware host in vCenter after you upgrade the host and you are using the cisco 1000v make sure your vCenter database has rows for that allow the version of your Host server.  We found that the only hosts that were allowed via the database were the original host version 4.1 thus we could not see the hosts under the 1000v distributed switch screen in vCenter until we added the rows and rebooted vCenter.

You need to add rows to this vCenter database table: VPX_DVS_COMPATIBLE

And you will need to look up the ID to enter in the first column of the above table in this table for the cisco 1000v switch: VPX_DVS

When you first open the VPX_DVS_COMPATIBLE table you will probably only see rows for the old versions of you host like this

ID of distributed switch             Description          Version
######                                             embeddedEsx         4.1+
######                                             esx                                  4.1+
……

You will need to add rows for the versions you want to be able to connect to your cisco 1000v distributed switch, so copy add the new rows with the versions you need.  The lines will  have the same data as above but with version different versions:5.0+, 5.1+, 5.5+

Example for version esxi 5.1
######                                             embeddedEsx         5.1+
######                                             esx                                  5.1+

We saw a message about a metadata error a few times while trying to upgrade as well as reload hosts.  We upgraded VIBs and VEMs on the host and verified many setting for to many hours before finding a reference to

We thought we did not have the correct licensing for the cisco 1000v, so we thought about changing to the free version of the cisco 1000v.    We upgraded from vCenter 4.1 to vCenter 5.5 which is not recommended when you have the cisco 1000v in the environment.  And the VMware updgrade simply does not update their database to support the newer esxi version thus the hosts do not show up under the distributed switch for the cisco 1000v until you add the rows above to the vCenter database.

 

Here are some of the steps we take to upgrade hosts:

Disconnected host from vDS in networking tab in vCenter

Go to host view in vcenter, configuration, security settings, enable SSH manually start

Then you can putty into the host

Deleted VEM/VIB from host  (vem-remove –d); then exit; stop SSH service in vcenter   (need to do this because when tried to upgrade without deleting VIB it gave error that VIB was conflicting and installer would not continue – no force migrate option like when went from 4.1 to 5.0)

Shut down host and use DVD to upgrade it to 5.5  (use upgrade, preserve datastore option)

Reconnect host in vcenter

Add Host to vDS in networking — This process automatically scanned host and invoked VUM to install VDS module on host, installed & remediated – all automatically!

Then went back to Host and VUM, scanned again, and installed 18 patches, which required a reboot

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