QTS/Herakles Sacramento Data Center Consulting ServicesThe Progent test lab at the QTS (formerly Herakles) Data Center in Sacramento provides a collection of dedicated computers and network support infrastructure that can be used to build systems for piloting, evaluations, performance tuning, troubleshooting, training, and other purposes. The Progent lab is used by Progent's consultants to hone their skills but can also be used at no additional charge to help Progent's customers successfully carry out major IT initiatives.

Key features of The Progent Lab include:

  • The lab is located in the QTS data center in Sacramento
  • The lab includes a dedicated Cisco 3560X switch/router, and additional routers are available as needed
  • There is a general-purpose public routable 64-node static IP address subnet/VLAN that can be used for typical test environments but can also provision one or more dedicated VLANs for special lab requirements such as clustering, load balancing, PXE, QoS, or bandwidth throttling
  • All power is controlled by a pair of Raritan Dominion PX PDUs, allowing full socket-level power control and remote monitoring via a web interface. Almost all testing and modeling performed in the lab can be managed remotely.
  • The lab has a dedicated 15x12 foot room at the QTS Tier III Sacramento Data Center that can be used for Progent's consultants to stay up to speed on various technologies via hands-on equipment configuration, testing, setup, upgrades, etc.
  • In addition to maintaining a permanent pool of dedicated, remotely accessible lab servers, Progent keeps an inventory of spare servers that can be used in the lab as needed.
  • All lab servers are capable of remote network PXE booting using Windows Deployment Services with a full selection of Windows 2012, 2008, and 2003 servers along with Windows 7/8/10 workstations, both licensed and 180 evaluation versions. PXE booting can be expanded into non-windows environments including VMware ESXi, XenServer, Linux, and special boot solutions such as BartPE.
To find out more about the QTS Sacramento Data Center and the services Progent offers for all QTS clients, see Progent's consulting services available at the QTS Data Center.

Customer Projects
There is no extra lab-use charge to Progent's customers engaged in major projects, only the standard fees for consulting time. Use of the lab can often reduce overall costs substantially by allowing complex solutions to be thoroughly tested before deployment in production environments, thereby reducing engineering risks. This is especially important for Progent clients who may not have enough spare equipment on-hand to allow all the unknowns of a complex project to surface.

Lab Specifications
Progent's Test Lab at the QTS Sacramento Data Center includes fast 100mbs Internet connections, full remote console access capability via IPMI/web browser, remote power/reset, and virtual CD mounting to permit remote loading of any type of media. Virtually all required server operations can be performed remotely, which cuts consulting costs and speeds up the development cycle.

The Progent Test Lab includes ten permanent servers with these specifications:

  • Intel E5520 64 bit VT capable processors running at 2.26GHZ, dual socket, quad core with hyper-threading (appear as 16 total processors)
  • 16GB RAM
  • Dual 300GB SATA hard disk w/Intel ICH10R controller
  • Dual gigabit network connections w/Intel I/OAT 3 and VMDq
  • IP KVM with full remote console and server power/reset control. Support for virtual CD media to allow for complete remote installation of any operating system.
These servers have sufficient capability to test most major projects such as virtualization solutions, high availability, load balancing, failover configurations, clustering, etc. The networking infrastructure at the Progent Test Lab includes two separate 100mbps network connections from two diverse Internet service providers, ample public IP space to allow dedicated subnets for lab use, and switches that support IGMP multicast snooping for Microsoft network load balancing (NLB) and clustering solutions. Each server has multiple network connections that allow testing of advanced network configurations such as load balancing/teaming, load aggregation, and VLANs.

Shared Access
An important feature of the IP KVM is that multiple people can simultaneously use the same control console from different remote locations. This makes it easy for Progent's consultants and clients to collaborate on projects and facilitates knowledge transfer to clients. This also provides an effective foundation for Progent's web-based training because all participants can see actual server installation steps, configuration methods, management tools, and troubleshooting techniques.

Specialized Equipment
Progent's clients with specialized network equipment that is critical to a major project can arrange to deploy it in the lab space on a temporary basis. Progent can help clients configure and manage this equipment remotely in order to perform piloting, testing, evaluation, training, or other lab functions.

Contact Progent for More Information About the Progent Test Lab
To find out more about the services available at The Progent Test Lab at the QTS Sacramento data center, call Progent 800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.

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