I am planning to change my old physical SBS203 machine with a VM running ESXi.
To give you more detail of my current network, I have 17 client running mix of XP pro and WIn7 Pro and a single physical SBS2003 dell server (4 year old)
The idea I have is to buy a new Server that will run ESXi. I will run Server 2008 Standard on it as a domain controller, DNS and Active directory for about 17 client. TheServer 2008 file will be running on a Netgear ReadyNas 2100. The company files will be stored on the NAS as well (mostly Sage and office documents). The local NAS will be backup on a remote NAS too.
I already have a small Dell R210 with a small E3110 and 2gb of RAM. I'm using it to test EXSi and Server 2008 for the moment, but I have serious doubt this is going to punch enough power to run in production.
What kind of server configuration I need to look at ? I was thinking of buying a Dell R710 with a single E5220, and a simple RAID1 made of 2 250Gb 7200rpm disk. What momery size should I look at ? I would need 6x2gb sticks of UDIMM to populate 2 rank for a proper setup ? Is this server going to be good enough for futur sacalabity or am thinking way to big for my need ?
I would glady take any advise and direction to take on this big project I have (and I do not want to waste my company cash on wrong equipement)
I really think the R710 will be doing good, and the memory size for you to start should be 4GB. I have a similar configuration (with a very similar number of clients) running a win2008 server and SQL Server without complains, and the ESX can still handle (I really believe) three more VMs on the same config.
In the future, if you need, you will be able to upgrade processor and memory to have more VMs on it.
Hope this information helps you.
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Technical Support Engineer
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When you say the Server 2008 will be running on the ReadyNAS device, does that mean you will be running NFS on it and storing the VMDK there, or just that it will access the device for additional storage needs? Attaching your ESXi installation to network storage will make it much more flexible and allow you to use pretty much anything for disk inside the Dell server (since it will just be for the hypervisor).
As for the memory question, you mentioned 12GB of memory total, which would be more than adequate to run one Windows 2008 system. How strained is your old SBS2003 system? I would agree with the other post as well and say a system like what you're considering could probably handle 3 VMs (1 CPU, 4GB of RAM) without much trouble.
Thank you for your reply Marcelo.
And to reply to Mikeddib questions:
Yes, I am planning on using NFS and storing the VMDK on it.
On the memory part, my current SBS2003 is runnning with 4gb of RAM. The whole network is running slow, mostly the file sharing can take up to 5sec to load up on a client. But am planning to offload some of the charge to some other equipement, I have a Netgear UTM25 who is going to be handling all the firewall and proxy service (he will replace my ISA2003). And the NAS will be doing all the file sharing which I believe will take the load of the Win Server 2008 down and bring the compary some good and improved service.
I think I will start with a 6gb system (just so I can fill 3x2gb of the Tri-chanel bus and avoid potential memory problem)