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mrv1976
Contributor
Contributor

Hardware Recommendation Needed New ESX Server Planning

Hi,

I just got VMware Infrastructure 3 certified, with no prior experience about virtualization and now my bosses think I'm a VM expert and expect me to virtulize are server environment at work. Below is a list of the servers we are currently running and a list of the future servers we plan on implementing real soon. I want to make sure the server I purchase has enough horsepower, memory, and diskspace to last a while so it doesn't outgrow itself. I really appreciate any help anybody could give me. I value anybody experience and don't want to make the same mistakes that a beginner would make with the lack of knowledge.

Server #1

Gateway Saladin 9515 Series

Dual 3.20 gigahertz Intel Xeon

4 Gigs RAM

Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition

Description

Running Microsoft Exchange 2003 & Domain Controller

Server #2

Whitebox Server

Dual 2.40 gigahertz Intel Xeon

2.5 gigs RAM

Windows 2000 Advanced Server Service Pack 4

Description

Running SQL Server 2000, Tigerpaw CRM (Service Manager Program), Great Plains Accounting Application, & Domain Controller

Server #3

Whitebox Server

600 megahertz Intel Pentium III

640 MB RAM

Windows 2000 Advanced Server Service Pack 4

Description

Use this as our terminal server.

Future Server in the Next Month

Sharepoint2007

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7 Replies
VirtualNoitall
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Hello,

Even knowing the role of you current servers the only way to properly size a new VI environment is do some performance analysis of your existing machines. You need to know how your CPU utilization is on each server you want to virtualize, how much memory is actually in use vs what is installed, what the disk I/Os are for each server, and what kind of network bandwidth each requires.

Then you can simply do that math and size the environment. It would be a good opportunity as well to maybe split up the functions of your servers. Dedicate virtual machines to the DC function and look for other opportunities as well to separate application to increase supportability and reliability, simplify change management, etc.

You can also look at VMware Converter: http://www.vmware.com/products/converter/faqs.html

VMware converter can help you virtualize existing boxes if that helps wih your migration plans.

You need to determine if you will go with one or multiple ESX hosts and if you will want to leverage DRS and HA to ease administration and protect against the many eggs in one basket scenario.

Good luck however you decide to go!

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christianZ
Champion
Champion

I think you can virtualize all your 4 servers on one Esx host but then you will get one big single point of failure.

Implementing of 2 Esx hosts with shared storage, DRS and HA for only 4 servers will be a bit expensive, I suppose.

The question is here - does your boss want to have high availability with 2 Esx hosts and will he pay for it?

Check this thread:

http://www.vmware.com/community/message.jspa?messageID=696175#696175

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mrv1976
Contributor
Contributor

I totally agree with the 2 esx solution so there isn't a single point of failure, so what hardware specs do you recommend? Actual models?

Thanks

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VirtualNoitall
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Hello,

I really like HP. The DL385 would be a good option. The DL365 is also very good but may limit you a little with regards to network config\shared storage connectivity.

As for how big you really need to do the performance monitoring and have that dictate the size of your hosts. You can go up to 2 x dual core CPU and 32 GB of RAM in either. It sounds like you can probably get by with 2 x dual core CPU and 16GB of RAM. You could do 8GB of RAM too probably but then you don't have options to expand.

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mrcreosote
Contributor
Contributor

VirtualNoitall - why do you prefer the 385 over the 380; are there specific benefits of AMD over Intel with ESX?

thanks.

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mreferre
Champion
Champion

are there specific benefits of AMD over Intel with ESX?

UHHHHHHHH ..... another long thread on the horizon ........ Smiley Happy

Massimo.

Massimo Re Ferre' VMware vCloud Architect twitter.com/mreferre www.it20.info
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TomHowarth
Leadership
Leadership

religious war coming, run and hide Smiley Wink

Tom

Tom Howarth VCP / VCAP / vExpert
VMware Communities User Moderator
Blog: http://www.planetvm.net
Contributing author on VMware vSphere and Virtual Infrastructure Security: Securing ESX and the Virtual Environment
Contributing author on VCP VMware Certified Professional on VSphere 4 Study Guide: Exam VCP-410
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