tobiasroedig
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Contributor

new ESX server - budget = €7000 - ideas?

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Hi!

We need to setup a new ESX server for one of our clients who doesn't like to spend more than €7000 for the machine and VMware support. Currently we mostly use Dell PowerEdge 2900 which I could squeze into the budget. But can anyone else recommend a better server/manfacturer? I am open for suggestions. We require 4h response time hardware support though.

The server will run 2-4 guest systems. One Win 2008 SBS, one Win 2003/2008 Server with Oracle Database and 1-2 small Linux machines, maybe one WinXP for remote work dialin.

I was thinking about 4x 146GB SAS 15k and an external NAS/SAN (might not work with €7000 though...)

I would really appreciate some suggestions :smileygrin:

THANKS

Tobias

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madda
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Hot Shot

ESX Foundation = 2000 (if you don't use a SAN then this is all you need)

VC Foundation = approx 1500

Which leaves 3500 for the server if the above are the right versions required.

We have used 2950's with SAN storage and with local storage and it has worked well, and for that budget you will be able to spec out a reasonably decent server.

I don't think you will be able to squeeze a NAS/SAN into that budget very easily, but local storage will be fine for running the VMs. You will just need to devise an acceptable backup strategy using VCB or another means.

-


Mark Atherton

----- Mark Atherton

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madda
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Hot Shot

ESX Foundation = 2000 (if you don't use a SAN then this is all you need)

VC Foundation = approx 1500

Which leaves 3500 for the server if the above are the right versions required.

We have used 2950's with SAN storage and with local storage and it has worked well, and for that budget you will be able to spec out a reasonably decent server.

I don't think you will be able to squeeze a NAS/SAN into that budget very easily, but local storage will be fine for running the VMs. You will just need to devise an acceptable backup strategy using VCB or another means.

-


Mark Atherton

----- Mark Atherton
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tobiasroedig
Contributor
Contributor

If I skip the SAN, I could also just use an ESXi with €500 annual for a support plan, right?

VC consolidated backup is only interesting when I have more than one server?

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madda
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Yes if you skip the SAN then ESXi certainly is a viable option, you would also then not need VC, which means you have a much larger budget to play with.

VCB works perfectly with just a single ESX server, it does require a 'backup proxy' server which it puts the VM snapshot backup files on. VCB is included in the ESXi license.

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Mark Atherton

----- Mark Atherton
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tobiasroedig
Contributor
Contributor

Are you sure that VCB is included? I thought only the following things were:

  • VMware ESXi

  • VMware Virtual SMP

  • VMware VMFS




We still have an "old" Pentium 4D with a RAID 10 available for file storage/ VCB proxy. That should work, right?

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madda
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Yes you are correct, VCB is not part of the free ESXi, it is only part of the VI ESXi (i.e. paid version).

So backup might be an issue with ESXi, one site we used to have ran monthly whole VM backups using VMware Converter (free version) and then did a file level backup of the data in the VM using a normal file agent from your backup program. That way if the VM did die, you could re-instate the VM backup and then restore the files inside it.

Its not the best solution, but that's one of the limitations of ESXi and why it is free. There are 3rd party applications that can do the VM backup, but they will be an extra expense.

-


Mark Atherton

----- Mark Atherton
tobiasroedig
Contributor
Contributor

I normally use drivesnapshot with the other ESXi we are using, works great!

I think saving around €1500 and using ESXi with "manual" backups might be the best option. That leaves €6500 for the server. Any suggestions?

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madda
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It depends on what the VMs that run on it will generally use more of. But with that budget you should be able to get a nice 2950 with 16GB RAM, a couple of quad core processors and 6x 15k discs.

-


Mark Atherton

----- Mark Atherton
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dellboy
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

The 2950 is also a good server to use if they ever decide to grow their virtual infrastrusture out - once they have ESXi up and running, see its potential, and have some confidence in its technology, it's an easy thing to introduce vCenter and shared storage, to take advantage of HA/DRS/VCB etc for business continuity

tobiasroedig
Contributor
Contributor

We will take a 2900 because it is more quite than the 2950.What do you think?

2x PE2900 III - Quad-Core Xeon E5430 2.66GHz/2x6MB 1333FSB

German - Documentation and Rack Cord 1 S

Rack Bezel Assembly 1 S

PE2900 III Server Rack Chassis 1 S

16GB 667MHz FBD (8x2GB dual rank DIMMs) 1 S

No Floppy Drive Option 1 S

4x 146GB SAS 15k 3.5" HD Hot Plug 4 S

PERC 5/i integrated RAID Controller Card, 256MB cache, battery backup 1 S

3x 750GB Near Line SAS 7.2k 3.5" Front Bay HD 3 S

16x DVD+/-RW-Laufwerk SATA 1 S

Redundant power supply (2 hot plug PSU) 1 S

Intel PRO 1000VT Quad Port Gigabit Network Card, PCI-E 1 S

TCP/IP Offload Engine 2P 1 S

DRAC5 CONTROLLER 1 S

Base Warranty 1 S

1Yr Basic Warranty - Next Business Day - Minimum Warranty 1 S

3Yr ProSupport for IT and 4hr Mission Critical 1 S

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madda
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Hot Shot

That looks quite a decent spec, although with that mix of drives how are you going to configure raid?

----- Mark Atherton
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jrenton
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Hot Shot

Also you will not need 2 quad core processors if you will only be hosting about 5 VMs. Stick to a single processor.

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tobiasroedig
Contributor
Contributor

We selec ted 4x 500GB Near Line SAS instead of 3x 750GB and now we plan on using 2x Raid 5 + Hotspare

The slower Nearline SAS Raid will be used for less critical systems and file storag.

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