Newbie009
Contributor
Contributor

Is it worth virtualizing this server???

Hi all,

I am doing some designs for a project but i wanted to check what I was thinking with you guys.

At their principal site they are running about 15 physical servers including a PDC.

With the exception of 1 server at the principal site, all servers run with either 2 or 4GB RAM.

The exception server is running with 24GB RAM and uses, on average, 60% of it and it is connected to a 1.5TB HDD but uses less than 50% of it.

They would like to virtualize everything.

Now I was thinking 2 small to medium servers in a cluster and using the Essentials Plus license.

However, the exception server sort of skewers my plans.

For the sheer size of it I don´t think that a VMotion would be viable and, if it was virtual then not many other servers could run on the same ESX.

So I am now thinking that they would be better to NOT virtualize this server but virtualize all others in the proposed cluster.

That way they can take advantage of VMotion fully.

It must be mentioned that this will be their first implementation of Virtualization and they will need a SAN/NAS so they do not want to spend a lot of money, hence my reluctance to just get 2 very large servers and virtualize the exception server.

If we could delay them somewhat I could also suggest vSphere 5 using the storage Appliance, hence saving the cost of a SAN or NAS but we need to quote very soon.

I would like to know if you agree with what I was thinking or if I should look to propose larger servers to be able to virtualize the exception server.

Thanks in advance

Mark

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jamesbowling
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

If you environment is sized properly then vMotion is not your concern.  The things I would be concerned about and gather data on are:

  • IO Generated by the VMs
  • Resource Usage for the other smaller systems
  • Plans to scale in the future
James B. | Blog: http://www.vSential.com | Twitter: @vSential --- If you found this helpful then please awards helpful or correct points accordingly. Thanks!
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a_p_
Leadership
Leadership

In addition to what jamesbowling already mentioned, you may also consider the age, support cost and power consumption for the physical system. If it is an older system which has to be replaced anyway, it would make sense to spend some money for more RAM and storage into the vSphere environment, rather than to purchase new hardware or renew a support contract for the current server.

Also think of availibility if the hardware breaks.

André

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Newbie009
Contributor
Contributor

Hi James and André,

Thanks for your input.

The other servers are not doing a lot of I/O and they are all running Win 2003 or 2008 OS so the HW is not too old.

My concern about the VMotion was because I thought, IF I was to virtualize it but with the minimum amount of required RAM then in the future if they needed to perform maintenance on the server where the big vm resides, they wouldn´t be able to move it - they would need to switch it off, perform maintenance then switch it back on.

They also are planning for a 25% growth over the next 5 years.

I am starting to think that I need to quote for more powerful servers which will accomadate this machine and also be ready for the growth etc.

Thanks for your help again.

Mark

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