4 Replies Latest reply on Apr 11, 2014 7:57 AM by jondupre

    Help Purchasing hardware, and would like to know which option you feel is the best of the 2

    jondupre Lurker

      Currently I am planning the purchase for my VMware implementation. I work for a very small company and we have a specific budgeted amount for this implementation and I have been able to fit two different solutions into this plan and wanted to see what you think would be the best option.


      The options listed below are only for a total of 8 previously physical servers virtualized with the ability to add possibly 2 to 3 more in a year. (I understand this is a very small setup but we are pricing for extremely fast performance within a still limited budget)


      There will be 6 Web servers, 1 domain controller, and 1 SQL server to start.


      Option 1:


      1 -  Dell R720 with 2 8Core Intel CPU's, 128 GB Ram, Dual Perc H710P controllers, 16 Hard Drives (8 10k SAS disks on one controller - 8 SSD disks on one controller), 12 1gbE ports



      Option 2:


      2 - HP DL360 with 2 6Core Intel CPU's each, 64 GB Ram each, Single P430 controller each, 8 Hard Drives (8 15k SAS disks each), 6 1gbE ports



      We don't have the budget for a SAN of any sort so this is the reason why we are going this route. Because there's no shared storage the licensing will either be VMware Enterprise for the single server or the VMware essentials plus kit for the 2 server solution.


      Veeam is the backup/monitoring software I will be using for those functions for either configuration.


      Thank you very much for your help and I appreciate your thoughts or recommendations in helping me out.

        • 1. Re: Help Purchasing hardware, and would like to know which option you feel is the best of the 2
          schepp Virtuoso
          vExpertUser Moderators

          Hey, welcome to the communities,


          without looking at specific vendors, I would recommend to go with two servers. Keep in mind a single hardware error will otherwise bring your whole 8 virtual servers down.


          Plus when you buy the essentials plus kit, you get a vCenter Essentials license to manage up to three hosts. With this you can even use functions like vMotion and HA ( shared storage is required, but you could use a low price NAS as NFS share ).


          Only negative I see about the essentials plus kit, is when you grow beyond 3 hosts, you can't really reuse those licenses, because you would need a new vCenter standard license and at least vSphere standard licenses for the hosts. But if you don't think this will happen in the next time, I'd go for it.




          • 2. Re: Help Purchasing hardware, and would like to know which option you feel is the best of the 2
            jondupre Lurker



            Thanks for your welcome as well as your response. I was leaning towards the 2 server solution myself, only because of the single point of failure issue as well (obviously the Dell R720 is much more powerful than the smaller dual HP's) but what if I had a second Virtual server that I could use as a DR server (it would only be for DR purposes where I could use my Veeam backup software to copy the VM's over to the storage of the secondary server and in case of a Disaster I could spin them online). Would this change your perception or do you think you would still go with the 2 server solution (of which I would split my VM's between the 2 hosts based on needs - some on 1 and some on the other).


            I do have a Virtual server for my QA environment - it is a stand alone currently but I could purchase enough storage and memory to allow it to function as my local DR case if needed. The primary reason I bring this up is due to the fact that I have no shared storage and I cannot afford the VSAN from VMware to use the VMotion or HA functions of VMware with either solution for this specific project (possibly down the road sometime but just not within the next 2 years or so).


            Just a thought, but figured I would throw that out there.


            Thank you again!



            • 3. Re: Help Purchasing hardware, and would like to know which option you feel is the best of the 2
              schepp Virtuoso
              vExpertUser Moderators

              Hey Jon,


              you could of course go the one server route when you another standby host.


              Problem is how often do you want to schedule Veeam Backups? What Veeam product do you want to use? Does it support scheduled backups or do you need to do them manually (you don't want to do that ).

              How much downtime can you afford?


              And it's not only the hardware error to think about. What if you have to patch the host? Again, all VMs must be shut down.


              By the way, you could even use an old fileserver to act as shared NFS storage. Depending of the discs and RAID levels of course, but webservers typically don't really require much IOPs, as they are more about RAM. Might be worth a test.


              Quick thought about the licensing: Why would you go with an Enterprise license in case of a single host? You can't even use most functions of the standard edition without shared storage. And the added Enterprise features are neat, but again, you would need shared storage.



              Have you thought about vSphere replication?

              It's included in the Essentials plus kit and can replicate your VMs to the seconds server local storage. VMware vSphere Replication: Efficient Virtual Machine Replication | United States



              • 4. Re: Help Purchasing hardware, and would like to know which option you feel is the best of the 2
                jondupre Lurker



                Now we're talking! I actually hadn't realized that you could do vSphere Replication with the Essentials Plus kit... Very nice! That could change quite a bit of stuff.


                The primary reason I was going the Enterprise licensing route was for future upgrades when Shared Storage becomes an option (just future planning)


                As for downtime, we currently have only hardware servers with each being a single point of failure but only traditional backup as an option (outside of our cloud service we have through our Datacenter Company - Peak10 - that gives us 2 Virtual Servers in the cloud that we can switch to if our primary servers die - this only covers our primary webserver (which in the cloud also covers our AD) and a cloud SQL server in case our SQL dies but recovery is quite a few hours and our current recovery rate is set at 24 hours).


                As for Veeam - no it's the full suite for small business - Veeam Backup Essential and supports all advanced backup functionality including replication (very nice software and feature rich)


                I don't think I could live in the manual backup world like I used to back in the 90's (yeah, I've been doing this far too long to allow that, lol)!!!


                As for patching, that's where it would definitely get tricky! I would have to migrate over to my secondary host and then migrate back... Only could be done after hours on the weekend in either option 1 or option 2.


                I have thought about using our NAS as a storage location but I am not overly excited about the thought as I have had tremendous experience and performance using local storage with my VMware configurations in the past when I didn't have a fiber SAN to use but not so great experience with NAS storage - Just my experience.