Virtualised 2008 R2 Server Setup - hardware spec advice
I’m trying to spec a Windows Server setup for 110 users spread over 16 sites, with about 50 of those being connected between 9-5. My initial spec for this is two HP Proliant ML350 G6 with a Xeon Quad Core 2.4GHz in each, 12GB of RAM in one and 6GB in the other, storage to be provided by NAS. The one with more RAM would run Server 2008 R2 Standard virtualised on ESXI 5, and Exchange 2010, Sharepoint Services 3.0, and possibly BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express. The other one would also be virtualised and run Server 2008 R2 Standard Core as another DC. Is the hardware going to cope with the connections and software load, or will it cause severe performance issues? I know Exchange and SQL Express are quite hungry for processor and RAM so would it be better to split these off into other VMs? Are there any guidelines other than software requirements I can look at? Any advice is greatly appreciated!
As you indicated, you are looking at 16 sites. Will the two boxes be able to supply the number of virtual machines? Take a look at the number of virtual servers your edition of the 2008 R2 can give you.
Two, if you are taking care of just 110 users, I see no problem with this if you are actually running exchange and sharepoint directly on the hardware but in a virtualized envriment, run a lab first. Also remember to make your PDC a dedicated one.
Also take a look at this:
A. The decision about whether to purchase the Standard, Enterprise, or Datacenter edition of Windows Server 2008 R2 should depend on two major factors: the number of virtual machines (VMs) you intend to run and your high availability requirements.
High availability is only available with the Enterprise and Datacenter SKUs, so if you want clusters and features like Live Migration, you have to use Enterprise or Datacenter edition.
The next factor is the number of VMs. Standard Edition supports one physical OS and one virtual OS (VM), Enterprise supports one physical OS and four virtual OSs, and Datacenter supports one physical OS and an unlimited number of virtual OSs. Note that Standard and Enterprise are purchased on a per-server basis while Datacenter is purchased on a per-processor basis, and at least two processors (sockets) must be licensed on each server with Datacenter.
You can assign multiple licenses to a single physical server. For example, I could purchase two copies of Enterprise Edition and assign them to a single physical server, which would allow me to run eight VMs. I could also buy eight copies of Standard Edition or just two of Datacenter (I need two because two is the minimum number purchasable with Datacenter—two sockets).
Generally, the following is a good guideline for the most cost effective SKU to buy, but remember to consider future growth.
■Standard Edition is most cost efficient for one to three VMs per server. Note that if you run three VMs, you'll need to buy three copies of Standard Edition.
■Enterprise Edition is most cost efficient from four VMs on a server up to four VMs per processor. For example, if I have a dual processor box and want to run eight VMs, I could buy two copies of Enterprise edition.
■Datacenter Edition is most cost efficient for more than four VMs per processor, because you can run an unlimited number of VMs per processor and license each processor. While Datacenter is more expensive than Enterprise when running four VMs per processor, you have more scalability and support for future growth, so you could, potentially, adopt Datacenter over Enterprise when you consider future requirements. Remember that you have to license all processors in the server.
Thanks for your reply. Sorry, there might have been a little confusion from my wording - I'm thinking of 2 physical machines running 1 VM each. These would be kept at our Head Office to be accessed by the staff there locally, and by users at the other 15 sites through a mixture of Outlook Anywhere, OWA, VPN and Sharepoint Services. I would be virtualising via ESXI 5 rather than Hyper-V, mainly because I'm not intending to run more than those 2 VMs and ESXI is likely to give better performance than Hyper-V judging from what I've read. Cost is an issue here so I was going to stick with Standard 2008 R2. The main issue is whether the quoted hardware build was going to run this Ok without serious performance bottlenecks or if I'm being optimistic - I have no lab setup to test this in unfortunately.