Need a New Server

I am currently running three servers we will call them a, b and c. I would like to consolidate them onto one server. I am running Payroll software on Server b, and accounting software on server A, and server c is used as a file sharing/print server. I have come up with two options one is use a solution like VMware and have two or three virutal machines, or have several partitions on the single box.

Current Specs
Server a, 1133MHz Processor, 1.5Gigs of Ram, 16.8Gigs of Hd Space with 2.1Gigs Free
Server b, 1334MHz Processor, 1.5Gigs of Ram, 33.3Gigs of Hd Space with 9.2Gigs Free
Server c, 450MHz Processor, 13 Gigs of Ram, 25.2Gigs of HdSpace with 6Gigs Free
Who is Participating?
Since it says HP in the tags a DL380 G5 is the box, one or two speeds down from the top range CPU - probably only one processor. 4GB RAM and 8 disks ought to match adding up the current servers spec unless you've really got "13 Gigs of Ram" in current fileserver. You can see all of the 4GB of RAM by using /PAE in boot.ini although not everything will use it.

I'm not sure you need to bother with VMware, you might get away with running the apps under a single instance of Windows unless one of them hogs all the RAM.
We have been using VM machines for the last couple of years and it has worked great.  We actually have about 6 VM's running on 1 server with their data stored on a SAN.  In terms of reliability, flexibility, and cost, I can't really think of a better solution.  I think perhaps if your servers were being hit very hard this might not work too well,  but with what you're going to be using it for I wouldn't expect any problems.

Hi there,

Your current servers are quite low-spec and shouldn't prove too much of a problem for any virtualised environment.  I'd say the biggest hit (in your situation) will be the File/Disk aspect, but a good disk subsystem and plenty of RAM will help there.

One downside to your current (and proposed) setup is the lack of failover capability.  Currently, if your hardware dies, it doesn't totally stop you working - just an inconvenience not being able to use whatever that server provided.  If you virtualise onto one server, and it has hardware problems your business will stop, period.

If you purchased 2 x VMware ESX Servers, it has built-in tools that will auto-detect if the other virtualised hardware fails, and will take over.  I think it can also use a shared set of disks.  But we're getting a bit beyond my knowledge here.

As for hardware, quad-core processors are pretty much the same price as their dual-core siblings at the moment, and RAM is the cheapest it's ever been - due to over-supply.  From my own experience, I'd recommend having 2 x VMware ESX servers, with the following:

1 x quad-core CPU
8 x GB RAM
3 x HDDs in RAID-5

Of course, to take advantage of more than 3.25GB RAM, you'll need a 64-bit base operating system.

If you want more specific advice about VMware and it's capabilities, and what is the right product for you, you can start here:

I hope this helps,
Steve :)
Rack or tower?
cdmt00Author Commented:
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