I will be sitting down tomorrow with a local hosting facility to discuss creating a small data center dedicated to my web portal and I would like to know given the following facts, what I should make sure that I get, any questions that I should make sure that I ask the hosting faciltiy and hardware recommendations.
We have a web portal that will be accessed by the medical community. One server will host IIS and Sharepoint, the second will host SQL Server 2005. The website's front end is Sharepoint and the backend is SQL. Storage will be separate.
As we are a new company working with limited funds, we are interested in an offering from the hosting facility to use their Infrastructure as a Service model. We can pay a monthly fee after startup costs for only what we need and can expand easily [more servers, more storage] as our traffic grows.
We need to be redundant and able to expand easily. Our test data center was running IIS and Sharepoint as VMware servers and storage, and separate dedicated Dell boxes for SQL.
We were thinking about using 2 VMware servers each with a copy of the website and Sharepoint loaded on them. Just in case one server goes down we have the second. We thought that as traffic increased we could add another VMware server with IIS and Sharepoint. We thought that we would need to purchase dedicated boxes for SQL as we have been told that SQL when it starts getting a lot of activity will not run smoothly. [is this true?] We also want to use load balancing so that as traffic and processes increased the 2 SQL servers and VMware servers can share the load. And as we grow and add more VM's and SQL boxes redundancy and load balancing will become more important.
We will be using their SANs and paying for 100GB increments. As we grow and we will grow as part of our offereing is to become a repository for our clients data. And this is another reason why we want to use this kind of model, because we have no idea how fast the data or traffic will grow.
Some of my questions I would like answered are:
How many processors for the SQL servers?
How much memory for both VM's and SQL servers?
What is needed to load balance?
thanks in advance. I know I will get some great responses as this is the reason I keep coming back here with my questions.