general info/conversation about virtual and cluster

let's say that i need to save some money and i can't buy new clients, i think a good answer for this could be virtualization.
 - if i understand well my client can boot with a free os and log on on a virtual machine that run win xp, using the performance of the server and not the performance of the client.
that's a good thing (if works like this) the problem is that is very difficult to plan how many virtual machine can hold one single server.

now let's say that i have 3 identical physical server, can i configure them (using windows server 2008 rc2) to act as only one to improve performance?
my goal is to have just one powerful windows server to host different virtual virtual server on top of it (look the picture).
 
ok, i made some assumption but i really don't know where i'm wrong or where i'm right, can you talk about it?


hypothetical.jpg
DenunAsked:
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za_mkhIT ManagerCommented:
No ... you can't do what you want to do in your picture.
What you can do is pool the resources together in a slightly different way.
In VMWare Terms, this is called a Cluster. Activating features like DRS (Dynamic Resource Scheduling) and HA (High Availalbility) and even DPM (Distributed Power Management) on this cluster means that the total power/memory becomes the net effect of all your servers.
So if you had 3 servers each with 10GB RAM and 10GHz Processing power, your cluster would have 30GB RAM and 30GHz Processing power. DRS,HA,DPM then take over and move over VM's across the servers depending on resource rules, etc. But a VM will run on 1 of those physical machines at any given time.
Here is a more in-depth overview: http://www.petri.co.il/vmware-esx-server-cluster-pools.htm
Hope this helps..
 
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DenunAuthor Commented:
helps a lot a thx, but saying that i have just 20-30 clients to connect as a virtual machine how do u suggest i can achieve a balancing/performance setup to keep running other service?
- pdc
- fileserver
- exchange

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za_mkhIT ManagerCommented:
VMWare vCenter (needed to use DRS/HA/DPM) will do the load balancing as needed to ensure that performance will be maintained. You can also use resource pools to guarantee performance/resources for specific VMs (eg Exchange). This means it will can get a higher share of processing power (if it needs it).
Also if you find servers are not running as fast as you want them too, all you do is add a new host to the cluster and viola, your current VM's will then be distributed them all.
I would also recommend having two DCs.
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DenunAuthor Commented:
i saw the license and for my needs cost only 3,600$ i think if i can achieve my goal is worth it, even if vmware is intended for large business.


za mkh, pls follow me in other question i will made, bcose now that i understand the general concept i need more pratical advise on it.
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Microsoft Virtual Server

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