I'm looking at putting together a virtual machine server for a client and wondered if you guys had any recommendations on hardware. I'm considering building it myself but if the price:performance doesn't work out I'll probably be looking at a Dell, HP, or IBM.
Anyway, here's the current scenario:
Remote office with 6 computers connected back to a main office via broadband and VPN
6 headless "proxy" PC's at the main office which remote users connect to via RDP
Proxy PC's run Windows XP and a fairly lightweight MIS software application
I'd like to virtualize those 6 proxies and have a single computer handling everything.
What kind of specs should I be looking at to handle these 6 XP VM's? I know better than to say this but, I don't think we'll ever go beyond requiring 6 VM's as there really is no more space at the remote office to accommodate more staff.
I know RAM is probably my highest priority but I'm not exactly sure how much CPU I should be looking at or if I should consider adding a second or third network card to divvy up bandwidth better. I also have read that hard drive write speeds might be a consideration but I'm not sure how much that applies here as they'll just be using a single app.
I have kind of a "working prototype" out in the field with 3 VM's for the same purpose and it seems to be running really well. It's got a dual core P-IV running at 3.00GHz and has 4GB of RAM. It's running headless with a stripped down Ubuntu 10.04 OS and I'm using VirtualBox in headless mode to serve the VM's. I'm looking to replicate this setup but have it handle more machines.
Anybody have any hardware recommendations or experiences they can relay?
(PS - this needs to be on the cheap as they are pretty much broke - who isn't right now? :P)
Thanks in advance for your help!