when to add esx host

I know this is broad, but at what point do you install an additional ESX host? The types of projects we do I never know at a budget cycle if to add 5 or 50 servers... it really depends on who has a "wild hair".

I guess I'm looking for your thoughts on usage information. Say we hit 80% utilization its time to expand... storage, I know this varies based on what you keep, but should we expand the San at 70%? Really, just give your thoughts on the subject. No right or wrong answers.

Thanks.
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pitchfordAsked:
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coolsport00Connect With a Mentor Commented:
I think the most appropriate answer is based upon how fast you're growing statistically speaking. I mean I guess what I would do is calculate (or 'guesstimate') how many VMs you create a month, on avg. Then from that data, calculate how many of those VMs, if generally the resources on them is roughly the same, would consume up to about 85-90% of a host's resources. Then, at that point, you would get a new host. I personally don't like going that high...I always want at least 20% of my resources as overhead, but that's just me being overly cautious...plus I need enough resources on a host to cover me in the event of a host failure for HA. My 2nd host has to have enough resources left to house all my VMs.

If your SAN is at 70%...I don't know that it's necessarily time to expand, but it is certainly a time to start serious discussion on expansion, as well as what data can be permanently removed (if any) to recover storage. Your SAN vendor should have trending analysis tools to help you with storage capacity based off your usage and suggest when to expand.

Hope that helps.

Regards,
~coolsport00
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Danny McDanielConnect With a Mentor Clinical Systems AnalystCommented:
well, you could base it on HA availability.  like if your HA cluster is configured to handle 2 host failures, I'd set it to 3 and then when you start getting messages that it won't power on any more systems because you'd violate HA constraints; then set it to 2 host failures and make plans to order another server.
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pitchfordAuthor Commented:
Thanks. I try to do a N+1. I will always have enough resources to lose one esx server.

Great info coolsport. That's what I was thinking...
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