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Tiny Office Upgrade Questions

Posted on 2011-09-30
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I have a small office network running Windows 2003 Server on two machines. One is the Primary Domain Controller and runs Exchange Server 2003 (which I just learned here is not a good combination - oh well) as well as being a file server (we are VERY small), the other is our web server on the DMZ segment out of our firewall. Both are running Standard Edition (Web edition wasn't available unless you bought a server).  I have an XP machine on a private segment between the two servers that houses databases for access from inside the office or via websites using ASP.  I have other XP machines dedicated to other functions like Quickbooks server, Anti-virus server, etc.

All the hardware is ancient and I am considering getting a single machine with VMware to virtualize all of the above.  I could get the vSphere basic edition and have the two servers and database XP machine virtualized, with the fourth virtual machine doing all the ancillary server functions. However, I am not sure that I really need to have the webserver, exchange/file server, and database server separate - maybe I just need to do proper security settings.  
I don't want to upgrade to the latest Windows, and current hardware doesn't support the old Windows, but I understand that VMware does - I only need a minimal version of an OS in order to load the VMware, I think.
What does the expert community recommend?  Should I get VMware?  How much horsepower do I need in the hardware (I know I will need to get NAS for storage)?  What further information is needed?
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Question by:DilettantesKeep
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 500 total points
ID: 36893618
No OS is required to install VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi), ESXi is a Bare Metal Hypervisor, it installs on Bare Metal, NO OS is requried.

VMware vSphere Hypervisor is the new name for ESXi.

The free download is available from here
http://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere-hypervisor/overview.html

Please make sure you server is on the Hardware Compatibility List

http://www.vmware.com/go/hcl
http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/search.php
http://partnerweb.vmware.com/comp_guide2/search.php

and you use a 64 bit server and enable Intel Virtualisation Tecnology also called Intel-VT or AMD-V.
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ID: 36893632
There is NO Requirement to get a NAS, unless you plan to use advanced features, such as vMotion, HA, DRS, which requires two ESXi servers.

You can use local storage to store VMs.

What you need to do, is workout, required total storage, total Memory of all your existing servers. Memory is always the bottleneck.

So a Dual Processor, Quad Core would be ample.
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by:D_Vante
ID: 36896988
You would need the same horse power as a physical box you just need to add them all up. I think exchange wants 2 processors. DC wants 1 etc. Have you checked into SBS2011
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Expert Comment

by:D_Vante
ID: 36897008
Also you will might need additional nic ports on your server
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