[Okta Webinar] Learn how to a build a cloud-first strategyRegister Now

x
  • Status: Solved
  • Priority: Medium
  • Security: Public
  • Views: 297
  • Last Modified:

Advised Ideal Server Rollout Scenario

Our current office is using a two server setup.  Main server (file, exchange, sql) is SBS 2003 and is due for replacement.  Secondary server is Server 2003 Standard and is used as a Terminal Server for one SQL based application.  The actual database is on the main server.  The secondary server is well beyond needing replacement.

My question is which scenario would be more ideal:
           - Single server - upgraded hardware running SBS 2011 for file, exchange and SQL
                                   - virtualized version of Server 2008 R2 Standard to take care of Terminal
                                      services role.
           - Dual server - upgraded hardware for main server running SBS 2011 for file, exchange
                                    and SQL
                                 - new basic hardware for second server running Server 2008 R2 for
                                   Terminal Services

My thoughts are that the ideal would be two separate physical servers in order to avoid having a single point of failure.  I'm not exactly familiar with using Hyper-V or Virtual Server to host Server 2008 R2.  I'm sure it's possible, but we are looking to have the absolute most stable option available.

Your input on the ideal scenario is greatly appreciated.





0
urbanstyles
Asked:
urbanstyles
  • 8
  • 6
  • 2
  • +1
1 Solution
 
Sid_FCommented:
I think your decision will be down to cost. We run many hyper V installs on one box with both sbs 2011 and ts both virtualised its a much better use of resources. A good image based backup solution is critical in my opinion.
Although if you are not familiar with virtualisation then I think you might sleep better at night with two servers. Have you investigated cost and licensing for both scenarios?
0
 
urbanstylesAuthor Commented:
Cost isn't really so much an issue, I can't see the two being far enough apart to be an issue.  I'm more interested in pursuing the most ideal solution.  I'm not against learning the virtualization game if that's the best course.
0
 
kevinhsiehCommented:
I would suggest the single server route with virtualization. If you have two servers, you have at least two single points of failure. Use at least 4 10K SAS drives in a RAID 10 array. Do not usa SATA, and do not use RAID 5.  
0
Concerto Cloud for Software Providers & ISVs

Can Concerto Cloud Services help you focus on evolving your application offerings, while delivering the best cloud experience to your customers? From DevOps to revenue models and customer support, the answer is yes!

Learn how Concerto can help you.

 
urbanstylesAuthor Commented:
Just curious why you are against the raid 5?  It provides performance benefits and fault tolerance..
0
 
kevinhsiehCommented:
RAID 5 provides performance degradation compared to RAID 10; has horrible performance during a RAID rebuild, and has risk of data loss during the extended rebuild process. With virtualization disk performance is key, and RAID 5 just takes you in the other direction.  
0
 
Cliff GaliherCommented:
Which decision you use really depends on the load your servers are experiencing. SQL, in particular, can be a heavy beast even with only a few users. If you are seeing heavy load then a 2 server solution would be better.

With that said, virtualization is certainly an option if load is moderate. BUT your option #1 should be reconsidered. I'd never virtualize *on* SBS. SBS has specific memory and processor requirements that cause it to get in contention with any virtualization platform you install on it. You should instead install the virtualization platform first (ESX/ESXi/Hyper-V) and install SBS as a guest along with your other TS guest. This allows you to dedicate resources to SBS without it dealing with the virtualization issues.

-Cliff
0
 
urbanstylesAuthor Commented:
My thoughts are, for the extra $2000 for a basic server 2008 box in a rack, is it worth fussing over the virtualization issues?  I'm just thinking out loud.
0
 
kevinhsiehCommented:
I wouldn't buy 2 servers. That's twice as many hardware components that can fail, and it won't really help SBS perform any better. Instead, take some of that $2000 and put in into better disks on your main HW platform.

You can't use SBS as a virtualization host. It needs to be run as a guest, which is fully supported. You should be fine with a single quad core processor, a good amount of RAM, and fast disks. How many users do you have? You should have at least 24 GB of RAM, though 32 or 48 GB would provide more headroom and wouldn't cost much more.
0
 
Sid_FCommented:
Just to add for the basic setup you have virtualisation will not be a big task and its a nice setup to start on for a virtual introduction. My preference would be vmware. Its a solid simple and quick install.
0
 
urbanstylesAuthor Commented:
In a hardware failure scenario, does having both servers virtualized enable a speedy transfrer of images to new hardware?
0
 
urbanstylesAuthor Commented:
Am I mistaken that the cost of the virtualization software is upwards of the cost of a second box WITH OS?
0
 
kevinhsiehCommented:
Maybe not. Hyper-V is free. VMware vSphere Hypervisor is free, but you can't use the backup APIs, and there is no clustering. VMware vSphere Essentials is only $560, but I don't see a lot of value in it above what you get for free because it doesn't have the backup APIs or clustering. If you want the backup APIs and clustering, VMware Essentials Plus is $5619 for year 1. The nice thing I see about VMware Essentials Plus is that it includes virtual SAN, so you wouldn't need an expensive 3rd party shared storage device. I have no idea how that would perform.

In a hardware scenario, recovery is fast if you have easy access to the current VM files, or an older copy of them. Either way, recovery is mush faster than a physical server, and you don't have to worry about recovering to similar hardware.
0
 
urbanstylesAuthor Commented:
Ok.. So I think I have a new plan of attack in place.  My ambition is to order one new server with as high hardware specs as budget allows for.  My plan is to then use VmWare VSphere installed on the bare metal.  From there I will install one instance of SBS 2011 to act as DC, File Server, Exchange server and SQL.  The second instance of 2008 R2 Standard will be installed on the same box for Terminal Services.  My planned hardware specs are below I welcome any critique of my plan:

Dual E5620 Xeon Processors
32GB RAM
RAID 1 146GB 10K SAS for VSphere
RAID 5 (4 disk) 600GB 15K SAS for data

One question I have is will VSphere let me carve up the resulting 1.8TB data array to allow for 200GB for each system installation, 250GB for 2008 R2 Data partition and thus leave me 1.1TB for SBS data partition?

Thanks everyone for your input thus far.
0
 
kevinhsiehCommented:
You only need a single processor. You can install VMware on a USB card or SD card, saving you the two 10K disks. I would avoid RAID 5, use a 4 or 6 drive RAID 10 instead. Your RAID controller should have a battery backed cache. 32 GB RAM is probably fine. How many users?
0
 
urbanstylesAuthor Commented:
Only 20 users.. I have looked at RAID 10, but the particular server chasis only has room for 8 drives and I need to allow room for future data growth so I'm sort of stuck with the RAID 5.  I realize that there is a write hit vs RAID 10 but most of my data will be read intensive, which minimalizes the performace hit.
0
 
kevinhsiehCommented:
Well, I just saved you 2 drive slots, you you now have 4 open drive slots. With your original configuration you only had 2 free slots. Your choice on how to do the disks.

Can can carve up the space for the VMs any way you want. You can either thin provision the disks, or give the VMs what they need now, and you can always increase the size of the drives later. Assign 1 volume per VMDK; do not partition a virtual disk. If you need another drive letter, use a new virtual disk.
0
 
urbanstylesAuthor Commented:
Decided to go with a single server virtualizing two phyical servers.  Went with a RAID 10 array.
0

Featured Post

Concerto Cloud for Software Providers & ISVs

Can Concerto Cloud Services help you focus on evolving your application offerings, while delivering the best cloud experience to your customers? From DevOps to revenue models and customer support, the answer is yes!

Learn how Concerto can help you.

  • 8
  • 6
  • 2
  • +1
Tackle projects and never again get stuck behind a technical roadblock.
Join Now