Hardware-How many virtual machines can I set up?

I'm new to this place and this machine currently has the "freeware" software version of VMware....We are planning to buy the software.  I don't even know where to begin...We have 2 of these machines..

Each one has the following:

DL380 G6 CTO
2 ea Quad Core E5520
32 GB RAM
2 ea 72 GB Hot Swap HD's

I want to try to utilize these machines to their optimum usage...if I had unlimited  resources (but have touse these machines) what kind of Virtual Environment could I set up with VMware or other)
LamrskiAsked:
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LamrskiAuthor Commented:
I need to add more information to this question..
right now it has the 4gb sticks using up 8 slots in each machine?  How many more sticks can I add to each machine?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
the free version of ESXi 5.0 is limited to 32GB per server.

So you can run as many virtual machines as you have memory. Memory is often the bottleneck.

general rule of thumb is 5-6 VMs per physical host processor core.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
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LamrskiAuthor Commented:
Let's say I'm able to buy the software....I know there are many different options of the software, how many VM's could I put on each of these two machines?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
As many machines as you have resources for, CPU, Memory and Storage.
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LamrskiAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the URL...I have this document.  If I was able to change out the basic machine with 12 X 16 GB sticks = 192 GB Memory....would the system as it stands right now be able to handle this amount of memory?
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LamrskiAuthor Commented:
So if I had the capability of buying this much memory (192 GB) I could have approxminately 32 VM's per server?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Yes, 192GB is a supported configuration, with 12 x 16 GB sticks.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Yes, easily 32 VMs.
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LamrskiAuthor Commented:
Perfect Thank you!  Now it's time to ask for some money!! :)
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Stephen McTigueAssistant Director of Information TechnologyCommented:
I disagree because it's more a factor of  storage than memory for deciding how many virtual machines (vm's) you can host on your server. This is because VMware is optimized to "give and take" resources for the virtual machines. So if one virtual machine is sitting idle and another is in need of additional memory to complete some intensive processes, VMware will automatically reallocate the physical memory in the host server temporarily for the virtual machines to use. I've successfully run several highly used virtual machines running Windows 2008 server as file servers with only 512 MB of assigned memory.

The real issue is how large each virtual server will be and if the storage will be "thin or thick" provisioned. The space on the host or SAN can get allocated very quickly. So the amount of servers your host can manage can be well over 32 vms but only if you have the supporting storage space.

Regards...
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LamrskiAuthor Commented:
This answer helps ...thank you
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