sizing new HP servers for vSphere 5

Hi, one of the IT guys in my company wants to buy two servers for his department with the following specs

2x Proliant DL380 G7
96GB RAM each
two X5690 6-core CPU's on each
4x 600GB HDD's local storage on each (RAID5)
10GbE NIC's (is this even needed?)

The price is about $15k per server.

For VMware software, he chose the following SKUs for about $20k. Isn't this expensive when he could buy the vSphere Essentials Plus kit for about $6k? I think vRAM entitlement in both options is 32GB per CPU.

VS5-STDM-AK-PRO (vsphere 5 std acceleration kit with smart ops)
VS5-STDM-AK-G-SSS-C (service & support)
VC5-VSA-STD-C (storage appliance?)
VC5-VSA-G-SSS-C (service & support)

Please help me with some arguments about how to convince him to adjust the size of the server properly and not waste money.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
if you go with VMware Essentials, rather than an acceleration kit, you servers have too much memory!

Essentials is limited to 64GB per server, or 2x 32GB per CPU.

So you will not be able to use ALL 96GB.

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
also with Essentials you are licensed for three hosts at 192GB in the vRAM pool, so how many VMs are you hosting?

powered on VMs!
darkbluegrAuthor Commented:
thanks for clearing this up!

in vsphere comparison page below, i think standard accel. kit also has same limitation for vRAM?

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Do you need shared storage for HA and vMotion?

Do you need VSA, other alternatives exist....VSA can be limiting.....if you expand later
darkbluegrAuthor Commented:
I think he's got 15 VM's or so,
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
I did not specify a kit, you would need an Enterprise Plus to use that memory on the servers.

So your quote is wrong for those servers, it would be more $$$
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
15 VMs, how much ram per VM?
darkbluegrAuthor Commented:
4GB ram average i would say!
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
I would have thought essentials would be ideal.

32GB per CPU, 64GB per server.

Purchase the servers with 64GB, okay failover, single host can manage all VMs, and when you grow add another server,mand you got spare license.

As essentials is Licensed for 3 hosts, vCenter included.
darkbluegrAuthor Commented:
ok great

so if you had 45k to build this cluster you would do

6k software (vsphere essentials plus)
15k storage san (p2000)
24k servers (as described above)?

would this be a good distribution?

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Yes, I would be confident with that spec. Thats are standard build for SME, RAM sometimes only 32GB per server.

SAS drives in the P2000, no requirementnfor 10Gb ethernet either.
darkbluegrAuthor Commented:
awesome thank you.

last question!

any processor recommendations or would a cheap 5606/5620 quad core be sufficient? if I go with quad core instead of six-core we can save another $3-4k!!
Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
Since you have shared storage you can save money on hard drives and run the systems from a SD Card.  Use the money to either get a shelf off the P2000 or additional spindles.
andyalderSaggar maker's framemakerCommented:
I'll just butt my oar in (I know it's closed already)

VMware RAM licensing is for vRAM, not physical RAM so 32GB vRAM will probably sit in 30GB physical RAM quite comfortably, and 30GB per CPU on a nehalem is much easier to configure than 32GB, the HP's come with 3 * 2GB per CPU so you just have to add one 8GB stick to each channel to get 30GB.
darkbluegrAuthor Commented:
Andy thanks for adding your thoughts, but i kinda lost you with the calculations :) how would the resulting configuration look like? 30GB physical ram per cpu would mean 60GB total on each host?

if they come with 3x 2GB x 2CPU would mean that they come with 12GB total?

the purpose in this case is to mimic the reference design of vmware vcloud for public service providers with a low cost (i have meaty ESX hosts  for the resource groups, but missing the management cluster for the management VM's)

(page 7 and 9-12)

thanks a lot!
andyalderSaggar maker's framemakerCommented:
They normally come with 3 * 2GB on a 1 CPU server, or 6 * 2GB on a 2 CPU server (the CPUs have three memory channels each and it's best to populate evenly). So if you bought a 2 CPU server you'd just have to add 6 *  8GB 2rx4 for 60GB. To get 64GB you would either have to swap the original 2GB for bigger or have one lone 2GB stick in the third bank which slows the RAM clockspeed down.
darkbluegrAuthor Commented:
gotcha! thank you :)
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