vmware esx physical server nic and hard drive configuration

andrew_transparent
andrew_transparent used Ask the Experts™
on
hi  there,
I'm in the process of getting hardware to virtualize all servers with vmware ESX for a company. Looking to get a server with 2 x quad xeons, 96GB ram and space for 8 drives (thinking 600GB 15k SAS) all in 1 box
How many NICs would be sufficient and wondering what is the best practice in configuring the drives?
Looking to have the best possible I/O and performance - currently thinking of a RAID50
Does anyone have any suggestions?
Or is having a SAN a way to go?

Also does it make sense to have a file server in a virtual environment or do people find it better to leave them on dedicated hardware as there is high I/O?

Thanks,
Comment
Watch Question

Do more with

Expert Office
EXPERT OFFICE® is a registered trademark of EXPERTS EXCHANGE®
Senior IT Advisor
Top Expert 2008
Commented:
How many IOPS do you need? Are you going to be doing a lot of read or writes?  Depending on read/writes RAID 10 may make sense or RAID 5 with a hot spare..you'll need to do some legwork and figure out your base IOPS requirements.

Typically local storage is a little bit faster but if you want to have redundancy and High Availability then a SAN may be the way to go.  Virtualization gives you portability and flexibility since the hardware is now standardized.  What type of servers are you doing to run?

For Networking, local storage would require 4 nics, 2 vswitches.  One vswitch for management, 2 ports, and one vswitch for virtual machine network with 2 nics.  This keeps the TCP/IP stack separate and provide redundancy on the vswitch side, you can enable etherchannel/trunking/lag if you need to run aggregation on the network side as well

Author

Commented:
I'm not sure how many IOPS i'll need... as much as possible? I will be looking into this.
It is an esx infrastructure with Windows server OS's
There will be a 2 database servers running MS SQL
DC
Exchange server
Terminal services with approximately 100 users
A few dedicated client OS (win7)
debating whether to virtualize a file server or just leave alone on dedicated hardware
there will be CAD drawings that can get large and such

There is already a couple ESX servers running on  hardware that is over subscribed which we will be moving off of to this new one and consolidating a couple of physical machines to vm's

Just to confirm RAID10 looks to get the most performance and reliability over a RAID50?

Thanks,
Paul SolovyovskySenior IT Advisor
Top Expert 2008

Commented:
With Terminal Servers/Citrix  I typically like to spread out the load.  Normally you can't get as many users per server but you can have more servers.  Depending on apps you may need to reserve memory to avoid drops/latency.  In this case the SAN becomes a good investment as you can spread the load across multiple TS servers and ESX hosts.  

CAD applications take a heavy hit on the performance, I usually keep the server physical or get a SAN with CIFS capabiliteis.
Acronis in Gartner 2019 MQ for datacenter backup

It is an honor to be featured in Gartner 2019 Magic Quadrant for Datacenter Backup and Recovery Solutions. Gartner’s MQ sets a high standard and earning a place on their grid is a great affirmation that Acronis is delivering on our mission to protect all data, apps, and systems.

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
RAID 10, and put all your disks into the same RAID group.

How many NICs you have depends, if you want to team all your NICs, for management, and virtual machines, so maybe a minimum of four, but if you are going to use iSCSI, vMotion, because those ports also team require another four.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
100 TS users, personally I would not virtualise it, otherwise you will need 4 or 5 x Terminal Servers to take the load, and you'll then need to load balance them, using Citrix or 2X.

otherwise two physical servers will take the load nicely.

Author

Commented:
Thanks!

Do more with

Expert Office
Submit tech questions to Ask the Experts™ at any time to receive solutions, advice, and new ideas from leading industry professionals.

Start 7-Day Free Trial