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Best Practices for a 2011 SBS Implementation

Posted on 2012-08-23
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Last Modified: 2012-08-24
Im coming in late on a project to implement and migrate a Windows 2011 SBS environment. Customer currently has 2008 SBS with Exchange and SQL in place. Ive read up on the migration process, but Im on the fence on what to do with the server Ive been given.

Its an HP Proliant ML110 G7 with 16 GB of RAM and a mirrored set of 1 TB hard drives. Customers current usage of hard drive space doesnt even break 200GB, even with the OS / Programs, so I dont feel horrible about storage space, but Im not thrilled with the lack of spindles.

Im considering using the 2008 R2 std license included with the premium to load and use the Hyper V role on a base server, and then load one or two servers as virtuals. Presently, they run everything on their one server and have no complaints. If I split it up, it might be easier to move hardware later, but it would also require additional RAM overhead (for the guest server OS) than it would take if I put it all in one virtual box. Documentation tends to suggest that the Premium (with SQL 2008) is expected to be loaded on a separate machine. Thoughts, insights, ridicule on what I should do to make the best of this? They have 15 users, and will probably max out at 20. On the plus side, they do appear to have bought the CALS and licenses...

Also, theres no backup software purchased at the moment. Im considering the built in backup to keep costs low for them, coupled with USB hard drives - but Ive never used that in environments with SQL and Exchange. Does it work well?
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Question by:Eric_Price
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Mike earned 1200 total points
ID: 38326656
I will start off by saying I'm always a fan of virtualization, it's just easier to manage IMO and allows task segregation which can always imrpove performance.  The only problem I see is the licensing aspect.  You are only given 1 Hyper-V Guest license for 2008r2 Standard.

At my old job we used the built in backup tool for our exchange server and had it backup to our local storage server, which then backed up to a NAS.
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 300 total points
ID: 38326757
Increase the RAM, use Hyper-V role, to split up the servers makes DR easier.

As for Backup I would recommend Veeam Backup and Replication.
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by:Mike
ID: 38326800
It's a small environment, he could probably get away with VeeamZIP and save a chunk of change that could go towards licensing and more RAM.
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by:Eric_Price
ID: 38327285
This is a single server, so at this point it is what it is. I guess my biggest question was whether to put it all in one VM like the SBS of old, or whether to split it up. If Shadowless' comment about only being licensed for 1 VM on the 2008 R2 that comes with premium is true (and I suspect it is) then for better or worse the question is answered I think. Of course, if I ignored the 2008 R2 and just went with another free hypervisor, I could load 2 VM guests on it. Then my original question holds. Is there a benefit to splitting it up (other than ascetics) that overrides the additional RAM that a second guest would need.
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Disaster Recovery is easier.

you will require licenses for all VM instances. no matter which hypervisor you use.
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by:Eric_Price
ID: 38329792
Im aware that I need licenses. They HAVE the licenses. The comment that was made earlier was in regards to the license limitations of the 2008 R2 Standard included in the premium license. It only allows 1 virtual server, which means that my original idea of having 2 virtual servers on the one physical box is out.  As it happens theres no other free hypervisor that will work with this hardware, so its hyper V or nothing. Given the limitations of the 2008 R2 license, I guess Im doing one virtual on one physical.
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