Suggestions for small domain virtualization

Posted on 2013-06-30
Last Modified: 2013-09-12
ok, looking for community input / opinions.

I have a small domain with the following physical servers: (2 domain controllers, 1 exchange 2003 server, 1 file server, 2 SQL Server DB servers).

The domain is a windows 2003 domain with aging equipment.
There are approximately 100 workstations on this domain.

The file server is a windows 2008 box which is fairly new & will be kept.  All else will be replaced.

I am looking for suggestions on what the community would do meaning I am thinking of buying 2 physical servers (looking at PowerEdge R720 - which will serve as my DC's & running either VMware of Hyper-V on it to virtualize the other machines.

What do you all recommend hardware wise?
Preferences on going to 2008 vs 2012 server?
Thoughts on Hyper-V on VMware?

Any input would be hugely appreciated.  
Thank you.
Question by:webclickusa
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Expert Comment

ID: 39289105
there is a discount from Dell that purchase new dell server power edge and they will serve with Vpshere 5.1 version.

 it is very true that virtualization will be very costly, but the outcome is very fantastic in terms on power, administration, manpower and the last   the user/management satisfaction.

please revert if any query
LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 39289162
I don't know why piyushranusri thinks it would be costly... Virtualization, when implemented properly will REDUCE costs, not be costly.

VMware ESPECIALLY now, is NOT a great solution for small business.  The free version is limited to 32 GB of RAM on the host server - this makes hosting multiple VM difficult when they need RAM.  Further, Hyper-V replica can provide a level of redundancy and in a sense, backup that you cannot get from VMWare's free solutions as far as I know.

It doesn't make any sense to use Hyper-V 2008 R2 when 2012 is available.  With 6 Server 2012 Licenses, you can setup a cluster or a hyper-V replica system.

Why are you ordering a DELL server from NewEgg and not Dell?  Call Dell directly (DON'T use their web site)

Author Comment

ID: 39291281
What am I looking at cost wise typically to go VM ware?  You would recommend just going with enterprise edition and thus hyperv?
LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 39293862
I don't look at VMWare because it costs.  PERIOD.

Hyper-V is FREE.  Period.  If you use Windows Server, then you get a license to run it at no additional cost with GUI, otherwise, you can get the free version without GUI.  

There is no Enterprise Edition of Server 2012.  2012 is either Standard or Datacenter.  (Other editions exist but don't make sense for you - Foundation or Essentials).  The only difference (besides cost) between Standard and Datacenter is in the number of INCLUDED Windows VM Licenses you get.  Standard offers 2, Datacenter UNLIMITED.  They are functionally identical.  And the number of Windows licenses required will not change between Hyper-V and VMWare - you need the same number.

Just to be clear since some people don't understand this - Hyper-V does not (realistically, especially for a small business) limit the number of VMs you can run in Hyper-V (There is a limit but it's technological one in the hundreds - there is no license limit).  You can run 100 Linux VMs with NO additional licenses... or you can run 100 Windows Server VMs with 50 Standard licenses or 1 Data Center license - the OS installed requires the license (if it would normally require a license), the "virtual machine" provided by Hyper-V doesn't.

Author Comment

ID: 39293983
ok, so presently I have these physical machines.
domain controller #1
domain controller #2
DB server #1
DB server #2
File Server

& exchange running on one of the DC's which I wish to get off & onto its own VM.

If I were to:
keep the file server on its own
buy 2 new physical machines for DC's

What would I need licensing wise?

Thank you very much.
LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 39294280
Do you want to cluster?  Do you want use Hyper-V replica?  If the answer is NO - redundancy and failover is not important to you, then you need three Server 2012 Standard licenses.

Each Server 2012 standard license includes 1+2 licenses which means you can do ONE physical install which can ONLY RUN HYPER-V and on the physical install you can then install TWO copies of 2012 Standard in VMs.  One server would have TWO purchased licenses assigned to it allowing 4 VMs while they other would have only one allowing 2 VMs for a total of 6 virtualized servers.

If you implement a cluster or Hyper-V replica, then you need DOUBLE the licenses because licenses can only be moved once every 90 days (NOTE: OEM licenses CANNOT be moved EVER so buy VOLUME LICENSES!) and clusters and replica could be moved more often (especially clusters, they would likely be moved at least once per month on the update reboots).
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:Mike T
ID: 39295035

Firstly, Hyper-V 3 (2012 version) beats VMware in almost every area. If you use the free version then it's a hands-down winner. VMware is either expensive or limited by RAM with the free version.

I would go Hyper-V Server 2012, with any vendor (Dell/HP/IBM) and as much RAM and disk as you can justify. Then you can run all servers virtual.

There's a cost calculator here:
(by Microsoft so maybe biased)

It seems VMware needs lots of separate layers which they charge for. It feels like if they were selling cars, they'd be selling it without any wheels, windows or a radiator.

Having used VMware and Hyper-V, I find Hyper-V more powerful. I run SCCM + SQL, a DC and a client machine on a 8GB laptop and it works OK/amazingly well.


Author Comment

ID: 39308151
Redundancy & availability is VERY important.  Downtime is a BIG problem.  That being said . . .
My layout currently is:

Physical Domain Controller #1 (exchange is running on it, would like to VM exchange)
Physical Domain Controller #2
Physical File Server #1
Physical DB Server #1
Physical DB Server #2

So I have 5 Physical servers.  Some roles are running on these physical machines which I would like to move off & instead have a VM for backups (using Storage Craft Shadow Protect), a VM for Antivirus (using F-Secure).

This being said & give my explanation of my layout . . . .

What would you kids do with this setup?  What would be your path to creating a high availability, fault tolerant setup?

In other words I would like people to weight in on how they would do it?

Thank you very much.
LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 39309033
Do you want the $100,000 solution or the $2000?  Or the $5000 solution?  Or the $10,000.  Or the $20,000 solution?

Need a budget.  You can cluster with one or more nodes, do hyper-V replica, do BOTH.  What you do depends GREATLY on the budget you have for this.  I'd rather not spend an hour detailing an elaborate expensive plan when you're only willing to spend $2000.

Author Comment

ID: 39309060
The somewhete betweeen 10 and 20k solution.  I have been looking at thr Dell vrtx solution which with 2 nodes and data center edition is 20k.   Thank you.

Author Comment

ID: 39388154
Any further input? Thank you.

Accepted Solution

piyushranusri earned 500 total points
ID: 39388466
this time dell has one scheme a bundle of vc cneter and dell power edge servers.

please ask the dell representative, he will give you the best info

Author Closing Comment

ID: 39487569
Thank you

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