3~4 VMs on one physical server. What kind of server should I order?

Posted on 2013-12-06
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-19
I am going to order a new server to host 3~4 VMs
 - SBS2011 STD (50~75 users)
 - SBS2011 Premium Addon (SQL SVR) (20 users)
 - IIS Web Server (15 users)
 And possibly
 - Sharepoint 2010 Foundation (50~75 users)
Here come some questions about this super server:
 Should this server have dual or quad Xeon processors?
 Should I order 8 SAS hard drives to form 1 RAID10 array or 2 smaller hard drives for RAID1 and 6 larger hard drives for RAID10? Why?
 How should I partition the array, if needed?
I am going to use MS Server 2012 with Hyper-V Role
Thanks in advance!
Question by:techcity
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LVL 123

Accepted Solution

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 800 total points
ID: 39701708
I would opt for dual processors with at least quad cores make sure you get lots of memory this is often the bottleneck.

As for disks we install the OS on a RAID 1 mirror and then create a RAID 10 to store VMs.

More disks the better
LVL 96

Assisted Solution

by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 800 total points
ID: 39701977
When it comes to virtualization, I prefer using Dynamic VHDx which means the files start small and grow.  This makes them much easier to transfer to other servers if/when you need them and you can over-commit disk resources (assign each system a 1 TB volume even if the system itself only has 1 TB TOTAL.  HOWEVER, if you chose to do this, you run the risk of fragmentation as the VHDX files grow.  I mitigate this by partitioning separately for each VHDx.  RAID 10 is great, especially if you're using 15K SAS drives or SSDs, but if you're not using SSDs (the only drive type you really don't have to worry about fragmentation on), then even a RAID 10 array will perform better if the VHDX files are not fragmented.

So my Hyper-V host might look like this:
C: - Hyper-V Host OS
D: - VM Operating System drives (C drives)
E: - File Server VM Data
F: - SQL Server VM Data
G: - Exchange Server Data
H: - Misc little used/non critical VHDX files (WSUS store, "Resources" store (downloaded/network software installs), etc)

The D: drive will fragment a bit, but not too badly since the OS drives shouldn't grow all that much.

Then I put other volumes where disk performance is not crucial on another partition
LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Cris Hanna
ID: 39703954
SharePoint Foundation Server is included as par of SBS 2011.  You shouldn't need a separate VM for that.  And What is the extra IIS/Web Server for but the most important question is: Do you already own SBS 2011 and the Premium Add-on?

The premium add-on has been unavailable since July this year and SBS 2011 Standard is only available as OEM until the end of this month.

Author Comment

ID: 39705548

The client has a dedicated Sharepoint developer. I would not like him to touch SBS, so i will install Sharepoint Foundation on a totally seperate VM and leave this VM to this developer.

SBS 2011 and Preminum Add-on OEM are both still available, very easy to obtain.
LVL 35

Assisted Solution

by:Cris Hanna
Cris Hanna earned 400 total points
ID: 39706189
While they are available now, they will not be available after December 31, 2013 so if a vendor runs out they cannot get new and some vendors will simply stop selling on that date

Here is a clip from MS and HP on availability.
15.    Q: Thank you. What are the possibilities of extending Windows SBS 2011 Standard licenses beyond 2013?

A: Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard will remain available through the OEM channel until December 31, 2013, and will remain available in all other current channels until June 30, 2013. The Windows SBS 2011 CAL Suite will remain available through the OEM channel until December 31, 2016, and will remain available in all other current channels until June 30, 2016.

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