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Server configuration for virtualbox.

Posted on 2014-03-06
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Last Modified: 2014-03-07
Hi

Our company is running on windows 2003 and I need to get upgraded to 2008.  I don't want to perform the upgrade on a the servers since you can buy new servers very reasonably.  What I want to do is this.
1.  Poweredge 2950 gen 3 2x quadcore 3.0 or better with 48GB of Memory and 8 2.5 sas 10,000rpm drives
2.  Install ubuntu or other host software for running virtual machines.
3.  Install virualbox and create server 2008 as a virtualbox system.
4.  poweredge 2950 with ??? Ram and ??? Drives. (Will be used for bakcup of snapshots and offsite data backup.
5.  Maybe use ubuntu for the second server as well.  

I am trying to do this on a budget that won't break the bank. But at the same time I want there to be a perfomance increase over our old server which is a 2950 with 13 GB of memory and raid 10 with 15000 rmp sas drives and 2x quad core x5355 core processors running at 2.66 I believe.  
My thoughts are to use the virtual box so I can take snapshots of the 2008 server for backup and disaster recovery offload them to the second server so someone can split the raid at night and take one home with them.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
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Question by:fasse
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by:acbxyz
acbxyz earned 500 total points
ID: 39910488
I would not suggest VirtualBox in this case. Though it is a very useful system for workplace it is not good as a server. Have a look at XenServer, VMware ESXi and Hyper-V. All those systsems provide what you want and all are available free of charge.

Citrix XenServer is gone completely OpenSource with 6.2 and can do clustering, shared storage (if you want) and much more.

Hyper-V comes with your windows license as far as I know, never used it.

VMware ESXi is good if you have only one host. With multiple hosts (productive + backup) it is not my favourite, but it's a personal decision.

Keep in mind that snapshots are not ideal for all machines. It is horrible (but still possible) to recover a machine hosting a distributed database like the active directory from a snapshot.
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by:fasse
ID: 39910563
Are you saying that Citrix would be the your first choice or should I go with VMware ESXi.

Would the machine I am looking at be powerful enough to run two servers on it?  It is not suggested to run our business software on the same server we run active directory.  What is the best way to backup an active directory

We are a small company of about 15 employees and I am trying to find the easiest way to get offsite backups and being able to recover from a crash very quickly.  I also am looking at running freenas for our backup so I can replicate them across the net.

Thanks
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acbxyz earned 500 total points
ID: 39910620
We use XenServer with about 20 hosts in different pools and only nearly no problems with it. If you have only one AD server you can snapshot and recover it without problems. In a small environment it might be easier to have only one os with storage on a good external nfs storage (with xenserver) and two hosts. If one host fails the machine automatically boots on the other.

How much operating systems can be run on one server is mostly depending on the resources it needs. Some of our hosts have only one or two virtual machines, some other have more than 20 and still headroom.

The three named hypervisors are the "big ones" available and choosing between is kind of a religious war. I'd suggest 1. XenServer, 2. Hyper-V, 3. VMware - but if you have some time you should look at all three yourself.
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