sbs2003 upgrade to new hardware and virtualised 2012 servers - Hardware Advise

We have a Windows 2003 Small Business Server and needs to upgrade because.
1. Windows 2003 SBS will no longer be supported after April Next Year
2. The mail boxes are too large for the limit set in SBS
3. We require additional storage space.
I'm thinking of replacing their current OS for Windows 2012 Standard and believe that since Server 2012 Essentials does not include Exchange Server that the best option would be to upgrade to a single physical server with 2012 Essentials and Exchange Server as separate virtual machines.

Their current server is a Dell PowerEdge 840 (See attached PDF) configured as follows:
•      PowerEdge 840 (MS24583)
•      Windows SBS2003 Server
•      4GB RAM (2x 2GB DDR-2)
•      Intel Xeon 3070 2.66GHz  Dual-Core processor
•      SAS 5/i/R Raid Controller
•      2 x 136GB RAID 1 Mirror (136GB Total Capacity) Used for OS
•      500GB SAS Drive Used for Data
•      TB SATA Drive Used for Backup
•      Current Data Storage Requirements - Users (100Gb) /Network Share (260Gb) /Email (50Gb) =  410GB

In your opinion should I
 1. Replace the existing hardware completely with a new physical server with 2 virtual servers installed on as a file server/DC and the other for exchange.

2. Keep the existing server, upgrade it to 2012 for use as a file server and DC. Purchase another server for 2012 and exchange.   Obviously I will now have 2 servers to manage!

 An alternative solution would be to keep this server for Windows Essentials and purchase a lower spec new server for exchange only, but this would have increased management and running costs.
Please can I have your thoughts?

Dell have quoted me for a PowerEdge T320 Intel Xeon E5-2420 2.2GHz, 16GB RAM, 2 x 300GB SAS, 2 x1TB SAS, PERC H310 RAID Controller.  

Will this run 2 virtual machines ok?  We are a charity with 30 employees so we can get Microsoft licenses cheaper.

Any thoughts welcome. Thanks.
Who is Participating?
notacomputergeekConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I'm assuming you are a 501(c)3 and registered with

I would recommend purchasing one new server, but would get at least a T420 or T620. Make sure you get plenty of RAM and NOT 7200 RPM drives. Configure it RAID 1/5 with 5 drives.

For the OS, Windows Server 2012 R2 from is $53

You'll need User CALs to go along with that at $2/ea

No need to get Exchange. As a non-profit, utilize Office 365. It's free unless you want more features. We have about 10 NP clients and we have moved them all to the free version. No more managing Exchange in house!

You most likely may need a vendor to assist with the current Exchange migration to the cloud (Office 365).

No need for virtual machines, since your in-house server will probably only be used as a file server.
Hi, you need to be aware of the limitations of Server 2012 Essentials , you say you have 30 employees but are they also users ? that could impact your decision

Have you considered moving to 365 or another hosted Exchange provider like Intermedia ?
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.