What server machine to get?

Hello Experts,

For a new project i would like advice on what server machine to buy which will have windows server 2012 r2 for Domain/File/Print services and capabilities for running simultaneously a virtual machine of Microsoft Exchange Server 2013

(Total domain users 250)

A suggestion is the below IBM

System x3650 M4 - 7915C5G
Ram 8GB DDR3-1600
Hard drive 4*4TB
ServeRAID M5100 Series 512MB Cache/RAID 5 Upgrade for IBM System x

Do you agree with the above?
Some corrections?
Other suggestions?
LVL 13
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
More disks. Exchange likes disk I/O. So many small disks are better than a few large ones.

And *much* more memory. For a virtualization host hosting two VMs, one DC and one Exchange, where exchange also loves memory, I consider 32 a bare minimum and with 250 users, 64 is more realistic. That's for starters. Without knowing more, it is tough to be more precise.

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AlexiosAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your answer Cliff

What more would you like to know?
Cliff GaliherCommented:
I have an entire interview process I go through with new clients, including an audit involving actual performance measurements over a typical workday. I use that data to customize a solution for them. There is no way I can encapsulate that experience into an EE response.
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First you will need at least 3 VM's, as one will be a DC, another a file-server, and the 3rd the exchange server. You should never make a DC also a file-server, and also an Exchange server should never be a DC.

Those 3 VM's can run on a 2012r2 server that is used only as Hyper-V host (also the Hyper-V role should be the only task done by that host, but at least that server is free).

As mentioned already, you will also need much more RAM, particularly for your Exchange server VM.
Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/StorageCommented:
250 users = cluster.

To host an organization's critical services on a single server is not such a great idea.

Dual E5-2690v3, 256GB ECC, RAID 1GB Flash Cache, 16 x 900GB 10K SAS in RAID 6, dual i350T4 Intel Gigabit NICs.

That's where we'd start for either single server or with cluster.
I agree with the comments above that the server you have been quoted is not suitable for your requirements.

As Cliff says, we don't really have enough info to be able to make specific suggestions, but more memory & more disks is definitely a place to start.

It's also worth considering if a single server is the right option, as it is an 'all eggs in one basket' situation.....
Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/StorageCommented:
Addendum: For a cluster node we'd have the least expensive drive option (120GB or more) in a RAID 1 pair using the on board software RAID setup instead of 16 drives.

Though, in some cases we have set our cluster nodes up with a sizeable amount of local storage for certain workload scenarios or where we have a trigger happy local admin. ;)
AlexiosAuthor Commented:
Thank you all for your help
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