VM Overkill?

We've been running a pretty basic system for 5 years with no issues, and will be upgrading from Windows Server 2008 to 2012R2. We have  Visual FoxPro programs running accounting, inventory and shipping apps for about 20 users, all on a LAN. One printer is spooled on the server, all others are local.
The outside company that installs and maintains the network (very few issues) are pushing to put everything on Virtual Machines on the new server. I gather the pluses are an easier backup and restore, but I'm not sure how far we should or want to go in this direction. What are the minuses? Are they making more billable hours for themselves?
Our payroll company (ADP) has a SQL Server app for the time clock on a workstation--would that be a logical candidate to be placed in a virtual machine on the server?
The only other apps are a barcode license server on the server, and UPS (the shipper) software on a workstation that sends a license to another workstation. Are these candidates for VM? Would that be overkill?
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Kanti PrasadCommented:

Generally with what your described above the capacity should be fine but please go through the link below and establish if your existing requirements will have the required capacity.

It is best to ask your vendor\ or your tech team  to fill  an xls sheet with your existing capacities, usage, storage etc and see if it is ok to VM them.

Hi, I can relate to that environment and I can tell you that virtualization has made the management of these servers much more easier for me.  For a fact, I know that I can redeploy the VM to another machine in times of emergency is worth the conversion alone.

The environment I am speaking off is running an ERP system with SAGE ACCPAC as well as older ACCPAC Pro (different department still rely on this older acct software) for accounting software as well as ADP time clock application which the timeclock machine connect to.  I had successfully virtualized the above setup for 50 users 4-5 years ago using an older DELL Poweredge 2900 the client had for spare at the time and it's been running strong with no complaints.  All running in one Windows Server VM.

Your payroll SQL server and accounting software for 20 users is small and  the server can for sure handle these workloads easily.   The print server and barcode license server definitely won't be an issue because it doesn't really do much processing except to validate licenses and serve print jobs.

I would keep the UPS software separate because they normally handle their own hardware/software.  In our case, anything wrong with the UPS system the shipper will call UPS directly and resolve that with them.

In my case, there was no downside.  I just can't think of any.  The server even still have room to run a workstation VM if I want to with plenty of juice left.

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terrypba1Author Commented:
Sounds very similar! Do I want the barcode license server and print server in separate virtual machines? Each get minimal use. Or in the same VM that handles the accounting apps?
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No need, I dumped everything into one because the client didn't want to spend more money for Windows Server licenses.  Please keep in mind that the same licence requirements apply to VM just like a physical server.  One powerful server will be more than enough to handle all those.  I ran it on an old DELL PowerEdge 2900 for 50 users because after doing my research that server can handle more than that (exceeded all the software requirements).  For your case of 20 users, should be no sweat.

By the way, if this is the only server you are going to run for the entire company you will want to get a really good hardware with a lot of power and RAID is a must.
terrypba1Author Commented:
Ahh--this raises another issue.
If cost were not an issue, would it make sense to have the print server in its own VM? The barcode license server, which is called on perhaps 5 times a week?
The local company that handles our hardware and maintains the network apparently has a license which lets them add users and VMs on servers at no direct additional expense to the client (us). They handle a number of local government offices, so I assume everything is on the up and up. But I have asked for clarification on what happens if they disappear.
Which brings us back to the original question. Is there some VM overkill here with the small apps getting their own VM?
It is definitely an overkill to run a server O.S for just print and barcode license server but it would make sense to put it on a separate VM so that they don't have access to your main data (accounting, file shares, etc).

Can you run the print server on the main VM and just run the barcode licensing server on a workstation VM like a Windows 7 VM?
terrypba1Author Commented:
I suspect we could--food for thought.
Domain Controllers should be their own VM, and do nothing else. The same applies to Exchange, SQL  or  Remote Desktop servers. File-servers can also do other tasks, like print serving etc.

Also the Hyper-V Host server should do no other task than Hyper-V.
"Domain Controllers should be their own VM, and do nothing else. The same applies to Exchange, SQL  or  Remote Desktop servers. File-servers can also do other tasks, like print serving etc."

Disagree.  Microsoft used to make Small Business Server product line with just that (all-in-one Domain Controllers, Exchange, SQL, File-servers, print server, etc.)  In theory what you suggested is what what MS recommend to make more money on the licensing after discontinuing the SBS line (there isn't other options but to go this route).

To have a separate VM for each of the stated application in an environment of 20 users is definitely an overkill.  From my experience I have done a similar implementation with success and good reliability.
SBS servers aren't an option anymore. That was a special server type which did everything and that can't be compared to the servers you get from m$ these days.
Cost aside, are you saying in this case, a full version Windows Server VM (given the hardware spec meet or exceeded the total requirements)  can't handle the duty of being a Domain Controller , SQL, File-serving, print serving and etc. for an environment of 20 users?  He didn't mention about email so I left that out.  I beg to differ.
I'm saying that you should have a separate VM for DC, another for SQL, and a 3rd for the rest. It's not a question of whether one VM could handle all the tasks, but rather about good practices and what is supported by m$. The number of users isn't relevant.
I still beg to differ but if considering we go with your advise then sure, it's probably best to run a separate VM for everything and multiple physical servers too.  Since it's the only server, don't forget about high availability.  Best practices.  Money aside.....I agree.

Is it an overkill?  Yes it is.
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