I had this question after viewing Hyper-V for small business, SAS or SSD?
I'm getting ready to build out the hardware for our next server and would like some input on hardware choices and configuration. I'm planning a Hyper-V setup, and I've read several helpful guides by Lee and Philip.
Usage & background info:
I need to spin up a SQL box asap for our database application. Ideally, I can buy a box and add memory/hdds in a year when we move from SBS2011+premium addon (separate box) to Hyper-V+4 (DC/Exchange/LoB data/SQL). So, in choosing the hardware, I'd like to get enough CPU and a RAID controller to support that. I'll break down the use cases for the immediate and the future.
IMMEDIATE SQL need: It's going to be set up to replicate with a cloud-based server. Having a copy of the DB on the LAN just makes it so much faster. It's a church management suite....probably 8-10GB in size and growing by a couple gigs a year. There q43 10-20 concurrent users, all working through an endpoint client (kiosk check-in app or database front-end app). Right now, the replication is running on SQL Express 2005 (or 2008?), and we'd like to move to SQL 2012/2014.
- Initial thoughts: lots of memory and SSD-based storage
FUTURE use: We have about 30 users, 20 full-time. 4-5 printers, no faxing through the network (a stand-alone unit to handle the occasional fax). We have about 40 Windows devices in AD, so WSUS gets used. Trying to consolidate all OS to either Win 7 or Win 10. Plan is to be homogenous Win 10 by the end of next year. We have a couple Macs, but they just access SMB shares or Exchange thru autodiscover and install their own printer drivers. We use redirected folders to ensure availability and recovery of user data.
We don't use Sharepoint other than RWW (is that even sharepoint?) which is used moderately by 2-3 people. I (sysadmin) remote into user machines daily, both on and offsite. I don't think that taxes the server much.
Exchange is a big deal. Everyone uses it, many of us sync with our phones, tablets, home computers, etc, however all but 4 users have 2GB mailbox limits that they aren't exceeding. 4 of us use 5-10 GB.
Other SQL stuff would be WSUS and SEPM. I think both are using the built-in databases they shipped with, but can run on SQL. Might not make sense to do that.
LoB data: Compared to our other uses, I think our #1 storage hog is data. We do a lot of content creation, and we store/share it through network storage. Current network shares+redirected folders are about 700GB of data.
- Initial thoughts: conventional HDD are probably fine for LoB data. How many CPUs/cores do we need to handle these VMs based on our usage?
Hardware: I'm most comfortable with Dell servers as that is what all our other servers are, so using OpenManage, DRAC, PERC, etc are things I already do. I'm looking at R330 or R430. Both can give me 8 2.5" hot-swap bays. I'm looking at the following builds:
Option 1: Dell PE R330 w/8 2.5" hot-swap bays for future expansion. 4 dimm slots
1x Xeon 1240v5 (3.5GHZ) 4C/8T
Option 2: Dell PE R430 w/8 2.5" hot-swap bays, 8 dimm slots (2 per CPU socket)
1x Xeon 2623v4 2.6Ghz 4C/8T (but room to add another CPU in the future)
PERC 730 (optimized for SSD)
1x 480 SSD (SM863) (since we are just doing a local replication, I'm not too concerned about DR. we can failover to the cloud if needed. We'd add RAID 1/10 next year when we add VMs for DC/Exchange, etc)
32 GB RAM (2133Mhz) (double to 64GB next year)
dual hot-swap PSU
iDRAC basic (don’t do much out-of-band)
1G Broadcom NIC (we have a 10G uplink on our switch, but I can’t spring for that this year…how feasible is it to switch NICs down the road?)
PCIe riser card for future expansion (SAN?)
My biggest concern can 4 cores @ 3.5 Ghz enough to handle our future use? Or am I better off with 8 @ 2.6Ghz in the long run?
I know going with a solo SSD is not recommended, but since it’s just a replicated copy and I’m planning to add additional drives within a year, it should do the job.
Any other suggestions? Is any additional info needed? I had thought our next implementation would be a cluster with 2x servers and a SAN, but then this issue with SQL came up and I have to buy a server ahead of our budget. As am looking at recommended builds based on our usages, I'm wondering if a cluster is the right tool for the job or is this approach of building out a server will do the job just as well.