Need some advice on Microsoft Server Solutions

I haven't done an MS server installation since SBS2011 so am after a little advice for a client proposal.

Client is looking to migrate to a domain environment for management but is also looking to run some client applications on the server,

My understanding is that a Windows Server 2016 Standard is good for 16 Cores & supports installation on the   Physical  as well as 2 virtualised environments on the same hardware.

My thinking at the moment is a HP ML350P, Dual Processor Quad Core E5-2609, 64GB RAM. 4x 600GB SSD in Raid 5.

Setup the Server 2016 Host as the DC/ File Server
Setup 1st Virtualised Server 2016 as the application Server (Sage Construction, Paperless)
Setup 2nd Virtualised Server 2016 as a Terminal Server for remote sessions to the Application Server (this solution was suggested by application vendor.

They have approximately 15 users on site plus some remote users. It would be good to make the remote users more integrated into the office environment.

Wondering if I can get some feedback on the setup/hardware, tips/tricks, pitt falls.

Thanks

Raoul
Raoul EdmondsAsked:
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Dual CPU is ok, but I'd get a CPU that supports HyperThreading.

The host cannot run ANYTHING other than Hyper-V.  It cannot be a DC, file server, DHCP server, DNS server - it cannot be ANYTHING other an the host.

That means you either need a second license for server to get 2 more VMs *OR* combine the application server with the file server/DC.
With rare exception RDS should be NOTHING BUT RDS.

I have a few articles you might want to read over:
Servers Sharing Services
https://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/28694/Servers-Sharing-Services.html

Virtual or Physical (you've already indicated Virtual, at least somewhat, but the second part of the article gives you tips/pitfalls to watch out for, etc.
https://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/27799/Virtual-or-Physical.html

I have a couple of other articles that can potentially help/should be read, but they are less applicable so I'll just say read my profile and filter on Articles.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
And few people recommend RAID 5 anymore - it's generally RAID 6 only. Or RAID 10.
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Raoul EdmondsAuthor Commented:
Lee,

Thanks for the heads up. Hopefully you can clarify and let me know if I am heading in the right direction below.

I had a conversation with MS & they did not indicated that the physical server could/should not be used. So it is essentially just supplying the hypervisor (is that the right terminology).

That being the case is it possible/preferable to run the two virtual machines on a ESXi host (I have a bit of experience with this). Does the licence still cover this? How does the performance compare? I think I got part of your answer from your links. You have more experience with MS hypervisor than vmware and as such lean that way. One consideration would be the hypervisor hardware monitoring and alerting. I want to be able to get warning and alerts of hardware failures such as drives etc. Will this come directly from the hypervisor or will it get passed through to a guest? Given that I am not that comfortable with a cmd line interface on a MS Hypervisor and the 2+1 presumably means wasting more resources on the host I am kind of leaning towards vmware.

Ass far as storage is concerned is there any practical difference between RAID 6 and RAID 10 (4 drives)? From my basic understanding RAID 6 will support any 2 drives failing where as if the first drive in each set of the raid 10 failed then the array has catastrophically failed. Is that correct. So Raid 6 gives better data protection but perhaps slower?

So considering that I have 4x 600gb sata drives. Should I create 1 logical drive? Or should I create a logical drive dedicated to the Host. Then a logical drive for the guests?

The range of services that I am looking for at this stage
Server 1 - Resources (4 cpus, 32GB Ram, 150gb System Drive, 850GB Data Drive)
- DC
- DHCP
- AD (Group Policy)
- DNS
- File Server
- Print Server
- Application Server (Sage & Paperless) utilising SQLExpress.

Server 2 - Resources (4 CPUs, 24GB RAM, 150GB Hard Drive)
-Terminal Services

VPN to be handled by the router.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I had a conversation with MS & they did not indicated that the physical server could/should not be used. So it is essentially just supplying the hypervisor (is that the right terminology).
Get it in writing.  If you have in writing that the host can run non-Hypervisor supporting systems then from a licensing standpoint, I would say you're fine.  That said, if you read my article about servers sharing services, there are other reasons not to contaminate the host with additional services, including taking down EVERYTHING when you need to reboot a file server because you just can't get a lock to break on a file or something.

That being the case is it possible/preferable to run the two virtual machines on a ESXi host (I have a bit of experience with this). Does the licence still cover this? How does the performance compare? I think I got part of your answer from your links. You have more experience with MS hypervisor than vmware and as such lean that way. One consideration would be the hypervisor hardware monitoring and alerting. I want to be able to get warning and alerts of hardware failures such as drives etc. Will this come directly from the hypervisor or will it get passed through to a guest? Given that I am not that comfortable with a cmd line interface on a MS Hypervisor and the 2+1 presumably means wasting more resources on the host I am kind of leaning towards vmware.

In my opinion, it's easy and cleaner to run everything on a host that you can manage from the host.  Which means Hyper-V since you can't do (almost) anything from the console of an ESXi system.  You also get Replication free with Hyper-V.  Last I heard, ESXi still required an expensive license to do that.  But that's my preference.  From a performance standpoint, a small business will almost certainly not notice a performance difference between the two.  And from a licensing standpoint, the 2+1 means 2 VMs for full services, 1 physical install for hosting the VMs.  Use a third party hypervisor and you lose the "+1"

Ass far as storage is concerned is there any practical difference between RAID 6 and RAID 10 (4 drives)? From my basic understanding RAID 6 will support any 2 drives failing where as if the first drive in each set of the raid 10 failed then the array has catastrophically failed. Is that correct. So Raid 6 gives better data protection but perhaps slower?
Yes, that's how I interpret it.  With SSDs I would probably stick with RAID 6.  With spindles, I'd probably go for RAID 10.  With both cases and only 4 drives, you're leaving yourself without a hot spare.

So considering that I have 4x 600gb sata drives. Should I create 1 logical drive? Or should I create a logical drive dedicated to the Host. Then a logical drive for the guests?
I would create a single 100/120 GB host drive where Windows is installed to for Hyper-V.  I'd put a LIMITED amount of support software that can be easily moved if necessary - such as the installation ISOs for the VMs.  This would be a RAID controller "container" or "partition" (meaning the OS would see it as a separate physical disk).  I've worked with Dell controllers that permit this, I assume HP and Lenovo do too.

The range of services that I am looking for at this stage
Server 1 - Resources (4 cpus, 32GB Ram, 150gb System Drive, 850GB Data Drive)
- DC
- DHCP
- AD (Group Policy)
- DNS
- File Server
- Print Server
- Application Server (Sage & Paperless) utilising SQLExpress.

Server 2 - Resources (4 CPUs, 24GB RAM, 150GB Hard Drive)
-Terminal Services


Read my articles.  I've answered most of these questions in my articles. That's why I posted them.  In short, #1 has too many CPUs, way too much RAM (SQL Express can only use 1 GB for the databases and a little more for overhead.  All other services from a RAM standpoint are lightweight.  With Hyper-V I'd probably set this to 3GB to start, minimum 2 GB, and Max 6 GB) and (for me, though I don't think I say a drive size), 150 is slightly more than I consider necessary.  And since these are VHDs, you can expand them as needed, so start with 80 or 100 GB for the system drive.  #2 has too many CPUs and probably could use more disk space to cover people's profiles.  RAM is often important on RDS systems.
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pgm554Commented:
RAID 5 on a small SSD should work fine.
The issues against using it were the long rebuild times required for multi terabyte arrays which could cause a 2nd drive error during a long rebulid process over many hours(or days).
If those are enterprise SSD and your RAID  controller supports SSD ,you should be fine.

Make sure you use a caching RAID controller.
Virtual machines love it.
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Raoul EdmondsAuthor Commented:
Thank you Lee and pgm554. Starting to feel confident that I can get this setup without too much issues.

Hope you don't mind but hopefully 1 last questions. Networking.

Should I have a dedicated card on the host for each Guest? I know that Guests can share the host card but would i be better off configuring 1 card per machine (if I have the resources.

Thanks
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I don't mind sharing... Dedicated is arguably better - and when I get a server with multiple NICs, I usually use ALL of them.  You can TEAM them and then make them available to the systems (under Hyper-V) this would help if a NIC or port or cable failed.
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Windows Server 2016

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