Hardware Requirements & configuration

I am working with a growing business that is currently reaching the limits of their hardware and wants to upgrade their system to handle their needs over the next 3-5 years.

The company is planning on 300+ users with a maximum of around 450 over the next 3-5. They run in a Remote Desktop environment.

They have 7 remote offices, their main office where the servers are located has a 100/100mbps fiber Internet connection. The end users connect in with either HP desktop Thin Clients or HP Mobile Thin Clients. We are using Remote Desktop Gateway for authentication.

Looking for some ideas for hardware configuration that would bring high performance for the number of users and high reliability. We are using VMWare Essentials currently for the server virtualization. Would like to do some load balancing with the Remote Desktop Servers.

They would be using desktop sessions and no need for Remote Apps. The end users only require Microsoft Office, Internet Access for their web-based LOB software. They are not running any other type of application.

They need a Domain Controller, Exchange Server, File Server, and Remote Desktop Servers. I want to upgrade everything to Server 2016, Office Standard 2016, Exchange 2016

I want to take into consideration processor utilization, hard drive utilization, RAM utilization, etc. I will be running the DC on its own box. But not sure if I should virtualize the Exchange Server, File Server, and Remote Desktop Servers all on the same set of Hard Drives or if I should spilt up a DAS into different LUN's or RAID containers for each server.

Just looking for some ideas from the community that have experience with this size SMB.

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
With that many users, and Concurrent RDS users, we would not virtualize them, unless you have a mandate to provide virtual servers for ALL servers, because we have found that virtual servers under a Hypervisor (VMware or Microsoft), the numbers of concurrent users is substantially reduced, thus requiring more virtual servers on your Hosts, and by the time you cost licenses for OS and Hypervisor, it's more cost effective to use physical servers for RDS hosts.

RDS servers run normally at high utilization.

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Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/StorageCommented:
We'd be looking at one of the following options:

1: 2-3 Node Disaggregate Cluster with DAS
  ++ Dual Intel Xeon Gold, 1.5TB ECC, 10GbE Intel dual-port Pair, 16-Port (4/SAS port) 12Gb SAS HBA Pair
  ++ 3-4 DNS-2640 2U 24-bay JBOD
  ++ HGST SAS Solid-State Drives (Or Tier SSD + HDD)
  ++ Hyper-V and Storage Spaces driven

2: 4-8 Node Storage Spaces Direct Hyper-Converged Cluster
  ++ Dual Intel Xeon Gold, 768GB ECC, 10GbE Intel dual-port Pair, 25GbE Mellanox RDMA
  ++ (2) 4TB Intel DC P4600 PCIe NVMe HH Card
  ++ (24) 1.9TB Intel DC S4600 Series SSDs

Both can be an out of the box VDI solution.

Set up Highly Available RDS Farm components and the Session Hosts, use User Profile Disks, and away you go.
Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
No comment has been added to this question in more than 21 days, so it is now classified as abandoned.

I have recommended this question be closed as follows:

Accept: Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) (https:#a42456015)

If you feel this question should be closed differently, post an objection and the moderators will review all objections and close it as they feel fit. If no one objects, this question will be closed automatically the way described above.

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