Sizing Advice for new Windows 2016 server

I need to size a new Windows 2016 server.
My current server is a Windows SBS 2008 machine running Exchange, AD and SQL 2012. There are 15 concurrent users mainly accessing the SQL database through a front-end Accounts application. The current size of all databases is 20Gb and the total disc usage today is approx 400Gb.
In my new world, Exchange will be moved to a hosted solution so all I'm left with is AD, some file and print server and SQL 2012.
My thought is to install a single physical machine split into two virtual servers running Windows 2016 Standard and administered using the free version of 5nine software. One virtual server would be dedicated to SQL2012 and the other to AD and File/Print Server (open to suggestions on this layout).
I would like the server to have a life of about 5 years during which time I would expect the number of concurrent user to increase to about 20.
What architecture would be suitable to meet this requirement? i.e. Disc RAID and size, RAM size etc.
ClintonKAsked:
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Sai Kiran SakarayPrincipal ConsultantCommented:
Hey,

any plans of moving to cloud ?

You can plan the cost with this tool vs on-premise cost for 5 yrs

http://calculator.s3.amazonaws.com/index.html

The Major advantage is (with AWS Cloud)

Performance : You can upsize or downsize the server configuration considering off-peak and peak periods. This way you can really make use of cloud.
cost : You can do a agreement of "3yrs upfront partial" so that cost will be 40% less than on-demand pricing.
Backup : You can use cloud S3 to backup and glacier to maintain historical data
Maintenance cost is less compared to on-premise.
Automate the startup and stop timings of servers to reduce the Cost i.e during weekends you can shutdown servers from anywhere if business runs in weekdays.
No worries on the hardware and datacenter maintenance. Sizing can be changed at anytime in cloud but in on-premise if sizing is less then again the purchasing process will take long time. whereas in cloud you can launch servers in a minute.

If you are willing to go with on-premise of your original idea you can still go with it. However, I am not much into hardware to advise on it. Usually RAID 10 is preferred.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
My thought is to install a single physical machine split into two virtual servers running Windows 2016 Standard and administered using the free version of 5nine software.
Why?  Why not use the built in Hyper-V Manager software?  It's free, works well.  And though I've used 5Nine and it's great for use on a Hyper-V Server core install, it's pointless in my opinion when you have a full copy of 2016.

One virtual server would be dedicated to SQL2012 and the other to AD and File/Print Server (open to suggestions on this layout).
This is fine.  Given your described workload, that's exactly what I'd recommend for a small business.

I would like the server to have a life of about 5 years during which time I would expect the number of concurrent user to increase to about 20.
What architecture would be suitable to meet this requirement? i.e. Disc RAID and size, RAM size etc.

Now this depends.  If you want to do this RIGHT, you need to analyze what you're using now.  How busy is the CPU?  How often are files accessed?  Are people complaining things are slow?  How is the disk laid out now?  Is the file server data on separate spindles from the Exchange data which could be on separate spindles from the SQL data?  How often is the SQL database accessed?  Some of the answers to these questions may generate more questions.  

Without seeing the environment and getting the (VERY) basics from you, I would suggest a 4-disk RAID 6 with a good caching RAID controller (at least 2GB).  You can probably get away with Enterprise grade SATA (4x1TB or larger).  

For RAM, the DC would need 2 GB (I'd configure the DC to use 2 GB at startup, 4 GB max, 512 MB minimum.  File services and AD use VERY LITTLE RAM.  SQL depends.  Are you using the full version or SQL Express?  If you are using SQL Express, there's not point to allocating more than 4 GB of RAM to the SQL server.  SQL Express is limited to 1 GB of RAM for the database plus overhead (and overhead is not more than 1 GB more - I tend to see it usually hang around 500 MB).  Which means since the OS doesn't need much, 4 GB is fine.  That means you could get by on 8 GB of RAM for the server (you can always add more - but ALWAYS do so intelligently by carefully analyzing what is the actual cause of any performance issues - don't just think "I must need more RAM").  

If, on the other hand, you are using the "full" version of SQL, then it can use (generally speaking) all the RAM you can throw at it.  In which case, I'd probably push it to 16 GB of RAM.  MAYBE more, but if you're running Exchange, SQL, and Windows on SBS 2008 right now, SQL isn't getting more than 15 GB (and probably less, more like 10-12), not to mention it's contending for other resources such as disk and CPU, so I'd probably consider 10 GB for the SQL server.  That means you need 16 GB for the physical server (again 2-4 for the DC).  And again, you can always add more RAM.  If you really want, get 32 right now.  It's definitely not a bad idea and if you have the money, I likely would recommend that... but if you're trying to stay within a budget, you can hold off and get by with 16.

I would suggest reading over a few of my articles:
https://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/27799/Virtual-or-Physical.html (You're planning for virtual - good - but the second half of the article has recommendations for how to config virtualization).
https://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/28694/Servers-Sharing-Services.html - this addresses the server layout.  Some may have other opinions, but for SMBs, this outlines what is generally ok to share and what isn't.
https://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/29316/File-Server-Migration-Methods.html - to help with migrating data from your existing server to the new one.
https://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/30742/A-Guide-to-Volume-Shadow-Copy.html - If you're not using Shadow Copy, you SHOULD BE - as you move to the new server, configure it (properly).
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ClintonKAuthor Commented:
Thanks. Good comprehensive advice and useful documentation.
I plan to proceed initially with a 32Gb, RAID6 (4 x 1TB) server with 2Gb cache raid controller.
The server I'm looking at is easily upgraded so I can tweak the configuration with more RAM/Discs later if need be.
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