We're a little behind in the virtualization game, I'll have to admit. We currently have nothing virtualized, but I'm trying to change that.
We want to get our feet wet with virtualization and get a feel for it, so I am going to propose for next year we get a server and virtualize 3 rather under-utilised (and incredibly old) non-critical servers.
I know virtualization is all about SANs, but unfortunately we don't have one (all our servers are DAS). The question I have is if I get a server (probably a HP DL380 of some description) with DAS, are the guest VMs (under-utilised don't forget) going to suffer badly as a result? My current thinking is to put Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 as the host, if it makes any difference.
I'll give a quick run down of what the 3 servers do below. I know this isn't an exact science, but roughly speaking - do you think DAS will be OK?
Runs a legacy HR system which is accessed maybe once or twice a week. This has a SQL Server 2000 backend which also runs on this server. This thing is archaic (I don't know when HP stopped branding ProLiants Compaq, but this proudly displays the Compaq logo on the front).
Runs some emulated printers for our AS/400 and prints the output to some real printers. This runs happily on an oldish PC with W2K3 and 2GB RAM.
Runs a server for a BI product, however all it actually does is at 4:00AM imports a ton of data from our AS/400 and compiles it into a file (this takes about half an hour). About 15 users then periodically (maybe once every few days) download this compiled file (~100MB) to their local computer. The download is user initiated, so there's no real defined access pattern.
This is also on a PC running 2K3 but with 3GB RAM.
We've looked at virtualization several times now, but because of our lack of SAN and the many advantages it brings, we have dismissed virtualization as an option each time.
I know some of the pitfalls of putting these VMs on DAS (lack of HA etc) - and that is OK for these machines. If the host were to fail, it would be an inconvenience rather than a full blown disaster.
I'm looking at this more of a consolidation project rather than anything else. The 3 servers are slated for replacement next year anyway, and like I said they are getting rather old, sit mostly idle and are big tower machines using a lot of space and electricity. In my opinion, 3 new servers (however basic) is still overkill for machines that sit doing very little all day.