Here's what I have in mind, understand I am ignorant:
A core OS running virtual machine software - Linux (which distro?) with VMWare?
A Terminal Services virtual machine for up to 50 thin clients - Win Server 2008 R2. The only reason I'm stuck with Windows for TS is because I can't get most users off of MS Office (Outlook in particular).
An Active Directory virtual machine - should I stick with Win Server 2008 R2, or is there a Linux distro + LDAP combo that is compatible with 2K8R2 Terminal Services?
Store shared files on a NAS, map a drive in each Terminal Services profile.
Sync the LDAP with Google Apps.
I have about a dozen laptop users - how do I handle them regarding AD/LDAP? Roaming profiles? I'd love to force them to boot a tiny linux image and then remote desktop into the Terminal Server... But they are going to FREAK OUT when they can't use their computer in situations where there isn't broadband access. I'm not sure 3G is sufficient enough for a pleasant user experience. The last thing I want is to hear every day how slow their computer is. But on the flip side, the security and management is unparalleled. Am I just thinking too far ahead of the curve?
We have a PBX server - should I virtualize that?
Are Blade servers simply more space efficient, "second generation" rack servers? They're still individual servers, correct? Or do they function like distributing computing? A "beowulf cluster"?
If I can talk them into SSDs, should I choose those over HDDS? I'd get two for RAID1. Remember the data storage will be on the NAS. The SSDs would be for the virtualized servers server. I guess I should opt for SLC vs. MLC? PCI-E or SATA/SAS?
Your insight is greatly appreciated. Thanks.