I do IT infrastructure support primarily for small businesses (up to ~50 users). The past few years I have been doing some server virtualization for situations that don't require a second physical machine, or for consolidation when it comes time to replace old physical servers.
90% of these environments are something like a Windows SBS server and another 1 or 2 Windows servers, usually to run some line-of-business application, accounting software or whatever else doesn't play well with SBS. Most of the businesses are something like 10-25 users.
My go-to server configuration for these businesses is usually:
- Dell T610
- Dual procs
- 12-48GB ram
- PERC 6/i or H700 RAID controller
- RAID 1 with 2x 15k 146GB SAS drives
- RAID 5 with 3x 15k 450GB SAS drives (maybe 600GB drives depending on needs)
I put the host OS on the RAID 1 (ESXi or MS Hyper-V) and the VMs on the RAID 5. I like the T610 because it has 8 SAS slots, so I can add another RAID 5 with 3 drives in the future if more space is needed.
My question is regarding the drive configuration. Is there another configuration that would be better than the RAID 1/RAID 5 config above for these situations? Like drop the RAID 1 and use those slots more efficiently for something else?
This config has seemed to serve me well, but it seems like I could be limiting my I/O performance if I add more than a couple VMs to the host (unless I add another RAID 5 to gain more spindles).
I know there are reams of questions similar to portions of this question...I've just spent a few hours reading ~50 of them, but I haven't been able to come to a conclusion on this.
Any input appreciated. Thanks in advance.