15 to 20 developers on VM
Looking to upgrade dev boxes for my dev team. I have spoken with my CTO and he's potentially giving me the option go to either buy powerful boxes (let's say core i7, 8GB of RAM) - spend maybe a max of $1000-$1200 per box or, I can take about $15k to invest in a VMWare server for my team.
I have a team of 7 (soon to be 8) developers and we ultimately want more flexibility to create development environments easier, without relying on our IT dept to build new boxes for us. Obviously, there are a bunch of other benefits with VMWare like increasing our ability to create our own testing environments, etc.
If I go the VM routine, I'm going to dump the 15K all into hardware, and just run the VMWare ESXi free hypervisor - as I believe that will work well for my team's needs. However, will a 15k worth of server hardware chopped up 8 ways compare in performance (or come close?) to smokin' hot core i7 PC's for everyone? Maybe even if the VM's a little slower - all the other benefits make VM the overall better pick?
Interested in hearing from people who've had to made this choice.