We are a software development house. We require different systems with different OS platforms, like Win Server 2003, Win XP, Win 7 Win Server 2008 both 32 and 64 bit, for software testing purpose.
- We require complete systems either physical or virtual.
- The processor usages are not high.
- Memory usages are moderate (1 - 2 GB per machine).
- HDD space is not a big factor, 40 GB is sufficient. Rather HDD read - write might be an issue as there will be databases installed.
Generally we are using Microsoft Hyper-V server and Virtual PC. But if we run multiple virtual on a same HDD, there are bottle necking in disk I/O.
Now we are planning to build a hardware platform where we can accommodate numbers of virtual machines with different OS platforms without any physical bottle necking. But I am having some confusions regarding the hardware required for this solution.
The main concern should be scalability. We can go for some tower or rack-mounted servers with 20 odd HDDS, 8-16 DIMMS, 2 Quad Xeons. Still HDD constraint may arise later. But Recently I got a suggestion form my friend. He was telling, keeping the main concern of scalability in mind, we can go for a sollution where the Prcoessing unit and Storage unit (Disc Array) will be seperate.
- A mid range server will serve the Processing part.It will have Processors and memory (say 2 quad core Xeon and 32 GB memory).
- Some scalable Storage solution like Network Attached Storage (NAS) will server contain the Operating Systems.
I am a bit confused whether is this feasible. How an ethernet connection can serve the purpose of a system bus?
Any suggestion regarding possible solution will be highly appreciated.