Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm in the process of migrating a SBS 2003 to SBS 2011. The new server is installed on a HP DL360 with ESXi 4.1, having 38GB RAM, a 2.53Ghz E5649, 4*300GB SAS RAID1+0. My questions are:

  • Should I install the SBS Premium Add-on on a separate server or just keep one server and install SQL on it?
  • What's the benefit of having a separate server just for SQL, which takes additional ressources (e.g. RAM and disk space for OS) to keep everything running?

Please note that this is a setup for 15-20 users and not many heavy duty processes will be running.

share|improve this question
That seems excessively high amount of resources for 15-20 typical office users. We have 8-12GB RAM for SBS 2008 and 2011 running all bells and whistles (Exchange, Sharepoint, BES, plus a Line of Business app or two) flawlessly. – gravyface Mar 26 '12 at 22:30
This investment should stay for a couple years.. And we got the RAM for a bargain price ;-) – Joseph jun. Melettukunnel Mar 27 '12 at 6:08

Second server. The reason is that SQL server is designed to fully utilize the resources given, so a second server can be fully dedicate to SQL. Additionally the sql server can be patched without taking down your entire windows server environment The amount of overhead (ram and OS ) is fairly small.

share|improve this answer
The SQL Server has only about 15-20GB of data. How many CPU cores (out of 6), RAM and disk space would you recommend for a separate (virtualized) server? – Joseph jun. Melettukunnel Mar 27 '12 at 8:45
Liek any other virtualization exercise, you need to measure the baseline load (cpu mem and disk IO) and size appropriately. If that information is unavailable I'd start at 1 CPU and a few gbs of ram and see what the utilization is like. Your first bottleneck should be disk. Follow the vmware virtulization guide here: – Jim B Mar 27 '12 at 16:44

If you have ESXi, why not virtualize an SQL Server?

share|improve this answer
Disk performance (random read/write IOPS, not MB/s) is usually the main reason to be careful about virtualizing a database server. It's one thing if your virtual machines are on a high-performance ZFS iSCSI target with SSDs caching reads and writes, and quite another if your virtualization server has only direct-attached storage in RAID5. – Skyhawk Mar 27 '12 at 6:42

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.