Current Situation: We've currently got a Win2k3 32bit OS running on 4GB ram. SQL + Exchange + AD + everything runs on this server and it takes FOREVER to boot, especially if the mail store didn't shut down correctly. Not so great when you need it up and running ASAP.
We are about to order a new server with the following specs:
- DELL R610 with 32GB of RAM
- 5 * 600GB Disks RAID5 + 1 cold spare
- Windows 2008SBS + Premium Addons (Which includes Windows 2008 Standard and SQL Standard 2008)
We would like to use virtualisation to separate the services but no so sure about how to go about best implementing the system.
Win2k8 Standard has a memory limit of 32GB, so we can't upgrade the server memory at a later stage.
I have a linux background, so Xen is appealing. However, I don't particularly want to introduce new systems that will require more specialist skills. In this case, a system administrator will need to be proficient in Linux based systems.
Hyper-V looks like a good option because it has $0 cost, but this still requires Windows 2008 to be installed on the base, with services directly installed on that.
I've heard that VMWare ESXi is a $0 cost option, but I've not had any experience with this. I'm not sure exactly if this will suit our requirements.
I'm also not sure how to best structure the filesystem - should a virtualised host have direct access to the disks? Or should a disk file be created for that Virtual host?