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I intend to virtualise my companies 4 servers into one server. Currently we have:

• Exchange 2010 Server – 50 user’s low usage. 30 – 40 messages per day.
• SQL 2008 - 20 Dynamic Nav users.
• File Server – 40 users connecting occasionally throughout the day.
• Domain Controller

The proposed hardware is as follows:

• 2 x Intel Xeon Processor X5690 (3.46 GHz, Six Core, 12MB cache)
• 4 x 450 GB Seagate Cheetah 15K.7 (16 MB cache/15,000 rpm/SAS 6Gb/s)
• 48 GB DDR3-RAM (12x Kingston DIMM 4 GB PC3-10600 ECC Reg)
• QNAP TS 790 Pro (Dual core i3 Processor, 2GB RAM, 12TB, RAID6) X2

The plan is to configure the disks in the server as RAID10 for better I/O performance for exchange 2010.

The Exchange 2010 and SQL 2008 database and logs will be stored on the NAS (I plan to use iSCSI to connect the Virtual Servers to the NAS box.

I then plan to use my old server as a redundant server to use the VMware HA feature. I have an identical NAS box that will be setup as a replica of the production NAS box.

Will my proposed server have enough resources to do the job for box SQL and Exchange? Is there anything I’m overlooking? Any setup suggestions would be most welcome.

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Only having 1 DC is bad. You should have at least two on two separate pieces of hardware. –  MDMarra Jul 24 '12 at 14:37
    
Can I suggest that instead of replacing those servers with virtualization, you use virtualization to achieve redundancy? You can use the shiny new virtualization server and guests as your primary servers, and the existing ones as secondary or failover servers. That way, if something breaks, you won't necessarily have your whole weekend/week/month ruined by one hardware failure. FWIW, that kind of setup (one including real redundancy) is a prerequisite of my accepting an FTE position anywhere, for a good reason. –  HopelessN00b Jul 24 '12 at 17:44

4 Answers 4

Skip VmWare, use Hyper-V.

Install a real windows on the machine, then put the domain controller right there, the other 3 can go on as Hyper-V virtual machines ;)

  • You have WAY more memory than you need. Similar you MAY be low on disc performance.

But general, that is ok.

BUT: THAT makes NO sense - like zero:

The plan is to configure the disks in the server as RAID10 for better I/O performance for exchange 2010

You do not need a lot of performance for what you talk of, especially not when:

The Exchange 2010 and SQL 2008 database and logs will be stored on the NAS (

it still maks sense - you will have tons of IO there at some times (patching), but it is not exchange that will demand that.

In general that is a very nice machine. Are you sure you need TWO xeons? I run a simmilar setup on one machine with 16gb RAM, albeit with less users - but CPU load is pretty low.

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Two physical CPUs are ok for redundancy reasons. If one CPU fails, the machine can reboot and go on with one CPU. –  Nils Jul 24 '12 at 20:55
    
Hyper-V is part of Windows 2008R2 Enterprise Edition. It will have three free virtual machines, so your suggestion also is the cheapest solution - compared with VMWare, too. –  Nils Jul 24 '12 at 20:58

I intend to virtualise my companies 4 servers into one server. Currently we have:

Have more than one piece of hardware and more than one server, unless you want a single hardware failure to bring everything to a halt.

The proposed hardware is as follows:

Ok, probably overkill, but I assume that you've profiled your workload and know what you need for your own environment.

The plan is to configure the disks in the server as RAID10 for better I/O performance for exchange 2010.
...
I then plan to use my old server as a redundant server to use the VMware HA feature. I have an identical NAS box that will be setup as a replica of the production NAS box.

Um, you can't use HA with local disks. Everything has to be on shared storage that is presented to all servers in the vSphere cluster. Not to mention that you don't say that you're even going to be running a vCenter server to manage this.


I think that you don't have a very good grasp on what vSphere actually offers or how any of it works. I'd recommend hiring a consultant with experience in this that can guide you before you make a huge mistake.

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Agree with TomTom about the single CPU, but I don't think you need an X5690, if you can change this spec I'd recommend the E5-2660, it's cheaper, cooler, has more memory bandwidth and has more, but slower, cores - which I think will serve your needs better.

I'd also drop the QNAP entirely and either just have one bigger R10 array for everything or have two arrays, the 4-disks-R10 for your busiest applications and another array using the cheaper SATA disks but directly attached - the performance of 7.2k SATA disks in R6 will be slow enough before you hamper it even more via 1Gbps iSCSI or NFS.

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Firstly are you aware that, in order to use the HA feature, you will need to be using the fully licensed version of VMware Vsphere and have a shared storage appliance of some description?

If so I would suggest splitting your current allocation of resources across two servers, i.e. two servers with 24GB and a xeon each, then provide a central, shared storage appliance such as an iscsi SAN, or even a generic NAS if you have to.

You could, in theory, build up your old server to be a SAN using something Openfiler or Falconstor's free iscsi virtual appliance but this then becomes a central point of failure, ideally you would use a dual-controller appliance such as a Dell Equallogic ps4000 (the only reason I suggest this specific appliance is because, for me, it is tried and tested and will do what you need it to, but there are many other options out there).

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