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I need to buy a server. This machine will be used as a virtualization host, therefore it will have a lot of v-machines sitting there using its resources.

One of those v-machines is a SQL Server that provides for our ERP which is used, intensively, by about 30 people, one automatic instance of that same ERP and one external app that provides messaging capabalities to our ERP everytime something of importance happens.

On top of that, i want to run RDS to about 20 offsite users, AD, and probably some other services like SMS messaging, and setting up our own email service...

I'm heading to a box that runs 2 AMD Opteron 6100 series (8 cores/pp), 32GB, RAID controller (512MB) and 8 SFF (500GB) in RAID 10.

Is this hardware fit to run such a setup? Any ideas, clues, thoughts? I'm a bit worried about AMD performance when executing SQL tasks/jobs/queries...

Thanks for your help.

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Barata, I'm afraid that this question might get closed or downvoted to oblivion on the grounds that it's too subjective or maybe even not a real question. SF is more for question/answer format, not so much questions that elicit discussion. –  Ryan Ries Dec 26 '12 at 21:35
    
elicit - not illicit :-) –  mfinni Dec 26 '12 at 21:37
    
@mfinni Oops. Thanks. Fixed. :) –  Ryan Ries Dec 26 '12 at 21:38
    
@RyanRies I see two questions here: AMD vs. Intel, and is it enough? –  Nils Dec 26 '12 at 21:38
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Product recommendations and "do my capacity planning" are illicit questions here! –  MDMarra Dec 26 '12 at 21:40
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closed as not constructive by MDMarra, Greg Askew, Dave M, Ryan Ries, Michael Hampton Dec 26 '12 at 22:33

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3 Answers

There's a lot of subjectivity to the question. What is satisfactory performance to you might not be satisfactory to someone else, like your users.

You're not likely to see significant differences between similarly-specced processors regardless of if they're AMD or Intel. You should be way more concerned about disk IO for SQL if it's a heavily written-to database.

Look into using a pass-through disk for your SQL databases. That way you don't have to suffer the I/O penalties of being inside of a VHD/VMDK.

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In Addition. Hyper-V in itself is very IO intensive. Put 20 machines on a Server and you get 20x the IO load. If anything, IO is nearl always the bottleneck when you get into virtualization. –  TomTom Dec 26 '12 at 21:41
    
Thanks Ryan. Indeed it's not a simple Q/A post. However your answer is quite helpfull and i'm gratefull for that. –  Barata PT Dec 26 '12 at 21:42
    
@TomTom even Hyper-V can perform - if you dedicate disk-controllers to the VMs. –  Nils Dec 26 '12 at 21:51
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@Nils Even WITHOUT it can perform. BUt we use a LOT MORE and a LOT FASTER discs for a machine like that. My smallest 64gb system has 8 discs and 2SSD that are transparently caching the hard discs to handlethe VM IO - and without the SSD it would be terrible in performance. And that does not include database, which uses a 10g ISCSI SAN with curretnly 18 discs for the SQL specific stuff. 8 DISCS wont work for more than a joke, regardless how you turn it, without some SSD caching in the line. –  TomTom Dec 27 '12 at 5:53
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You're going to want to get some idea of the performance required by each planned VM, and then size your virtualization host(s) appropriately. You need to consider CPU, RAM, and IO (speed, latency, etc.) Especially latency if you're going to be serving RemoteApp off of a VM.

Realistically, you'll probably want more than one machine, and shared storage. Your concerns about the processor architecture WRT SQL are kind of off-base; you're not really asking the right questions.

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30 concurrent people are not that much.

It depends on the database design and the database make how well it handles read/write-requests.

On almost all datebases reads should come from RAM - so it is important to provide enough of that to your SQL-VM.

About AMD- the server-branch is dying out there. Apart from that CPUs don`t matter much here.

But what you need for write-requests is DISK-io. If you have no bottleneck there - ok. If you have it - invest in more RAM for your RAID-controller, and do use 15k-SAS 3,5" instead of 2,5" SFF.

Apart from that - if this is business critical - make it a cluster consisting of two identical machines.

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