I run a small office consisting of a 8 man development team and a couple of managers. We're thinking of moving to a hardware setup whereby we have 1 single powerful server running several VirtualBox VMs - one for Samba fileshare acting as DC, another LAMP box for development, another for IE testing....etc....probably 4 or 5 VMs in total. The two crucial ones are the Samba box that runs our network, and then the dev LAMP box that most of our development is carried out on.
The reason this sort of setup appeals to me is because I like the idea of being able to backup all the VMs overnight if necessary - and the restore should be quick and painless if we've got a barebones VirtualBox host.
I appreciate that for backing up the VMs will need to be powered down but I don't think that this is going to be a show-stopper. It may be that we decide to run Samba on the core host OS so there's no need to shut it down (we'll just sort out an rsync of the data).
So I'm just looking for some opinions on this "VM for everything" approach. Is this normal for businesses? Are there any clear issues with this or things that just won't be possible in comparison to physical boxes? Has anyone tried this and hit any major problems or has it worked out nicely?
Any opinions much appreciated.