We're a small business (about 10 people) looking into a virtualization setup mainly for disaster recovery reasons, but also for backup and possibly some server consolidation capability in the future. I've done some research into the products, and have used VMware for desktop virtualization for some time. What I'm interested in using, though, is some bare-metal hypervisor setup, rather than something host-dependent, like VMware Server.
Cost is a major concern of ours (surprise, surprise). We have 2 physical servers currently: one is SBS2003 for DC/Exchange/printers, the other is for data shares/Backup Exec. We're on the cusp of getting a lot of new work (which will mean more people) and are looking to invest some money in new hardware/software, so I want to take advantage of the opportunity and do things right. The plan so far is to buy 2 new servers, each with some "type 1" hypervisor running 1 VM on local storage. We'll also probably upgrade to Server 2008 and Exchange 2007 as part of this investment. The disaster recovery conveniences of virtualization are attractive, and a proper setup would ready us to run multiple VMs on each host, et cetera.
Here are some questions I have:
- What kind of hardware do we need? - I assume some type of x64 configuration with lots of RAM...
- Hyper-V vs. VMware vs. other?
- Costs associated with hypervisor software?
- How do we create full backups of each virtual server? We currently backup to one of several large hard disks, rather than tape...
- Server storage? - is my idea to use local storage on each physical server for the VMs a sound one? We definitely cannot afford a SAN or some other shared storage.