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Estimated machine specifications: Dual X5550 Xeon Processor, 2.66GHz 8M Cache, hyper threading (Core i7 architecture Xeon), 24GB 1333MHz ram,8x143gb 10K RPM SAS drives in hardware raid6 array with 512mb controller memory.

Roles this server must have:

  • Web server IIS 7, Production Instance
  • Sql Server 2008, Production Instance
  • Exchange 2007

Roles very highly desired to have:

  • Web Server IIS 7, Staging Instance
  • Sql Server 2008, Staging Instance + Team Foundation Server Data Tier
  • Team Foundation Server Application Tier

Roles that would be nice to have:

  • Backup Domain Controller

Initial idea for how to allocate the VMs:

  1. Web Server Production
  2. Sql Server Production
  3. Exchange Server
  4. Web/Sql Staging + Team Foundation server
  5. Backup DC

This box would most likely be hosted at a colocation datacenter with a 100mbps connection. Now to my specific questions:

  1. Is this machine powerful enough to run all of these roles?
  2. How would the server resources be optimally allocated for these roles? Is my initial idea on how to allocate VMs for the roles the right approach?
  3. What kind of implications are there to a domain that places a backup DC in the cloud?
  4. If the primary DC fails over to the backup DC on this box will there be any noticeable performance degradation to the company network that is on a Comcast 50mbps/10mbps connection for an external DC?

Edit: Organization information, about 35 employees / email boxes. Our website is for the 35 employees + 20,000 users. For usage, web site usually only has a few hundred hits per day so on average usage is always low. Email usage would probably be slightly on the larger side from with mailing alot of documents around.

Currently all of our hosting is done with shared space and a shared database server so I don't have an exact idea of usage quotas but it obviously can't be too large that we never have issues for the $20/month our hosting costs.

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1 Answer 1

  1. The specs seem good, but that will really depend on the overall load per server. What type of web app are you building? How much data will you be working with? How many mailboxes in Exchange?

  2. It seems that you have 6 logical server roles + hyper-v, so for memory, you're only averaging about 3Gb per server. Depending on load, I would expect the database & Exchange servers to want more, and every thing could benefit from more (as a rule). Disk wise, again, a lot will depend on how much data you're working with. Putting your production & staging servers on the same hardware effectively doubles the amount of data for those applications. Add mailboxes, OS reqs, and code repo, etc. to get an idea of your requirements.

  3. I don't know.

  4. This will probably depend on user load. If it's high, and your SDC is across the country, you can generally expect delays. The same will happen with the Exchange server if your company is very email-centric.

My personal pref. in this would be to keep the staging servers+version control, and SDC in house, and maybe also the Exchange server. Placing the production servers in the colo is fine. The exchange server would probably also be fine, depending on expected traffic. Keeping the staging servers separate affords you an extra layer of redundancy in case of equipment failure. Keeping the SDC and Exchange servers in house keeps their response time low for network users.

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Added more information about organization –  Chris Marisic Oct 19 '09 at 20:34

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