We’re planning on going virtual from this point forward and our plan will be 1 server, 1 task, so while we are a small company we're going to have a high number of servers for our size, but this should make it easier when one of them has an issue since it will no longer affect other software that is on the same server. We’ve never gone virtual in production before hopefully I can get some guidance & help for planning this.
We’re going to have the following servers running on it.
Exchange 2007 (100 users, max 30 active at a time, not likely growing)
Symantec Anti-Virus Server (Anti-Spam & Anti-Virus for Email, about 5,000 a month blocked)
BlackBerry Server (10 users)
External Website (low traffic)
2 or 3 other low use servers for testing (these and all others will be Windows)
The server is a Dell 2.5 GHz Xeon with 8 gigs RAM and a PERC6i controller using Dell Near Line 7200RPM SAS drives. Our host will be ESXi 4.0 due to it allowing memory over commitment.
First Question, can we do V2V from ESXi to Hyper-V in the future? We’d like to go with Hyper-V in the long run but not until it can do the memory over commitment. We want Hyper-V in the long run because then if we have an issue with the hypervisor or the guest OS, it’s all the same company to deal with for support. Not being able to V2V we may end up going to Hyper-V right away.
Second Question, what is the best HDD configuration?
I can have up to 4 drives in the server, but the budget is tight.
Option 1 - I was thinking initially RAID1 which I know isn’t the best, but leaves me 2 empty bays for later expansion with another RAID1. When I expand with the second RAID 1, I’ll split the heaviest use servers between the 2 RAIDs.
Option 2 – RAID 5 with 3 Drives, (I can likely get this in the budget) which gives me more spindles right away but I’ll likely have to blow away the array (or at least full backups of all the VM’s) if/when I add the 4th drive. Will this really give me better (or worse) performance then a RAID1?
Option 3 – Get 4 drives now. I know this is the best option, but I need to give a good case to basically double the cost of the HDD’s in the servers, and it’s not likely but I have to ask. If I do manage to get this, what’s the best RAID based on what I’m planning on doing with this? I cannot use 10k SAS drives, the price jumps too much, so the near line SAS is the best compromise we could go with between full SAS and SATA.
Thanks in advance all.
EDIT:So for those of you thinking this is the entire shop it's not. This is the current setup.
Server 1 - Dell 840 (2 gigs, RAID1 SAS5/iR)
- File Server
- Print Server
- Domain Controller
Server 2 - HP something really old, but still running strong (new hard drives though)
- Domain Controller
- Symantec Anti-Virus Console for the Desktops
- Local Backup Server
Server 3 - Dell 1850 (4 gigs, RAID1 PERC4i)
- Exchange 2003
- Symantec Anti-Virus/Spam
- External Website (as you can see this is basicly all the 'net stuff)
So the new server would come online and we'd migrate everything off of server 3 to the new one, splitting everything into it's own operating system as we go. Adding in another DC to give us a total of 3 DC's (2 existing GC's & add 1 for the FSMO) and a proxy server as it's been requested to track all websites visited (we have blocking already via OpenDNS, but need it recorded now too) So the new server with the exception of the DC & Proxy would be taking over server 3's role. While I will agree all this may push the hardware, I don't see this as being an all eggs in one basket from a single point of failure. Since the Proxy & DC would the last added and really are optional, if the server is loaded by the time the other stuff is running then they can be dropped from the plan, sorry I didn't mention that before.
When everything comes off server 3, it can be wiped, ESXi put on it, and it can take over a couple of the VM's such as the External Webserver & Proxy and hopefully add RRAS for the VPN users since with our current VPN router users can't use their AD account to authenticate so thats been a request as well.
I'll be asking for 2 more drives to do a RAID 10 for the new server.