Good day experts,

I'm in the process of upgrading our office network, mainly upgrading our servers from 2003 to 2008/2010 with new hardware.

We've currently 2 servers with these specs:

Exchange Server

  • Intel Xeon 3.40Ghz
  • 2GB RAM
  • 2 x 10k 72GB drives

Terminal Server

  • Intel Pentium 4 3GHz
  • 1 GB Ram
  • 2 x 250GB 7.2k IDE drives

I'd like to replace both of these with a single (physical) server and install virtualization software so I can run both installations on the same box.

The specs of the hardware I'm looking at is:

  • IBM Series x3550
  • Quad Core 2.50 GHz Intel Xeon E5420 VT-x 12 MB L2
  • 2 x 146 GB 15k SAS (we can easily add more storage)
  • Hardware RAID
  • 2 x Gbit NICs

The new servers will be running Small Business Server 2008 (with Exchange) and Terminal Server 2008. The terminal Server will only run things like Microsoft Office and be used by max 3 users simultaneously.

Would this hardware be sufficient, baring in mind that our current hardware doesn't run too badly? (we're upgrading because the current servers have hardware issues).

Also, what virtualization software would you recommend for this scenario? Would Hyper-V be a good candidate? Or would you use something else?

2 Answers 2


With SBS 2008 Premium you would have the licenses to run both your SBS box and your Terminal Server in Hyper-v, although you would still need to buy the TS licenses.

Your hardware is a little light in my opinion. I would go with more ram, and more hard drives.

  • We're subscribed to ActionPack so we have licenses for SBS/Terminal Server with 10 CALs
    – Marko
    Nov 17, 2010 at 3:21
  • 1
    I'd echo the point about disks - you have faster disks but you're only putting two in there, that's going to hit a wall fast with all of the things this one box has to do.
    – Helvick
    Nov 17, 2010 at 12:07
  • +1 on the hardware being a bit anemic. I would also go for a Xeon 5620 or better CPU if you are going to keep this server around for a while
    – tegbains
    Nov 19, 2010 at 1:59

The hardware may be too light. Memory is - something you will have to see whether it works, and the disc IO subsystem COULD get a serious spanking.

That said, you are probably going to be fine. The low number of users should mean that any real loa wuold be low on average. Unless one user starts copying large files while you get spammed ;)

  • Thanks @TomTom, we've purposely isolated all of our file sharing to a readyNAS box. Also, our spam gets picked up by a 3rd party provider, so we only get clean emails through. Either way, we still have 2 memory slots available which means we have the ability to upgrade memory at a low cost. I'm more interested in the IBM system as whole and whether the CPU would get hammered with 2 OS's running in parallel.
    – Marko
    Nov 17, 2010 at 7:04
  • I agree - I think you'll get away with it. Exchange is a bit of a resource hog so this might impact user experience on the terminal server side but it'll be short lived peaks of activity I suspect. Nov 18, 2010 at 12:43

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