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Virtualization in a small company, best solution?

This is a discussion on Virtualization in a small company, best solution? within the Server Virtualization forum, part of the Virtualization & Cloud Computing Forums category; Hi there! I've been thinking about moving our old servers into a new server with using virtualization, and would like ...

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Old 11-09-2011, 06:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Virtualization in a small company, best solution?

Hi there!

I've been thinking about moving our old servers into a new server with using virtualization, and would like some comments / suggestions!

Our current setup is something like this, we are a small business with 15 employees:

Small Business Server 2008 for Exchange mail
Windows 2003 for filesharing, a CMS system and a system generating EDI data for our postal provider, disk for this system is a Drobo
Windows 2008 running a system for generating graphic printfiles
OS X Server, only used as a fileserver

I know the OS X Server is kind of a hardnut talking virtualization, but we have a license for Extreme Z-IP, which makes it possible for Mac to use ordinary NTFS volumes on a Windows machine (already running on the 2003 Server), so that's not an issue, just a matter of creating some volumes!

My general concern about going all-in on virtualization is storage and disk speed. None of the above systems have excessive CPU load, since almost every operation is about disk activity. My "first thought" would be to buy an up-to-date-and-a-little-bit-more server, with lots of RAM, install some kind of virtualization software on it, and create 3 systems on it (since the OS X volumes would be OK to have on the same machine as the current 2003). But then I'm back to my issue, disks and perfomance! We currently have about 2 TB data on the above machines, and I would like to know how well a normal server performs if it has normal SATA disks and the Drobo mentioned above is the "data pool"? As said, we are a small company, in the graphic business, so most activity is about disk usage, files in this business tends to get rather large!

Also, I need to mention, I'm not interested in buying some kind of SAN for thousands of Euro or Dollars, the economy is not for that solution!

I know that there are a lot of missing information from my side before anyone can tell me what's good and what's bad, so please start commenting or asking for more information!

Kind regards,
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Old 11-17-2011, 02:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi Tommy,

Thanks for joining Virtualization.net and welcome!

How much RAM and CPU do you have in each of your servers?

You do not need to buy a SAN. If you already have Drobo or another iSCSI capable NAS solution then it should be okay for small business.
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