VM's in the "cloud"

TType85

[H]ard|Gawd
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I have been tasked with taking a look at our companies infrastructure to decide what we are going to do going forward. We shrunk from 200+ people down to 12.

We no longer have a support contract with VMWare but have a 6CPU license. We also are in question of our licenses for our windows software (recent audit MSFT can't find our licenses and we can't find where/how they were paid for except a few CDW receipts and spread sheets from MSFT with the license keys). Basically it's a huge mess.

We are currently paying ~$3500/mo for datacenter, dr datacenter and internet connection to the DR.

We currently have 4-5 production VM's all Windows 2K8R2, one of them SQL 2k8R2. The other VM's are web and application servers and we have about 1.2TB of data live at one time total (all PDF's, only a small fraction accessed per month). We can comfortably run on a single 2 proc 5520 server with under 32GB ram.

I am looking in to Azure to host the VM's. Using the calculator on MSFT's site we can provision enough VM's and storage and bandwidth to have our whole production there for under $2000/mo. IaaS seems to be pretty attractive compared to re-buying licenses and maintaining the hardware in 2 datacenters.

It wouldn't be difficult to have our applications pull data from azure storage vs a regular file server but there is some cost there in my time to do some coding.

What's [H] opinion on this?

We are on a TIIIIIIGHT budget and will need to get the license issue squared away soon. We use MSFT hosted exchange already.
 

peanuthead

Supreme [H]ardness
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Feb 1, 2006
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4,701
Is sounds like the hardware requirement is on the lower end. I would think you could purchase Win2K12 data center, MS SQL 2012 and CALS for a few grand and virtialize everything and move away from VMware. That way you own everything, etc. If you don't want to manage anything I would say move to the cloud. Must you have a DR site or host the data in a DC? Also, only make the move if your Internet connection is solid.
 

charold

Limp Gawd
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Sep 7, 2011
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From my 9 years of experience, and hundreds of server migrations I've done over the years, I always recommend the simplest solution to the problem, with the least "aftermarket" customizations done. The more Best Practice and out of the box you can keep it, the better in the long run generally. A lot of depends on internet connectivity, and if you have to code to pull from the azure storage vs regular file server, what will that code be like in 5 years? Will it have to be continually maintained? You may be putting them in a worse spot in 5 years or more down the road when your software updates among other things. That would be my biggest worry about Azure for you in your situation.
 

peanuthead

Supreme [H]ardness
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NJ, while I don't disagree in total, why should they go IaaS versus just purchasing the hardware and license. For such a small shop I'm thinking that that long term the IaaS would be a higher cost to them. $2000/mo can certainly purchase a lot of hardware and software in a given year.
 

KapsZ28

2[H]4U
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May 29, 2009
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NJ, while I don't disagree in total, why should they go IaaS versus just purchasing the hardware and license. For such a small shop I'm thinking that that long term the IaaS would be a higher cost to them. $2000/mo can certainly purchase a lot of hardware and software in a given year.

Kind of depends on what they are going to purchase. They no longer have VMware support. If they are going to buy that, it may be costly. Also the issue with Microsoft licensing could be costly.

IaaS is great. That is what our company does, but I couldn't say exactly how much it would cost. We have cloud in California and a few different options. You can purchase a self managed Virtual Private Datacenter (VPDC) where you are buying a certain amount of memory, CPU, and storage. You can pretty much add however many VMs you want and manage it yourself. If you don't want a VPDC, you can just purchase VMs. Those can also be either self managed, or we can fully manage the VMs, meaning we support the applications running on the VMs and any issues you may have with the app, OS, etc. If it is fully managed, you will need to pay for a SQL license. If it is self managed, you can bring your own SQL license.

Other costs would be the size of the IP block, firewall, and bandwidth. If you want backups, disaster recovery, etc.

Just taking a quick look at one of our customers paying about $1,000 a month for something similar with 1 TB of storage. I'm sure we would be more affordable than what they currently have and everything is Highly Available with redundancy.
 

TType85

[H]ard|Gawd
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Messages
1,487
Thanks everyone for the input so far.

The need for a secure data center and a DR site are client requirements (we work with some big banks). If it wasn't for that I would just host in our secure data-room in our office and have off-site backups. Our connections here are solid, I've never had an issue with it.

The $3500/mo that we are paying today is just for datacenter space and bandwidth. If we freshen up the hardware and buy licenses we need we will have that cost on top of the $3500/mo.

2 lic for Server 2012 R2 DC ~$10K (one for each location)
2 lic for System Center 2012 R2 ~$7K
1 copy of SQL 2014 ~$3K

We are already at $20K just in software licenses alone. That is why IaaS looks attractive to me.

KapsZ28, I will send you a PM later with more details.
 
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