VMWare build for small client

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okay so one of my clients is a lawyer that gave me a really small budget to work with. I have a full time job I just help this guy out whenever. with that being said right now i have him on an aging 6 year old physical box running (cringe) small business server 2008 utilizing exchange 2007. I am wanting to go virtual with the next build. I currently have 1 PE 1950 III with 2x X5460's 32gb ram and 3x146gb raid5 I can load VM 5.5u2 on. I have a 2nd PE 1950 III I can load with exact same config but the only drawback is shared storage for 2 VM hosts. I have old servers laying around and was thinking about using them for shared storage. I have a few PE 2850's (6 hdd bay's) would someone suggest a best use for shared storage or would it be more reliable just getting a qnap or synology for shared storage?

also I only plan to run 4-5 vm's in total. 1 exchange/1 DC/1 app server/1 RDS/ 1 misc server
 
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bloodypulp

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Those servers are too old for important data. If the server were to crash, the labor cost would far exceed the hardware cost. Keep things simple(and cheaper) with 1 box(redundant power, redundant drives, offsite backups). Move his email to hosted Exchange and sync OneDrive, so if there is a server failure, he can still get immediate email and critical files.
 
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the PE 1950's are dual redundant psu's 3x 146gb raid 5 in each, what about veeam to a nas for backup?
 

peanuthead

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First question.; is using the PE servers above a requirement or a desire? Second question; is 32GB enough for them? Third question; what is this person's disaster recovery/business continuity plans/desires? Last question; how much post support are you willing to do?
 
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The PE servers above are not a requirement but more of a desire, I have these old servers not being used for anything they are decomissioned. I was also on the idea of just buying some used PE R610's because i have 96gb of ram laying around for 610's. It would of costed me a little more to go the R610 route because need to purchase drives as well. to make it even more fun 2 companies are combining so i opted to use exchange for email because I need 2-3 domains for emails and I read that office 365 can be finicky supporting multiple domains.

This person has no disaster recovery plan or business continuity, no onsite support just me which is why reliability is the utmost and I live 3 hrs away. I hate the current setup because the what IF's, if hardware fails and as a lawyer they need quick access to case files or email. Email i have cloud spam filtering so it queues up if exchange goes down. His yearly budget is nonexistent for IT. post support is all done remotely by me.
 
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The budget I was given to upgrade was 1k which is nothing. Software alone wouldn't even cover the amount
 

ashman

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If they are going to stay with SBS 2008, which they shouldn't, but thats another conversation, put them on the best hardware you can, the PE610. Throw four drives in do RAID 10 and be done with it.What are they doing for backups?
 
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I got an external NAS I was going to use and buy veeam for backups. If I do the PE610 route I cant afford 2 of them and shared storage etc etc. Ill just have to make the 1 PE610 as reliable as possible and pray it never fails
 

UncleDavid218

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Tell him how much it costs to do it right and lay out your reasoning. TBH if he's still not willing to up the budget, walk away. This can be done inexpensively and done right, but not on such a shoe string budget.
 

gnius

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okay so one of my clients is a jew lawyer that gave me a really small budget to work with
You want to talk about technology or cheap jews?
I got an external NAS I was going to use and buy veeam for backups
Depending on what kind of data is stored on this server you may need to ensure that any backups you have are client-side encrypted. If he stores his client communications as plaintext on remote commercial backup, he'd be breaking the law.
 

Hagrid

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Tell him how much it costs to do it right and lay out your reasoning. TBH if he's still not willing to up the budget, walk away. This can be done inexpensively and done right, but not on such a shoe string budget.

+1.

That is truly a pathetic budget. There are probably quite a few people that have home stuff that is more then $1000!
I understand if a business needs 10K computers, but one that needs 1 or 2? Its just not worth the hassle for lost data!
 

raiderj

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One thing I've learned, PUT IT IN WRITING! Spec out what you recommend and why. Put down what they have you do, and why you don't recommend it. Both sign it. That way when it breaks, you can show them what they've signed and how it's what they chose.
 
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It's all in writing. I ended up just getting a Dell PowerEdge R610 and beefing it up. Raid 5 with hot spare and 48gb ram, running veeam for backups. Only shit out of luck is if the motherboard dies or something but PowerEdge's are tanks.....
 
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Raid5 because i needed space, they are small 146gb drives not like big TB drives. I tested doing a rebuild on it already and rebuild took 15 minutes. i did 5 raid with 1 hot spare, server only holds 6 drives. SAS 2.5
 

lopoetve

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In a pinch, in the future, if you MUST save money (use whatcha got) and want support with shared storage, Linux+NFSd on EXT3/4 is technically supported by VMware - Ubuntu is the fastest way to get that up, and engineering won't blink.
 

MrGuvernment

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Office 365 and be done with that, less headaches for one.

2 servers there is NO need for shared storage, you are creating what is known as the inverted pyramid of death, as in leaving a single point of failre, there is no reason for shared storage with hosts, local storage will be faster and safer with proper backups.

Spend money, ditch the 10+ year old hardware, get some refurbished gear from Xbyte or something

The budget I was given to upgrade was 1k which is nothing. Software alone wouldn't even cover the amount

Tell him how much it costs to do it right and lay out your reasoning. TBH if he's still not willing to up the budget, walk away. This can be done inexpensively and done right, but not on such a shoe string budget.

Exactly, and also explain what is the ROI and cost if everything dies relying on a single point of failure....

One thing I've learned, PUT IT IN WRITING! Spec out what you recommend and why. Put down what they have you do, and why you don't recommend it. Both sign it. That way when it breaks, you can show them what they've signed and how it's what they chose.

Bingo, cover your ass cause as soon as something goes wrong they will be looking at you for the blame.

It's all in writing. I ended up just getting a Dell PowerEdge R610 and beefing it up. Raid 5 with hot spare and 48gb ram, running veeam for backups. Only shit out of luck is if the motherboard dies or something but PowerEdge's are tanks.....

That works, but even raid 5 on small drives, get raid 10, 1 more drive can't cost that much , better performance...

At least you have Veeam for backups!
 
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dave99

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Yep, I work with small businesses, I only use single servers for virt (dell T320's mainly). I'd rather get one solid server with all the redundancy features possible with an excellent warranty, than to try and get 2 servers & san/nas and hope.
 
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