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  • Maximum Capacity

    I just purchased a Dell R900 with 2 X Quad 2.4 CPU + 48GB RAM and 5 X 300GB 15K SCSI SAS. I want to run multiple 64 bit WIndows 2003 servers and all 64 bit apps. I want to utilize Microsoft Virtual Server to manage everything.

    I have the following servers that I would like to move over to the R900:

    Domain 1
    2 X IIS mirrored servers running Windows 2003 Ent 32 bit
    2 X SQL 2008 mirrored servers running Windows 2003 Ent 32 bit
    2 X DC's Windows 2003 Ent 32 bit
    Domain 2
    2 X IIS mirrored servers running Windows 2003 Ent 32 bit
    2 X SQL 2008 mirrored servers running Windows 2003 Ent 32 bit
    2 X DC's Windows 2003 Ent 32 bit
    Domain3
    1 X Exchange server running Windows 2003 Ent 32 bit
    2 X DC's Windows 2003 Ent 32 bit

    All are on the same network

    Does any one know answers to the following questions:
    1. From a best practices perpective, what are the servers I should move over? 2. From a system capacity max, it would appear that the maximum number I could move over would be 12? i.e. 12 X 4GB per OS = 48GB RAM i.e. how many of these servers can I move over before I bring the system to its knees?
    3. With all of these servers utilizing the same RAID5 drives, is there a capacity max regarding the disk drive head seek/read/write movements? At what point is there too much thrashing?
    4. What are the optimal OS partition sizes? 20GB? 30GB? 40GB? (data is not a problem...that I can figure out on my own.)
    5. What's the maximum number of virtual NICs that can be assigned to a physical NIC and what are the best practices regarding this?

    Thanks

  • #2
    Re: Maximum Capacity

    A partial answer only, but I hope this helps:

    Firstly, consider Hyper-V (either the new Hyper-V server or on a physical copy of server 2008 ) rather than VS, which is looking a bit dated.

    Keep at least one DC physical as the server the VMs are running on will (presumably) be a domain member and would like to have a DC to authenticate against when it starts up

    IIS and DCs are probably a good target for virtualisation as they have less demands on processors and disk space than SQL and Exchange

    OS partitions -- I go for 50Gb for 2003 and 100 for 2008 -- this is probably overkill but MS keep dumping all their c**p into the C drive.....
    Last edited by Ossian; 9th October 2008, 20:55.
    Tom Jones
    MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
    PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
    IT Trainer / Consultant
    Ossian Ltd
    Scotland

    ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

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    • #3
      Re: Maximum Capacity

      Dude, you should have went the other way around... First you plan the virtualization process and then you buy the machine. You might find that one host is not enough, and was better to buy two less powerful machines instead. You have so many mirrored (clustered?) servers, what is the point of running both of them on the same physical machine? You go back to one point of failure ...
      You say
      I want to run multiple 64 bit Windows 2003 servers and all 64 bit apps
      but all your current machines are 32bit. Are you planning an upgrade?
      If you talk 64bit guests, then VirtualServer 2005 is out of the question, since it supports only 32bit guests. Nevertheless, I would opt for Hyper-V, like Ossian said. Your possibilities are far more vast than with the old VirtualServer.
      Before answering your questions, two questions for you:
      1) have you considered the prices involved in the process? What version of 2008 will you buy? The Standard allows you one supplemental OSE (Operating System Environment), Enterprise allows you 4 OSEs and DataCenter unlimited OSEs. DataCenter pricing is by CPU socket (not by cores ), meaning it might be better to buy this version (according to MS pricing, for $6000) and get unlimited guests. When all the other questions will be solved, and you will want to see the price tag of this project, I suggest you take a look at Windows Server Virtualization Calculators .
      2) those 5 disks will hold both the host OS and the guests? This is not a good idea... I would go for 2x72GB mirrored volume for the host and leave the 1.2TB for the guests. Again, plan before you buy...

      Now, to your questions:
      1) I think anything can be virtualized. I more then agree with Ossian's opinion: IIS and DC servers are good candidates. Also,
      Keep at least one DC physical as the server the VMs are running on will (presumably) be a domain member and would like to have a DC to authenticate against when it starts up
      . A must !! BTW, I think 4GB memory for an IIS (maybe even for a DC) is a bit too much, so your 4x12 calculation isn't accurate. But to get a more relevant picture, I need to know exactly your environment. You better get a consultant to assist you in this one. You can check Microsoft Virtualization Solution Accelerators (especially MAP), but getting a consultant has more advantages.
      2) well, we don't have that one
      3) it's difficult to say. There are some rules of thumb for that, but without knowing what you have... One thing is to make all disks fixed-size. This way, all the needed space will be allocated from the start and the VHD file will not be fragmented (fragmentation will affect your system's overall performance). If your server came with the PERC 6/i card, the 256MB BBWC might be enough to deal with the I/O load.
      4) As I said earlier, I run most of my servers on 2x72GB mirrored drives and it is more than enough. But what's best for me doesn't really mean that's for you too...
      5) There is no quite "best practice". A good idea is to have a physical port for every VM and a separate one for the host. The "good guys" have also a separate one for management (SCVMM and so on). This way, the host will not have to waste resources on dealing with translating all the traffic. And this is even before we said anything about the bandwith (FastEthernet? GigabitEthernet?). If you cannot afford that (despite your server's built-in 4 GBE NICs), then you should start trial-and-error. And try to estimate how much bandwith each of your machines needs.

      This is what I can think of at the moment. Hoped it helped a bit.
      Last edited by sorinso; 10th October 2008, 13:57.

      Sorin Solomon


      In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.
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