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What type of servers to virtualize?

Last response: in Business Computing
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February 17, 2013 8:07:34 PM

Going to virtualize some servers but not sure what type. I have the following servers-
13 Servers:
2 Domain Controllers with DNS
2 Database servers
2 File servers
1 DHCP server
1 Email server
1 Blackberry messaging server
1 web server
1 fax server
1 print server
1 proxy server

Should I do some or all and what ones? Thank you very much
February 18, 2013 1:13:22 PM

It depends on what hardware you have to support it and what your backend is. The database servers and the BES could have high traffic which would eat up your backend.

For the most part, take all your small servers and virtualize them. It reduces your footprint and hardware support, and for the heavy hitters keep them on physical boxes unless your VM environment can support it.

Another thought, if your DB servers are clustered, you could virtualize one for DR, take the two physical boxes and cluster them. In the event one physical server went down, you'd have another one. Worst case you have the VM to fall back on.

If your VM environment has the specs, you can probably virtualize all of it. I would virt the DB servers last though. Everything else should be good.......... with exception to the DCs. If they are 2008, virtualize them. If they are 2003, don't virtualize them.
February 25, 2013 12:59:13 AM

It's kind of hard to say what you can virtualize because we don't know how heavily those various servers are used or what kind of hardware you can run them on, but I agree with riser in that you can probably virtualize your little and lightly used servers.

I have seen a domain controller virtualized for an organization with 100 users but it went on to some beefy hardware (dual Xeon E5s) which also happened to run a fairly high trafficked webserver. I would start with your smaller services (domain controller, fax server, DHCP) and see how it goes, if those have trouble, I wouldn't try to virtualize your DBs or file servers. Or whatever is your more demanded servers.... again, hard for us to say since we don't know how heavily they are used or what you would run them on.

Good luck though!
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March 16, 2013 9:33:35 PM

In my environment I have all of those servers virtualised. You will run in to a bottleneck at some point if you have lots of users.
March 18, 2013 11:05:35 PM

You made some good points there. I did a search on the topic and found most people will agree with your post.
Thanks
!