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Hardware Thread, Server Recommendations in Technical; This year a plan of mine will be to virtualise our non critical servers (Web, Print etc) using VMWare ESXi ...
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    fairm010's Avatar
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    Server Recommendations

    This year a plan of mine will be to virtualise our non critical servers (Web, Print etc) using VMWare ESXi but was wondering if my fellow Geeks can provide recommendations and/or quotes for suitable hardware?

    Must be a rack-mount server as I am trying to consolidate all our tower servers into our racks.

    Also how many servers can be ran on ESXi (the free version)

    Many thanks, Matt.

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    john's Avatar
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    I'm a fan of HP but others will come on and say oh Dell is better or IBM etc... So the world is your oyster.

    As for what to go for, depends on what you need. Ram is a big thing you need lots of, I started a few years ago with 3 hosts with 24GB Ram in each and dual Quad core CPUs, and upgraded the ram to about 120GB in each as once you start with VMs you enjoy spinning more out for testing and dev rather than squashing everything on one or two hosts as you probably do now as long as your licensed and have capacity it doesn't have a cost impact like buying a new physical box does.

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    Just a heads up Citrix XenServer 6.2 is now free, I find it far easier to use than VMWare.

    I have used Dell and HP, HP are built a bit more solider and never had an issue with one but I suppose you get what you pay for. I think most stuff is good these days, look at your warranties and support more than anything.

    All depends on what the spec of the box is as to what you can run.

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    Oaktech's Avatar
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    From experience: HP DL380 Gen8.

    The offerings from Dell etc are perfectly OK, but I can't recomend them as I have no experience of them.

    I would recomend however speaking to someone like amtec Technology Solutions & Services | Servers | Power Supply - Amtec who are seller agnostic and able to give good cross brand advice.

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    fairm010's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewL View Post
    Just a heads up Citrix XenServer 6.2 is now free, I find it far easier to use than VMWare.

    I have used Dell and HP, HP are built a bit more solider and never had an issue with one but I suppose you get what you pay for. I think most stuff is good these days, look at your warranties and support more than anything.

    All depends on what the spec of the box is as to what you can run.
    Is there a limit as to how many VM's you can run? Also does it have the remote admin facility such as vSphere or whatever the client is called?

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    fairm010's Avatar
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    Hardware Requirements from the documentation.

    ESXi Hardware Requirements
    Make sure the host meets the minimum hardware configurations supported by ESXi 5.1.
    Hardware and System Resources
    To install and use ESXi 5.1, your hardware and system resources must meet the following requirements:
    Supported server platform. For a list of supported platforms, see the VMware Compatibility Guide at
    http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility.
    ESXi 5.1 will install and run only on servers with 64-bit x86 CPUs.
    ESXi 5.1 requires a host machine with at least two cores.
    ESXi 5.1 supports only LAHF and SAHF CPU instructions.
    ESXi 5.1 requires the NX/XD bit to be enabled for the CPU in the BIOS.
    ESXi supports a broad range of x64 multicore processors. For a complete list of supported processors, see
    the VMware compatibility guide at http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility.
    ESXi requires a minimum of 2GB of physical RAM. Provide at least 8GB of RAM to take full advantage
    of ESXi features and run virtual machines in typical production environments.
    To support 64-bit virtual machines, support for hardware virtualization (Intel VT-x or AMD RVI) must
    be enabled on x64 CPUs.
    n One or more Gigabit or 10Gb Ethernet controllers. For a list of supported network adapter models, see the
    VMware Compatibility Guide at http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility.
    Any combination of one or more of the following controllers:
    Basic SCSI controllers. Adaptec Ultra-160 or Ultra-320, LSI Logic Fusion-MPT, or most NCR/Symbios
    SCSI.
    RAID controllers. Dell PERC (Adaptec RAID or LSI MegaRAID), HP Smart Array RAID, or IBM
    (Adaptec) ServeRAID controllers.
    n SCSI disk or a local, non-network, RAID LUN with unpartitioned space for the virtual machines.
    n For Serial ATA (SATA), a disk connected through supported SAS controllers or supported on-board SATA
    controllers. SATA disks will be considered remote, not local. These disks will not be used as a scratch
    partition by default because they are seen as remote.
    NOTE You cannot connect a SATA CD-ROM device to a virtu

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    ICTDirect_Dave's Avatar
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    I can get you great pricing on all kinds of refurb servers. Two years warranty as standard and as customisable as you like

    Drop me a PM with your requirements and I'll put something together for you!

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    fairm010's Avatar
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    Just seen this:

    At a feature and functionality level, the only
    difference is that free Citrix XenServer users will not be able to use XenCenter for automated
    installation of security fixes, packaged updates, bug fixes and maintenance releases. Free
    Citrix XenServer does include XenCenter for server management, but not patch
    management.

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    fairm010's Avatar
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    Having read all about XenServer im going to try that first. It looks great.

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    Hi Fairm010, thanks for the mail, The server specialist are on to it for you, I will aks them to quote on original branded new full warranty option - we can also quote on the second hand refurb kit (as above) if needed.

    Col

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    Quote Originally Posted by fairm010 View Post
    Having read all about XenServer im going to try that first. It looks great.
    I ran a previous XenServer and it was fine and no issues not had time to try the new one but for Free its a great tool

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    I used to run a mix of ESXi and XenServer and now run purely Hyper V. Feature-wise, Hyper-V is head and shoulders above both the other options. Have you considered it? We run it on a couple of Hp DL380 Gen8s and it runs flawlessly.

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    fairm010's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    I used to run a mix of ESXi and XenServer and now run purely Hyper V. Feature-wise, Hyper-V is head and shoulders above both the other options. Have you considered it? We run it on a couple of Hp DL380 Gen8s and it runs flawlessly.
    Thought about it, didn't like the fact that you have to License the host as well as the clients, when there is stuff out there (ESXi & XenServer) that can do the same for free.

    EDIT: Just to add, we are not part of an EES agreement - yet. By that time we will have XenServer running.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    You don't need a license for Hyper-V - you can run it as Hyper V alone - Download Hyper-V Server 2012 R2

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    Personally i'd say if you go with Xenserver now you're going for the worst of the 3 options. Least amount of features and the worst performer of the 3.

    Hyper-V gives you the best all round value. Vmware is quite expensive if you need to pay for the bigger and better features or expand beyond a small deployment, though it is the most refined in my opinon. Starting from scratch i'd say go Hyper-V, the only downside to it is that some areas of the market that provide you with virtual appliances often support vmware and still havent moved to anything else (looking at you Aruba ¬_¬)

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