Over the summer we might be upgrading three of our older ESXi Servers and go down to 2, but I've been looking at our Windows RDS solution (2 Servers) and have been thinking about repurposing these servers, as they are quite meaty - 2 x Quad Core Intel Xeons, 72GB Ram, 450GB Local 15K RPM Storage etc.
I've had some rough costs around the £9K-£10K mark fully built and configured, with 8 Nodes, each with 32GB Ram, Single Intel E3 Processor and 240GB SSD. Granted I won't be able to have as many users/server, but with 8 servers this more than makes up for it and gives me room for furthur expansion. Additionally, it will resolve issues where older, flakier educational software crashes or grinds servers slow will just affect a fewer amount of users, and with the 240GB SSD will mean that they will fly!
What are people's thoughts? Also I've read some in the past on the forum, which I can't find at the moment a member who's gone with basic hardware attached to metal sheets in a Google server fashion - can anyone remember who he was? Also, has anybody got any suggestions on other similar cases - I'd rather go with Core i5/i7 based processors, which are only slightly slower but a lot cheaper than having the Xeon and ECC Memory equivalents.