How many servers do we really need?
A bit of background:
RM CC4 network
3 AD servers (FR + 2x DC)
Approx 340 desktop/laptop clients
710 students, 75 staff
The question is about the main servers which handle logons and user areas and generally the backbone of the network, as opposed to member servers (such as SIMS, intranet, filtering etc).
We currently have 3 servers, with 2 of them being long overdue for replacement (3rd server purchased '04, 2nd server '05). We are wondering whether it would make more sense (financially) to replace servers 2+3 with a single beefy server that has more power than any single server would normally have?
My thought is that, if we really go the whole hog then we'd be looking at 130% the cost of what we'd normally pay per server, but would this route be viable or would we notice any drop in performance regardless of how powerful the server is?
As RM charge hardware and software support annually per server, and we're looking to cut our energy bills too, this is something we are considering. We're not in a position to consider virtualisation and we have no SAN (pretty much a very basic network setup).
We normally go for SATA HDD so i'd imagine we'd look to get 15k RPM SAS HDDs and utilise the dual network ports for added bandwidth.