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    Mr.Ben's Avatar
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    VMWare Solution

    I am considering purchasing VMWare ESX and some other replication tools for a couple of servers.

    We are a Special School (Ages 3 -19) with Technology College Status. We have 110 networked computers, expanding to 125 this year.I'm also thinking about offering to manage the Primary school next door (an additional 40 clients).

    Currently I have 2 servers:
    Here is what they do.....

    Server 1:
    Specifications:
    Intel Xeon 3 GHz – 2 GB of RAM

    Windows Server Update Services
    SIMS
    Sophos Update Services
    DHCP Services
    DNS Services
    FSMO Domain Controller Services (Active Directory)
    File Services for Admin.

    Server 2:
    Dual Core Intel Xeon 2.4 GHz 3060 – 4 GB of RAM

    Services:
    File Services for Pupils and Teachers
    BSquared
    KS3 Exams
    Domain Controller Services (Active Directory Replication Services)
    Applications Services
    Environment Services (Profiles /Start Menu/ Desktop)
    DNS Backup Services
    SSLExplorer

    This year I have been given a budget to purchase a new server to migrate file services across to - The price has not been decided yet, but we have expanded rapidly over the last couple of years and would expect the region of 5k to cope with our storage demands.

    I'm thinking that all of those services should be running across more servers and don't plan to retire either of them but here is my plan.

    For about £5k + some technical assistance and training for a few days I can buy a 2 quad core/ 8Gb Ram pc and upgrade server 2 with an additional processor. I can also buy 2 sets of licensing to run ESX Server and replication etc between Server 2 and the New Server. Server 1 is 3 years old and will be put into a nursing home for print and other non essential services (Storage for images etc). I'm sold, I need SMT on my side though.

    This would offer me some fantastic replication features in event of server failure. And I would basically run 4 servers on both the new server and server 2, with both sets replicated onto the other server in the event of a disaster.

    Has anyone else delved into VMWare for such a small school?

  2. #2

    FN-GM's Avatar
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    We don't use it here, but another school in the same forest as us use it. They are very happy with the products and they say it works very well.

    I haven't used it so i cannot comment from my experience.

    Z

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    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Ben View Post
    For about £5k + some technical assistance and training for a few days I can buy a 2 quad core/ 8Gb Ram pc and upgrade server 2 with an additional processor. I can also buy 2 sets of licensing to run ESX Server and replication etc between Server 2 and the New Server.
    £2k got us a 2 quad core/8GB RAM/1TB RAID machine. Why not buy two of those, install Xen and have £1000 left over for Windows Server licenses?

    --
    David Hicks

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    thegrassisgreener's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FN-Greatermanchester View Post
    We don't use it here, but another school in the same forest as us use it. They are very happy with the products and they say it works very well.

    I haven't used it so i cannot comment from my experience.

    Z
    Which school out of intrest? thanks

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    Mr.Ben's Avatar
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    Hi jinnantonnix

    I am having to buy storage within my new server rather than a SAN, and replicate the stored files along with the guest servers to server 2.

    A SAN may well become necessary, but It can wait until next years budget.

    Due to a major hardware failure here last year (and before my time) SMT seem to be on my side.

    VMWare and replication tech x2 will cost me about £1200.

    Considering we spent almost £10k each year for the past three years on new PC's i should not have a problem justifying purchasing an infroastructure solution.

    What I do question though is how powerful my new server would have to be, as I can save money here.

    2x Quad core 8Gb ram does seem excessive, although it would give me the ability to cope with our expected expansion.

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    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Ben View Post
    Hi jinnantonnix

    I am having to buy storage within my new server rather than a SAN, and replicate the stored files along with the guest servers to server 2.

    A SAN may well become necessary, but It can wait until next years budget.

    Due to a major hardware failure here last year (and before my time) SMT seem to be on my side.

    VMWare and replication tech x2 will cost me about £1200.

    Considering we spent almost £10k each year for the past three years on new PC's i should not have a problem justifying purchasing an infroastructure solution.

    What I do question though is how powerful my new server would have to be, as I can save money here.

    2x Quad core 8Gb ram does seem excessive, although it would give me the ability to cope with our expected expansion.

    You need shared storage on the ESX hcl to use the hot migration features. You are going to need a SAN of some sort (There is some NAS support now, but it might not be quick) to use vmotion.

    If you are also looking at the high availability options, then that is only available with the enterprise esx license.



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