Consolidating 5 or 6 physical servers into one

755 pts.
Tags:
Physical Server
Virtual Server
Virtualization
Virtualization strategies
VMware
XenServer
We have a small environment consisting of 5 physical PC servers running departmental applications. What's the best approach for server consolidation? Do you recommend server virtualization? SAN or NAS? Would VMware or Citrix Xen be best suited for this? What's Microsoft's approach?

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Virtualization is what you are looking for. This can be done with local storage if you are going to consolidate to a single server. If you need redundancy then you will want two physical machines and shared storage. Depending on your virtualization solution this can be either SAN or NAS (if the NAS supports it). Personally I recommend SAN over NAS as the latency over fibre channel is much lower than over TCP/IP.

You can use VMware’s vCenter, Cirtix’s Xen or Microsoft’s Hyper-V solutions. VMware and Microsoft together hold over 90-95+% of the market so those will be the most supported solutions.

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  • Spadasoe
    I currently use Hyper-V in a 2008 cluster with iscsi attached storage. Windows 2008 R2 failover clusters are quite robust and provide a good platform for virtualization. If you go with Hyper-V, check pricing for the server version. Enterprise 2008 provides 4 free Hyper-V licenses where standard doesn't, and enterprise is also required to support larger memory configurations.
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  • The Most-Watched IT Questions: January 11, 2011 - ITKE Community Blog
    [...] 1. Spadasoe and mrdenny suggested virtualization for a member trying to consolidate 5 or 6 servers into one. [...]
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  • The Most-Watched IT Questions: January 18, 2011 - ITKE Community Blog
    [...] 1. Spadasoe and mrdenny helped out a member trying to consolidate 5 or 6 physical servers into one. [...]
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