Server Consolidation



  • Hey guys, hunting a little advice here. I've got a client whose previous IT thief (another story another day) sold them two unlicensed Dell t110's each having 4g memory, and a single xeon CPU X3430 @ 2.40GHz . They've also got an old XP dell running their time tracking software. The owner has been asking about exchange level email features. I've been taking care of them for a little over a year now, and they are happy! The two servers were setup with Eval versions of server 2008 and 2012.

    Were you in my position, what would you do, buy legitimate licensing for these two servers and bump the ram up, or propose a new server that can handle their workload better? Client has 10 locations. Corporate has 10 users/PCs, and each remote location has 10+/-/PCs but about 20 users at each remote location.



  • @Hubtech What are the functions? I honestly didn't even know you could get specs that low in a server server. That's...wow. IT thief is right. No reason to waste what's there. However, you can't run an efficient network with what you have. Might not be horrible to upgrade those with more RAM or you can turn those into staging/dev stations. Oh, and Dell? smh



  • @ajstringham Yeah. I dont mind dell. When i was working for TL we had to either use Dell or UCS for all of our build outs.

    Currently the servers are pretty basic. File Shares, DC, DNS, host an internal website. But with the talks of exchange...I know the performance would suffer. He has already given me the go ahead to quote out either a new physical server or a "cloud" server from someone like Rackspace since I do not have a datacenter....yet.



  • The cost of the license might be high enough to make a new server and consolidation make sense. There is SO little memory in those that they are kind of silly as they are. Needing an OS license isn't the end of the world, servers are normally sold without them. So in their current state they are just servers without Windows. No reason not to use them for Linux, FreeBSD, etc.



  • I would be loathe to deploy on site Exchange today, especially for someone new, though. Why not put him on Office 365?



  • Well, they really need a split domain and i'm not sure if you can do that with office 365. The corp office and managers could utilize Exchange, while we have 20-30 email addresses dedicated to monitoring of clients homes. We provide assisted living for adults with mental disabilities so we use a cool product that monitors all of their clients ovens/stoves, doors, windows, tubs, etc to make sure that they don't get into a bad situation.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    I would be loathe to deploy on site Exchange today, especially for someone new, though. Why not put him on Office 365?

    Agreed.
    @hubtech The fact is that Office365 is just going to become pretty much unparalleled in usage compared to on-premise Exchange over the next couple years. Already a TON of places have migrated away or had already gone to Google Apps for cloud functionality. It's a worthy thing to look at.
    Also, have you looked at HP?



  • Not sure why the monitoring emails wouldn't work. That would be a limitation of whatever you're using to monitor, etc. Not the email. Email is email.



  • I dont mind HP at all. Proliants are nice servers. To me hardware isn't that big of a deal, i have no loyalties



  • @hubtech Ok. Maybe it's just me but I've never had ANYTHING but problems with Dell. A couple of places I've been/are are Dell shops. @networknerd can keep his Dells! 😛



  • @ajstringham The email would work just fine. I was just talking about avoiding the monthly cost of those 30 addresses that will be growing as the company grows.



  • @Hubtech Ah, well, in that case, I believe you can use what @scottalanmiller calls the E0 for just those emails or I believe you can just setup aliases/distro lists. If it's not a full blown email and it's just a distro list, that shouldn't be a charge. Just a thought.



  • @Hubtech said:

    @ajstringham The email would work just fine. I was just talking about avoiding the monthly cost of those 30 addresses that will be growing as the company grows.

    Wait, what are you using for those 30 emails now? are they hosting their own email server now? Rackspace can do a split (I think even on the same domain name) between Exchange accounts (`$4/month/user) and non Exchange for (~$2/month/user - I was told the price went up).



  • @ajstringham said:

    @hubtech Ok. Maybe it's just me but I've never had ANYTHING but problems with Dell. A couple of places I've been/are are Dell shops. @networknerd can keep his Dells! 😛

    I've just not had that many issues with Dell equipment. On the server side, I think Dell and HP make good products. In terms of workstations, my loyalty is with Dell. But @ajstringham and I won't debate that here.

    I like the idea of a brand new server here with ESXi / Hyper-V and some consolidation. You can get enough fire power in one box that will suit their needs for a while (given your solution will meet their RTO / RPO).



  • @NetworkNerd No Hyper-V. That bad. ESXi or nothing. 😉



  • @Hubtech said:

    @ajstringham The email would work just fine. I was just talking about avoiding the monthly cost of those 30 addresses that will be growing as the company grows.

    Do two domains. One for internal mail and one for monitoring. Use Office 365 for corporate and Rackspace for the other.

    Office 365 is cheaper than on premise Exchange so if Office 365 is too expensive that will rule out exchange completely.



  • @Dashrender said:

    @Hubtech said:

    @ajstringham The email would work just fine. I was just talking about avoiding the monthly cost of those 30 addresses that will be growing as the company grows.

    Wait, what are you using for those 30 emails now? are they hosting their own email server now? Rackspace can do a split (I think even on the same domain name) between Exchange accounts (`$4/month/user) and non Exchange for (~$2/month/user - I was told the price went up).

    $10-$12 for Exchange. Always has been. No one is near the Office 365 $4 exchange price point today.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @Dashrender said:

    @Hubtech said:

    @ajstringham The email would work just fine. I was just talking about avoiding the monthly cost of those 30 addresses that will be growing as the company grows.

    Wait, what are you using for those 30 emails now? are they hosting their own email server now? Rackspace can do a split (I think even on the same domain name) between Exchange accounts (`$4/month/user) and non Exchange for (~$2/month/user - I was told the price went up).

    $10-$12 for Exchange. Always has been. No one is near the Office 365 $4 exchange price point today.

    @scottalanmiller do you mean that a self hosted solution normally runs closer to $10-12/month/user? which is why O365 $4/m/u is so good?



  • Not that dramatic. Self hosted works out to more than $4/mo unless you cut ridiculous corners like having no backup or no SmartHost. But you can self host under $12/u/mo normally.


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