Hi all: We have five OES/SLES servers in our main office. My boss was willing to buy extra hardware and dedicating each server to specific tasks to avoid single points of failure bring ALL activity to a stop. These servers, HP DL385 G1s - circa 2006, need replacing, and given the small footprint OES/SLES needs, I want to consolidate, that is if my boss is OK with it.

I see two options for consolidation.

1. Consolidate services of the five servers into three servers, two servers for all needed services and one dedicated for data backup; or

2. Two servers running VMWare ESXi 5.5 (free version) and one for data backup.

Either way I am looking at three servers. Both options do increase the amount in functionality we would loose in the event of a hardware failure. Using VMWare has the advantage of giving us snapshot ability to recover from a bad update, etc.. There is always the option on combining both options - having individual servers but running VMWare on each to get the benefits of snapshots, etc..

Lastly, if I were to go with the VMWare solution, how MUCH SERVER do I really need. Our OES11 SP2 servers are still running very well on 8 year old servers. Thanks, Chris.