We pared down the clients servers from 9 to 1. That's right - they had 9 servers - yet only 10 staff. They had been sold on having multiple redundant servers - and then backups for those servers. So the first thing we did was turn off 6 immediately if only to save electricity.
The ratio of servers to staff was no longer 1:1 but a more manageable 1:10, and we were hoping to combine the rest onto just 1. A firm of 10 people should only have 1 server. The normal staff to server ratio should be around 20/30 to 1, perhaps a little lower for Architecture firms.
we have no problems
We got the green light - and gave them a rough estimate based on a similar spec for another Architecture firm - so we should be fine. But the prices dropped all over the place - so we went back with 3 options costing between $7k - $9k.
They decided to go with the more expensive option. This took a little bit of convincing and some guarantees on our part. As we're testing a new hybrid configuration, I wasn't sure if just how fast it would perform, so I promised that if they did not see a large performance increase - I would refund the difference in the hardware cost ($2,000).
The result -
1 physical server with 3 Virtual servers instances - that performs 3x faster than the previous system. The way we setup the server makes it feel that the entire system in on SSD hard drives reading and writing at blazing speeds, with the added benefit of simplifying backups and management.
If you'd like our config and setup of this system we'll post it here - but it was just too technical to put in this post. Thanks for reading - and thanks to our client for their trust in our solutions.