Best VMware Server Hardware

7 Best Server Hardware Alternatives (Plus Low Cost White Box Servers)

To say that virtualization changed the way businesses use and purchase hardware is an understatement. Simply spinning up a new VM on existing hardware is worlds easier than purchasing and provisioning a physical server to match a new workload. However, even though vitalization has allowed us to abstract workloads from the underlying hardware, those physical resources are still the backbone of any data center. Without a solid foundation of hardware resources, bottlenecks and resource contention problems can cripple a data center. The ease with which admins can provision a new VM can lead to VM sprawl, causing major networking headaches as admins struggle to track networked devices and avoid network bottlenecks.

Modern servers are shipping with massive amounts of memory, multiple network interface cards and support for solid-state storage. With all the options available, it's hard to know what you need. This guide on choosing the best hardware for virtualization can help.

Processor and memory requirements

Choosing the best hardware for virtualization begins with a server's memory and computing resources. More often than not, memory will be the limiting factor in the number of virtual machines a server can host. And, of course, a shortage in either RAM or processing power can directly affect performance. In many cases, organizations choose to repurpose existing hardware for virtualization, but do you know what to look for when it's time to replace aging servers?

Network hardware options

Before virtualization, most servers used only a fraction of their network bandwidth and a single network interface card had no trouble keeping up. Now, with a physical server capable of hosting hundreds of virtual machines, a server's network interface card or cards can easily be overwhelmed. Networking problems, like I/O bottlenecks, are some of the biggest challenges an IT admin will face. Choosing the right network hardware can help ease your problems.

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Storage hardware trends

Storage technology has made huge advances in recent years, and keeping up with these trends is essential to having the best hardware for virtualization. Hypervisor-aware storage, with integrated software that gives admins better insight into virtual workloads, storage IOPS and disk use helps prevent performance problems before they start. While most virtualized infrastructures rely on shared storage, there is a growing movement today to outfit servers with local storage, which has improved and dropped in price over recent years. Find out which approach is right for your data center.

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