How to determine specs for a new file server


  • I want to create a new Server 2012 virtual server to replace all my existing, much older, file servers.  The server would house all the home directories, as well as a few general file shares, for somewhere between 200 and 250 users.

    I can look at my current servers to see how much disk space is currently used, but are there Microsoft recommendations out there for how much RAM and processors i would need to allot to this new virtual server?

    Wednesday, April 02, 2014 6:57 PM


All replies

  • A quick search of TechNet shows that you are not the first person to ask this sort of question.  The problem is that there are quite a few things you have to take into consideration.  Here is another post with some good information and pointers -

    .:|:.:|:. tim

    Wednesday, April 02, 2014 11:00 PM
  • Unless I'm not understanding, those links in that one were more for performance tuning of older servers.  But it did say something about monitoring performance on existing servers to try to get a clue, but didn't really provide details on it.  Is that what I should do really? 

    I'm kinda stuck with the virtualization environment I have, just trying to figure out the resources to dedicate to the new virtual file server to replace the kluge of scattered physical ones we have now.

    Thursday, April 10, 2014 4:37 PM
  • There is no easy, point-and-click way to come to a conclusion.  The only way you can figure it out is to evaluate what you have, determine the necessary IO rates you need to support, determine the disk setup that can readily deliver that IO rate, determine the network rates you need to support, and determine the network setup that can readily deliver that rate.  Using Windows Server 2012 R2 on a modern server you will not likely have to worry too much about CPU performance in most cases.

    But there really is no substitute for measuring your current environment and then building something that will be the sum of the current pieces.

    .:|:.:|:. tim

    Friday, April 11, 2014 11:36 PM
  • Was there a link in that one on how to measure all that though?  I think that's what i'm missing, or not understanding.
    Monday, April 14, 2014 8:35 PM
  • Yes, there is information about the File Server Capacity Tool.

    .:|:.:|:. tim

    Tuesday, April 15, 2014 12:12 AM
  • But it says "“FSCT” can simulate multiple TCP connections and sessions, with each client test machine simulating multiple users." then explains how to use this in a test environment.  I thought you said to capture current performance data off my existing servers to best gauge how many resources I would need on a new combined virtual one.  That doesn't sound like it would do it.  Guess I'll just have to mess with perfmon and see where that gets me.  Thanks for trying to help though.

    • Marked as answer by RJO22 Tuesday, April 15, 2014 9:56 AM
    Tuesday, April 15, 2014 9:56 AM