I was looking at this link and some of the #s are confusing to me. A lot of the servers we have have two processors in them, either dual or quad cores. Let's say I want to consolidate 12 servers in two ESX servers and decide to purchase the vCenter Server Standard. Both the servers I'd end up putting ESX on would have two processors, so this means I have to pay almost $20,000 (4995x4)???

The main feature I really need is if an ESX servers failed, the other ESX server could instantly take all the VMs that are on it until we can replace/repair the ESX server that crashed. What is the minimum package required for this? Or is ESX even required for this, and I can do it with the free ESXi?

Also, is there anybody with experience using Windows 2008 Hyper-V, from what I understand is that you can do all the same stuff but I'm not throwing away $20,000 like I would with Vmware. Any input would be greatly appreciated, I need to give #s and explanation on how this would reduce cost and the ROI to the big whigs.

You need vsphere advanced. Vmotion is the pkg that allows you to migrate VMs to another box.You'll also need virtual center install and running to make the fail over happen(this can be done in a vm now. but figure that into your capacity(requires a db))

Edit: forgot to mention, a SAN is either required or highly recommended in this type of setup.

you can also do similar things with double take on Windows or DRBD on Linux.

IN that case, you don't need the SAN or even the fancy VMWare editions, free VMware server will do.

The difference is that the failover will not be automatic.

Depends on your budget and tolerance to downtime and other budgetary needs.

You need SCVMM to do 'V-Motion' type operations with Hyper-V machines. The good thing about SCVMM is that it supports not only HyperV vms but VMWare vms too.

Basically the setup I'm looking to do is as follows:

HQ                                                Colocation

ESX1 (6 VMs)----------------------ESX3 (6 VMs)

ESX2 (6 VMs)----------------------ESX4 (6 VMs)

SAN---------------------------------- SAN

If ESX1 goes down, I want ESX2 to take all the VMs which means it would have to handle 12 VMs until ESX1 is repaired. Would ESX2 be able to handle this many VMs temorarily if lets say I have a single processor with 4 cores? At the HQ there are 2 physical servers that both have 2 processors each are quad core. I do not want to pay the price for 2 ESX servers in one physical server, but I do not want to end up using only one processor in the server. What is the best way to work this out with Vmware's pricing?

For the colocation I want it to basically be a mirror of both the ESX servers and the SAN at HQ. This way if HQ goes completely down, then the Colocation will be able to take over within a few minutes. For this setup, I supposed I need at least vSphere Advanced which comes out to $2806 per processor with platinum support. For all 4 ESX servers this would come up to about $11,000. I am guessing I would also need a virtual center server to manage all the ESX servers correct? The virtual center would be then about $6200 with support. I'm guessing price for a 2TB SAN could be found for about $2000 each.

So I'm looking at about $21,000 for this setup I'm referring to. Does this seem about right or are my pricing/setup off somewhere. The budget I was given for this project from the CFO was 20K, although I could push it a bit, this is their expectation and most I could come up with to give them the redundancy they need.  The link between the colocation and HQ is a 15 Mbps Fiber optic pipe. If you know of a cheaper and better way to do this, feel free to comment.

That's a fine setup.
No one can comment on if 1 machine can handle 12 vms but you. You have to do your own capacity numbers. Generally memory is limiting factor, if possible add atleast 25% more then you think will be PEAK.

Yes you'll need a virtual center to manage the failover/monitoring. You can visualize the machine, however it's not recommended for obvious reasons. You'll also need to take great care of the database this machine runs. SAN and VERY regular full backups are recommended.

^^ not always sometimes disk speed is the limiting factor. Depends on the VM's you are putting on it.