An anonymous reader writes "I was put in charge of an aging IT infrastructure that needs a serious overhaul. Current services include the usual suspects, i.e. www, ftp, email, dns, firewall, DHCP — and some more. In most cases, each service runs on its own hardware, some of them for the last seven years straight. The machines still can (mostly) handle the load that ~150 people in multiple offices put on them, but there's hardly any fallback if any of the services die or an office is disconnected. Now, as the hardware must be replaced, I'd like to buff things up a bit: distributed instances of services (at least one instance per office) and a fallback/load-balancing scheme (either to an instance in another office or a duplicated one within the same). Services running on virtualized servers hosted by a single reasonably-sized machine per office (plus one for testing and a spare) seem to recommend themselves. What's you experience with virtualization of services and implementing fallback/load-balancing schemes? What's Best Practice for an update like this? I'm interested in your success stories and anecdotes, but also pointers and (book) references. Thanks!"