Let’s set size aside for a second. Here’s the order in which you should try new technologies – whether it’s virtualization, cloud, storage, or whatever:
- Development servers with less than 100GB of data
- Production servers with less than 100GB of data
- Development servers with <1TB
- Production servers with <1TB
- Development servers with >1TB
- Production servers with >1TB
It’s simple: start with the lowest risk, easiest-to-manage servers first. Learn your lessons on smaller servers, then gradually use the technology on larger and larger servers.
If at any level, your users complain about performance and you can’t figure out how to fix it, stop at that level. Don’t go farther.
It’s not that 1TB of data is too big to virtualize or to move into the cloud – it’s not. But your skills may not be up to the task, and you need to sharpen those skills before you attack a larger performance problem.
It all comes back to my post, “How Many Databases Can I Put on a SQL Server?”