Some Hyper-V Hardware and Software Best Practices

    Accepted
    Article by
    On 2014-04-06
    Views: 5,716
    17,516 Points
    The following article is comprised of the pearls we have garnered deploying Hyper-V since Virtual Server 2005 and subsequent 2008 RTM+ standalone and clustered.
    We've been building standalone virtualization solutions since virtual server 2005.

    We've been building Hyper-V virtualization solutions since Longhorn. We built out our first cluster not long after 2008 RTMd though it took about 6 months of life to figure the whole setup out!

    Here are some points to consider when looking to build a virtualization solution whether standalone or clustered on Hyper-V.
    • Server Management: Always install an RMM, iLO Advanced, or iDRAC Enterprise
      • Out of band KVM over IP can save time in the event of an emergency
      • Keep a USB flash drive plugged in that is bootable and is kept up to date with OS install files
      • Rebuild the server host OS and settings without leaving the shop
    • CPU: GHz over Cores
    • Memory: Largest, fastest for CPU, prefer one stick per channel, and same size/speed on all channels
    • BIOS: Enable all Intel/AMD Virtualization Settings
    • BIOS: Disable C3/C6 States
    • BIOS: Enable High Performance Profile
      • Server performance and fan performance
    • Disk subsystem: Hardware RAID, 1GB Cache, Non-Volatile or Battery backed
    • Disk subsystem: SAS only, 10K spindles to start, and 8 or more preferable 
      • Go smaller sizes with higher quantities of disks
    • RAID 6 with 90GB Logical Disk for OS and Balance for VHDX and ISO files
    • Networking: Intel only, 2x Dual-Port NICs at the minimum
      • We always install at least two Intel i350-T4 Gigabit NICs
      • In cluster settings at least one x540-T2 for 10GbE Live Migration
        • Two node clusters can have direct connect thus eliminating the expense of a 10GbE switch
    • Networking: Teaming
      • Team Port 0 on both NICs for management
      • Team Port 1on both NICs for vSwitch (Not shared with host OS)
        • OPTION: Team Port 0 for Management and bind one vSwitch per port to team _within_ VM OS
      • Port 2: Live Migration Standalone
      • Port 3: Live Migration Standalone
    • Networking: Broadcom NICs Disable VMQ for ALL physical ports
    • Hyper-V: Server Core has a reduced attack surface plus lower update count thus requiring fewer reboots
    • Hyper-V: Fixed VHDX files preferred unless dedicated LUN/Partition
      • We set a cut-off of about 12 VMs before we look to deploy one or two LUNs/Partitions for VHDX files
      • We deploy one 75GB fixed VHDX for guest OS
      • We deploy one 150GB+ dynamic VHDX for guest Data with a dedicated LUN/partition
    • Hyper-V: Max vCPUs to Assign = # Physical Cores on ONE CPU - 1
    • Hyper-V: Leave ~1.5GB physical RAM to the host OS
    • Hyper-V: Set a 4192MB static Swap File for host OS on C:
    • Hyper-V: Standalone preferred to keep Workgroup
      • Use RMM, iLO Advanced, iDRAC Enterprise, or if needed RDP to manage

    Last Modified: 2016-08-24 at 11:53
    13

    About the Author

    Microsoft MVP since 2009. Started with SBS and now Cluster. Building Scale-Out File Server and Hyper-V Clusters. Storage Spaces rocks!

    Essential articles and videos from the Experts

    VMware vSphere 5 VMWare have been specialising in server virtualisation since 2001. It has the largest market share especially in the enterprise market and therefore has a strong reputation for delivering virtualisation solutions. As it was the f…
    How to install and configure Citrix XenApp 6.5 - Part 1. In this video tutorial we have explained step by step installation of Citrix XenApp 6.5 Server on Windows Server 2008 R2 is explained in this video. We have explained the difference between…
    In this video tutorial I show you the main steps to install and configure  a VMware ESXi6.0 server. The video has my comments as text on the screen and you can pause anytime when needed. Hope this will be helpful. Verify that your hardware and BIO…
    Top Experts
    view all
    • Andrew Hancock

      Yorkshire Wolds, United Kingdom

      52,681 points this week

    • Richardson Porto

      4,500 points this week

    • robocat

      2,800 points this week

    Trending Groups
    New Expert Welcome123 MembersJoin
    Pokémon Go Masters10 MembersJoin
    Microsoft Access Discussion255 MembersJoin
    Receive Monthly Emails of Tech News and Trends from Experts Exchange