Partitioning consideration with Hyper-V

Posted on 2008-11-04
Last Modified: 2013-12-01
I am setting up a Windows 2008 server. I plan to setup two virtual machines, one SBS 2008 and one Server 2003. I started thinking about partitioning scenarios. Normally I setup servers with a C and D partitions always trying to guess the right size for the C drive since it always eventually runs low on space.

I don't want to be in the situation of guessing the proper size of three C partitions.  I have 750 GIG of space. I'm looking for best practice suggestions. Should I install the host server 2008 with a C drive and a D dive. Then setup the two virtual machines with just C partitions drives?

I could setup the host server 2008 with a D partition and put the virtual machine on there and not have D partitions for the two virtual machines

Any suggestions?
Question by:ajdratch
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    Since your using all local disk storage adding multiple partitions under the guest systems is not going to buy you much since they will reside typically on the same partitions as other guests. If performance is a concern two things you can do is build the server as core, and set a parition for the pagefile for the host OS. Those two choices will give you the most bang versus worrying about how to configure the guest.

    Also the guest systems will benefit from being installed as 64bit, with virtual scsi drives. Overall you'll find your ram to be the end bottleneck as you stack on guests. Unless of course you have very active servers. =)

    Here's more on Hyper-V performance tips:,,sid94_gci1321718,00.html#
    LVL 58

    Accepted Solution


    My best recommendation to you would be to use AT LEAST 2 partitions on the host. Make the C: partition the smallest, let's say 50GB in size (I usually use that for the System drive of a 2008 Server), and then you can allocate some of the other space to a D: partition. I wouldn't suggest you allocate it all, since it's easier to give more to a volume in future than it is to take it away again :)

    Once you have got that far, you can then start to create the VHD files for the Virtual Machines. I would do exactly as you have said here, by giving the VMs only a C: partition. Perhaps make it 50 - 100GB for each VM, since they will be storing data too.

    Another consideration is what type of RAID array are you running the system on? The preferable would be RAID 5, and what I guess you should probably do is have a completely separate array in RAID 10, where you could dump the Exchange databases. (RAID 10 gives good performance for databases). However, unless your servers are really very active, the performance difference between running Exchange on RAID 10 versus RAID 5 is very negligible. And don't forget, while write performance is impacted, read performance is also very good on RAID 1, if that is all you have configured.


    Expert Comment

    I am new to Hyper V so have taken your advice on setting up the host 2008 server with a 50Gb "c" partition. then put the virtual drives on the "d" partiton.
    My question is about adding a virtual 2003 SBS server. should I just have one virtual "c" partition with everything on it ie (clientapps, mailboxes, monitering databases etc.. or have the OS on the virtual "c" partiition with clientapps, mailboxes data on a virtual "d" partition. Like i would if i was not using virtual software.
    Whatever you think is best can you give a brief explanation why


    LVL 58

    Expert Comment



    Can you please post your own question? Unlike most forums, EE questions are not 'bumped' to the top of the list, and taking another person's question over just confuses the database!

    If you post your own question in the Server 2008 zone, and put a link to it here, I will happily look over it.


    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks, I'll set it up this way

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