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Raid? --> 5 VMs on which --> 1x Raid 10 (10 Drives) or 5x Raid 1 (2 drives/VM)

Posted on 2009-04-06
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Last Modified: 2013-11-11
I have VMWare ESXi (Embedded on a flash drive) Running on a Dell PowerEdge 2900. I have 10 x 146GB 15K SAS drives, 2 Quad core Xeon Procs and 24 GB of Mem, 6 nics, etc ...

I  will presumably equally divide resources. I dont have a need for much space. Disk I/O/Performance is a bigger deal.

I am going to run a total of 5 VMs only as listed below:
1 x win2k3 terminal server
1 x win2k3 sql db server
1 x win2k3 app server
1 x win2k3 file server
1 x win2k3 domain controller

My question is should I setup the one raid 10 datastore for all VMs or setup five Raid 1 datastores 1 for each VM.

I dont have a need for much space. Disk I/O/Performance is a bigger deal.

Any Thoughts or suggestions.
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Question by:jr3jr3
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Paul Solovyovsky earned 1000 total points
ID: 24083591
I would recommend a RAID10 datastore for all VMs unless one of the VMs will have a NTFS partition that is very large (over 256GB).  The reason for this is that you'll gain performance with transparent page sharing since they're all using the same OS they'll have the capability to share page files.

If you have very large VMs you should create separate datastores for these VMs by setting up a separate logical volume on the raid set
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by:Philip Elder
Philip Elder earned 1000 total points
ID: 24083699
RAID 1+0 will give you your best read/write performance. The catch is the RAID controller. It should be at the minimum PCI-E 8x with 256MB or more to really take advantage of the needed I/O. Make sure it has an onboard battery backup for the memory cache or have a really good UPS that will allow for a proper (clean) shutdown of the virtual server and VMs.

RAID 1 across 5 pairs would really hamper the performance of the RAID controller.
If you can, make sure you have a Global Hot Spare to stand ready to take over in the event of a failed drive.

Philip
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