Best use of TWO DELL 2950 servers; Virtulaisation VM or Hyper V

I have 2 Dell 2950 servers.
Both have 32gb ram, 2 300GB SAS 15k drives and 4 1 TB sata drives.
We ahve licensing for Server 2008 and Hyper V, I wanted to use VM ware but we cant afford the additional cost.
Would it be best to install Hyper V role on one server using the 300GB 15k drives to host the OS and applications then run the storage portion off a raid 5 set comprised of the 4 1TB drives? or would Raid 10 be a better option for performance? I am looking to create SQL 2008 server, application server and a file server all runnign Server 2008 ont eh hyper V platform.
Would I then bea ble to use the secondary 2950 as a Cluster node or failover?

Coudl I get osme recomendation on this please.

Thank you
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HAving the storage (1 TB drives) locally you can't use the two servers as hosts for clustering Hyoer-V as you need external storage that can be accessed contemporary by both servers.

Better use RAID 5 for more space although SQL Server could benefit from RAID 10 but not when the same RAID is hosting other VMs, so ...
manelson05Author Commented:
So I basically need a NAS or SAN, would a lower end NAS work okay?
Chad DixsonMIS Manager - YPITCommented:
Been down this road before....Microsoft Clustered Shared Volumes (CSV) is how you want to get there.  CSV is only available in Server 2008 R2.  Whatever storage device you decide to use MUST support SCSI Primary Commands-3 (SPC-3).  Specifically the sotrage array must support Persistent Reservations as specified in SPC-3.

Aberdeen sells inexpensive NAS devices that uses Windows Storage Server 2008 (supports SPC-3).
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You don't need CSVs from 2K8R2.  I have VMs setup with hyperV with 2 hosts in a failover cluster.

You will need to have external storage if you want to make these machines highly available using a cluster and you will also need to ensure that you use Microsoft Certified equipment or if you build your cluster and it has problems, MS will not support you .

For clustering you will need to configure iSCSI, MPIO, and clustering either at the guest level or the host level.  I just built a hyperv failover with clustered host machines using a dell md3000i and 2 2950s .  Below are some links to read before tackling the project because there are a lot of resource and network planning involved to start using iSCSI and LUNs.  

Some good reading:


Configuring iSCSI:

Clustering Options:

Configuring a HyperV Failover:

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To answer the first part of your question, if you do not use SAN for your VHD images, I would create the VHDs on the 4/ 1TB drives in a raid5 stripe.  Since you are going to be creating HyperV VHDs on the raid5 stripe you will not see any gains on using raid10.  When you create the SQL VMs, just ensure that you have separate VHDs for the OS, sql logs and the sql data.
Chad DixsonMIS Manager - YPITCommented:
Are you hoping to have the ability to use Live Migration? (aka VMotion in VMare).  If yes, then you will need to use CSV (2008R2).
Chad DixsonMIS Manager - YPITCommented:
Chad DixsonMIS Manager - YPITCommented:
I guess the question is "Define highly available?"  Correct me if I'm wrong, when your primary node fails your VMs fail with it until they are restarted on the secondary node?
When the first host fails, the guests are paused while they are transferred to the next host in the cluster.  The failover process takes less than 1 minute because all the data (quorom and vm .vhd) is on shared storage and all hosts are in an active state.

2008 R2 offers hot failover, but if you already have 2008 network, is it worth the cost to upgrade to minimize that failover time ?
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