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hyper-v setup

Posted on 2010-08-31
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I'm in the process of setting up a hyper-v server that will host 2 machines. One will be a exchange 2007 box for a 30 user workgroup and the other will be an active directory box. I have a dell poweredge r710 that has 5 x 73 gb hdd's and 3 146 gb hdd's.

I've never set up an actual virtualized box before so I want to make sure I have my stuff straight before I proceed. I plan on using server 2008 r2 with the latest version of hyper-v as the base OS. Will hyper-v allow me to install a VM onto a specified raid array? I'd like to have 2 73 gb drives for the base OS, 3 73 gb drives for the ad box, and the 3 146 gb drives for exchange.

Or am I completely off base here?
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Question by:MapleLife
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Expert Comment

by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 33570326
You can choose where to store the VM's and VHD's when configuring them in Hyper-V, but I'm not sure of the exact performance difference there would be in having them on different arrays.  I can only think it would be advantageous to do so.
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by:Greg Hejl
ID: 33571207
MapleLife,

VM's use Virtual Harddrives VHD's - (folders)

set up Raid 1 for Host OS and a raid 10 set for Host Data - put your vhd's on the data drive.

I know this doesn't fit the drives you have but this is the best way to set up a host.  it gives you the most flexibility managing vhd's

Making host data a raid 10 set will provide plenty of IO for VHD's.

Create OS VHD and DATA VHD for each VM - make sure these are fixed vhd's as databases don't do well on dynamically expanding VHD's.  OS vhd drives are emulated ide.

Hyper v does have a passthrough feature to give a vm direct access to drives on the host.  this is for hi-performance demanding database and file server applications.  if you are doing a small office you shouldn't need to do this.  Passthrough disks will make your VM more like a physical server. restricting the sizes of physical drives leads to wasted drive space too.
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Author Comment

by:MapleLife
ID: 33576595
Greg,

Will my hdd set up even allow a raid 10 config? Doesn't raid 10 need 4 or 5 disks of the same type? I suppose i could use the 5 73's but that would restrict my space. I'd rather have 5 146's.
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PowerEdgeTech earned 250 total points
ID: 33577582
5 x 73 gb hdd's and 3 146 gb hdd's
RAID 10 cannot be set up on your controller with 3 HDD's ... you would need to get another 146GB drive if you were to go that route (or have a 4x73GB array - if you use three 146's and one 73, it will only use 73 of each drive for the array).
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Assisted Solution

by:Greg Hejl
Greg Hejl earned 250 total points
ID: 33578422
Hi Maple -
I started my hyper v experience with a similar drive situation - that box is now siting in a corner - realized quickly that assigning specific hardware to VM's defeats the purpose of VM's.  might as well stay with one purpose servers.

also wish i had just installed core server - hyper v manager can be run from anywhere.

i would keep 2 73's for host os and turn the other ones in and get 6 of the same size,  if you have 2 quad processors and at least 16 gigs ram your box could easily host a few more servers

i've been using extra horsepower on hosts to retire older servers using p2v.  it's swank!
 I've got an older PE2950 that runs DC, Exchange, SQL, and webserver.

your R710 could be around awhile
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Author Comment

by:MapleLife
ID: 33578529
I spoke with my manager and he said he could probably work a 146 in there and give me 4 73's and 4 146's. I'd use the 146's for the data partition and 2 73's for the OS. Not sure what I'll do with the other 2 73's. I lobbied for 6 overall 146's but he doesn't think he can get the cost approved since we spent so much on the server.
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Expert Comment

by:Greg Hejl
ID: 33581934
well have fun!  i've heard of some r710's holding 15 servers.  
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