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building new virtual machine.

Posted on 2010-09-02
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Last Modified: 2013-11-06
i am building a new virtual machine using server 2008 R2. the hyper-v server has a local 1 TB raid 10 volume used to store the VHD's.

What would be a good hard drive config to use. I would like to have a c: system partition and a data  partition. d: drive. should i use 60gb fixed VHD for the system dirve and a differencign vhd for the data with no limit ?

thanks.
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Question by:dirkdigs
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13 Comments
 
LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:Dave_AND
ID: 33590180
It depends on the data you will have on that, but if you are happy to let it grow till its full, thats fine. There is no set way to setup VHDs you need to plan how much data you think you need, and set to that. You only have a limit to the size of your physical  hard drives in this case :)
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Author Comment

by:dirkdigs
ID: 33590214
should i use 1 vhd for each partittion or just one for both. what are most people doing ?
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LVL 15

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by:Dave_AND
Dave_AND earned 125 total points
ID: 33590282
I personally use only 1 VHD with 1 volume, I don't see the point in having more than 1 Volume, that's what directory's are for ;)

It maybe safer to have 2 VHDs so if the large one fills the drive, you can move it to larger physical disks and leave the OS drive alone if you want to do it that way.
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LVL 7

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Mohamed Khairy earned 125 total points
ID: 33590390
It depends on the system HW recommendation settings under virtualization from the product vendor and you will find Microsoft Support Policies and Recommendations for products that will be supported under virtualization with the recommended settings:

for example : Exchange Servers in Hardware Virtualization Environments

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc794548(EXCHG.80).aspx

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Author Comment

by:dirkdigs
ID: 33590463
i'm building a file server.
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Assisted Solution

by:Darius Ghassem
Darius Ghassem earned 125 total points
ID: 33592015
I like having a VHD for each partition because of performance benefits when having multiple VHD files this allows write access to multiple files at once. Also, when you get large VHD files you can get low performance.

Also, depending on what type of backup solution you have if you have multiple VHD files you can restore the partition that has the corruption or missing file and not the whole system
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LVL 42

Assisted Solution

by:kevinhsieh
kevinhsieh earned 125 total points
ID: 33599215
Yes, use a VHD file attached to the virtual IDE controller for the C drive, and then additional VHD drives for data attached to synthetic SCSI for your data partitions.  I personally always use dynamically expanding VHD files, but it's your choice.  Microsoft has improved performance of dynamic VHD in Hyper-V 2008 R2 to almost match fixed disks.  My file server uses iSCSI to connect to my SAN, so I can dynamically grow the data volumes.  If you don't have a SAN, you can't dynamically grow your disk storage (well you can hot add disk and then use dynamic disk spanning, but I DO NOT recommend ever using dynamic disks).  Your option for expanding your file server is to shut down the VM, expand the size of the data VHD, boot the VM and then use Disk Manager or diskpart.exe to expand the partition.

Since it's a file server, you can also add another SCSI VHD for storing your shadow copies.

So, for best performance, attach your data drives vie the synthetic SCSI adapter, give your VM lots of RAM, and store everything on flash drives!  ;-)
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Author Comment

by:dirkdigs
ID: 33599704
@ kevinhsieh:

what is the difference with the IDE and the SCSI if my VHD files are both going to be on my RAID 10 volume any ways. Thanks. Performance improvement?
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LVL 42

Expert Comment

by:kevinhsieh
ID: 33600038
There is a performance improvement when attaching drives to the synthetic SCSI adapter because it doesn't have to go through the emulation required to present IDE to the VM, and because the SCSI specification allows greater performance when there are multiple concurrent requests.
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Author Comment

by:dirkdigs
ID: 33601254
@ kevinhsieh:

are you sure about that? i was jsut using atto disk benchmark and i was getting better read/writes from my system partition. IDE.
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LVL 42

Expert Comment

by:kevinhsieh
ID: 33622115
Upon further research, it shouldn't matter too much, but SCSI is still (slightly) better for I/O intensive workloads and multiple concurrent requests.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/virtual_pc_guy/archive/2009/12/01/why-hyper-v-cannot-boot-off-of-scsi-disks-and-why-you-should-not-care.aspx

"There are two limitations that remain for IDE disks:

•Disk commands to IDE disks on the same controller are serialized by the guest operating system (note that you can only have two IDE disks on a single controller)
•The IDE disk is limited to I/O block sizes of 512kb or less – while the SCSI controller can go up to block sizes of 8mb
However I have yet to see a test where either of these limitations resulted in a noticeable performance difference between IDE and SCSI."
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LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:Qlemo
ID: 34662200
This question has been classified as abandoned and is being closed as part of the Cleanup Program.  See my comment at the end of the question for more details.
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