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How can I utilize vertualization to create more disk space

Posted on 2010-11-21
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Last Modified: 2012-06-22
I have an HP Proliant DL360 G6 server runing windows 2003 server sp2. The C drive is a mirrored 149 GB disk and the D drive is a mirrored 500GB disk. Is there a way to use virtualization so that I can split the drive into about four or five 200 GB drives? If so what will be the approiate software to use in such a case?
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Question by:cheyliger
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kevinhsieh earned 500 total points
ID: 34185976
This doesn't sound like a good use case for virtualization. Virtualization should be used to consolidate operating systems onto fewer pieces of hardware, and possibly to make recovery easier. It sounds like you have a storage issue, and that would generally be best served by a change in your storage. What are you trying to accomplish by splitting your existing data onto sets of smaller drives?
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by:m203hcon
ID: 34186216
hello
if you would consider virtualisation  an you are looking for a enterprise free tool i would chose for Citrix Xenserver . You can convert your live machine with Xenconvert to a xenserver. You than can add and change the layout for the drives. For backup you can chose a free tool which causes no interruption xenbackukscript http://pipposan.wordpress.com/2010/06/16/xenserver-final-backup-script-with-or-without-snapshot/
try it out
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by:Tony J
ID: 34186615
I'm intrigued by why you think the four disks would be better than the two you currently have?

Otherwise, I agree with Kevin - why do you think virtualisation is the answer, here?
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by:m203hcon
m203hcon earned 500 total points
ID: 34186689
virtualisation is always a good path to go if you have the knowledge. Moving servers to other hardware is much easier , backup is simple and straightforward . With snapshot installing software without risc. Changing disk layout without risk because you can move to a backup or snapshot within minutes  Setting up several servers on one hardware device.
I would not recommend to set up 5 disk drives  but when you wan to change to a new server
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by:Tony J
Tony J earned 500 total points
ID: 34186736
Virtualisation isn't a panacea. In most cases it can help but in this case exactly what benefits does it bring?

IF the original poster had said that they wanted to consolidate servers and storage, or that they wanted to utilise a new servers power without a reinstallation or they wanted to reduce energy, cooling, rack count in a pay-per rack data centre, then YES it's a great fit.

BUT he said he wanted to convert 2 logical disks into 4 - what exactly does virtualistion bring that helps that?

So he can convert it using a P2V mechanism. Great. Then he still has the original disk layout.

He needs to explain WHY he feels virtualisation is a good fit for what he's trying to achieve if we can give a better answer but based on his information I see no advantage of either changing the disk layout or virtualising.

Virtualisation adds cost (new hardware/mantime/training/support) and complexity.
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by:Gerald Connolly
Gerald Connolly earned 500 total points
ID: 34190467
Not sure where you thought you would get 4 or 5, 200GB disks from, from your current disks which according to you are 2*149GB and 2*500GB, thats only 1300GB in total - 650GB with redundancy.

If you try and stripe the lot you will end up with 4*149GB (600GB) with redundancy its 450GB as most RAID controllers can't cope with different sized disks and use the smallest disk in the set as the size for all of them (i.e. a lot of wastage!)

Now if you upgraded the 149GB's to 500GB disks then you could do what you wanted with ease i.e create a 3+1 RAID-5 set and carve the resulting 1500GB into 4 or 5 volumes of 350-400GB each.

Why you would want to do that is another matter :-)
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Author Comment

by:cheyliger
ID: 34200018
Thanks to everyone for opening my eyes to the limitations of vertualization. Ireally do appreciate your input. I've gotten a clearer picture to a simplier more feasible approach.
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Expert Comment

by:Tony J
ID: 34203420
You are welcome. Good luck with your project going forwards and thank you for the points.

We're here if you have any other queries.
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