Solved

New VM on VMWare ESXi 4.1 host

Posted on 2011-02-14
10
1,094 Views
Last Modified: 2016-10-27
I just received a new Dell PowerEdge R710 with 1 processor, 1 TB RAID 5 w/ hot spare, and 9 GB of memory.  I installed ESXi 4.1 with the intention of setting up one new VM with Server 2003, and converting two other physical Server 2003 machines.

I'd like the new VM to be a new domain controller for my network and possibly a file server, so I set it up with 2 processors, 2 GB of memory, and a 120 GB thick provisioned hard disk.  I divided the HDD into two partitions - C with 40 GB and D with 80 GB for future data.

My question is did I setup the hard disk correctly?  I see the downside is that I created a vmdk file of 120 GB, so copying this off as a backup is not very practical.  But, I do have Acronis True Image 9 I can use to make an image of the server, so not sure if this is a big deal.  Should I redo this with a single 40 GB partition and then add another disk for the data partition after the fact?  Should I make the system partition thick and the data thin?  Just not sure if any of this is a big deal, but this is my first experience with VMware and I would like to get things set up correctly!

Also - should I take any other special precautions with backup and recovery?  I expect to keep this pretty small with 3-5 VM's running on the host.  
0
Comment
Question by:s_sykes
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • +1
10 Comments
 
LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:coolsport00
Comment Utility
Yeah...it's not a huge deal, but yes...you should separate the virtual disks into 2 distinct virtual disks (vmdk's). If this is a free version of ESXi you're running, backing up VMs is a bit more difficult. To take advantage of API's, you need to have a minimum of Essentials (purchased version - about $500US). You can then use such 3rd party tools as Veeam, vRanger, etc.

~coolsport00
0
 
LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:flyingsky
Comment Utility
either thin or thick works for you.
the advantage of thin is you can over commit as long as the disks in all the VMs are not all used. But if they do, then you may get in trouble.
I usually use thin and keep an eye on it. You can also setup alert to warn you.
0
 
LVL 117

Expert Comment

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
Comment Utility
Personally, I would start small, and grow..........to meet future requirments.

It depends on what backup technology you are using, some do not backup "blank unsused space".

0
 
LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:coolsport00
Comment Utility
BTW...it's best practice to have system volume on a separate virtual disk than data volume (virutal disk/vmdk).

~coolsport00
0
 
LVL 117

Expert Comment

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
Comment Utility
0
How to run any project with ease

Manage projects of all sizes how you want. Great for personal to-do lists, project milestones, team priorities and launch plans.
- Combine task lists, docs, spreadsheets, and chat in one
- View and edit from mobile/offline
- Cut down on emails

 
LVL 1

Author Comment

by:s_sykes
Comment Utility
So best practice would be to create a new VM for Server 2003 with a 20-40 GB drive and a single partition (C) and then add a second disk for data after it is all setup?
0
 
LVL 117

Expert Comment

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
Comment Utility
Thin provisioned disks:


- You cannot use Fault Tolerance with a VM that has thin provisioned disks.

- Thin Provisioning allocates the storage in the VMDK, but the storage isn't actually backed by physical disk unless the data in the Guest OS is written to disk.

- Running defrag utilities inside the Guest OS of a VM, on a disk that is thin provisioned, will cause your thin provisioned disk to eventually consume all of its provisioned space faster than it would otherwise (essentially turning it into a thick provisioned disk) due to the many writes they perform during their normal operation.

- You can change a thick provisioned disk (such as one "created" in the previous point) to a thin provisioned disk by using Storage vMotion ... this also will defrag the VMDK in the process.

- Thin provisioned disks are usually susceptible to fragmentation moreso than a thick provisioned one, but can be dealt with by doing a Storage vMotion to attempt to improve performance.

- Storage vMotioning, cloning, and snapshots of a thin provisioned disk are faster, as only the actual data is being copied.

- Zeroing out your thin provisioned VMDKs will cause them to consume all of their provisioned space (turning them into thick disks.)

- You can easily find yourself over-committing your storage if you do not closely monitor the disk usage of your thin provisioned disks.  If it's not monitored properly, and you end up provisioning more storage than you have available, then it's very easy to run into a situation where one VMDK will end up consuming the rest of the space in its datastore.
0
 
LVL 40

Accepted Solution

by:
coolsport00 earned 300 total points
Comment Utility
Yes sir...

~coolsport00
0
 
LVL 117

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 200 total points
Comment Utility
Yes, I would recommend that.

We create "skinny" 12-20GB  Win2k3 Golden Masters, this is just enough for the OS and patches.

We then create Data Disks, on a size required, sometimes we may also create Pagefile disks.

If you create different disks, at a later date, you can easily move these disks to different data stores in the future, if you are having performance issues on the datastore or LUN. If you create a C:, D:, E: all on one disk, you got to do a data migration to split the partitions onto different disks.

We believe it's about careful management of resources, CPU, Memory, Networking and Storage.

0
 
LVL 1

Author Closing Comment

by:s_sykes
Comment Utility
Thanks!
0

Featured Post

How to run any project with ease

Manage projects of all sizes how you want. Great for personal to-do lists, project milestones, team priorities and launch plans.
- Combine task lists, docs, spreadsheets, and chat in one
- View and edit from mobile/offline
- Cut down on emails

Join & Write a Comment

Suggested Solutions

ADCs have gained traction within the last decade, largely due to increased demand for legacy load balancing appliances to handle more advanced application delivery requirements and improve application performance.
HOW TO: Upload an ISO image to a VMware datastore for use with VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.5 (ESXi 6.5) using the vSphere Host Client, and checking its MD5 checksum signature is correct.  It's a good idea to compare checksums, because many installat…
This Micro Tutorial walks you through using a remote console to access a server and install ESXi 5.1. This example is showing remote access and installation using a Dell server. The hypervisor is the very first component of your virtual infrastructu…
This video shows you how to use a vSphere client to connect to your ESX host as the root user. Demonstrates the basic connection of bypassing certification set up. Demonstrates how to access the traditional view to begin managing your virtual mac…

728 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question

Need Help in Real-Time?

Connect with top rated Experts

12 Experts available now in Live!

Get 1:1 Help Now