Virtualization Question

Posted on 2011-03-03
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi I am new to virtualization and want to run this by the memebership. I am looking to virtualize two different servers on a physical Windows 2008 server with Hyper-V. The physical server is 32gb ram, Dell T610 with (6) 300gb SAS drives in raid configuration with 1.3tb available in (1) large l drive.  (2) XEON 5620 processors at 2.4ghz. In Windows it lists 16 cores. If you need more hardware info let me know.

What I would like to do if possible is setup the host OS with Windows 2008 server with Hyper-V and have a virtual server for SBS2008 server and an additional virual server for Windows 2008 server running terminal server and Filemaker Pro. as well as Microsoft Office that would be available for 10 users on the entire system.

I would appreciate if you can give me pointers as far as raid configuration, memory suggestions, any virtualization tips/advice.

Thanks in advance!!
Question by:sccomputer
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LVL 10

Accepted Solution

ThorinO earned 500 total points
ID: 35032274
I think a RAID 5 would be good for the number of users you have. RAID 1 would be faster and RAID 6 would provide more redundancy but both have space limitations/issues.

I would stick with RAID 5 unless you feel that you need a RAID 1 set as well with 2 of the 6 disks that you can use for vDisks that would have log files written to them for Exchange or SQL.

Author Comment

ID: 35032356
Hi ThorinO thank you for your response. So I am assuming you mean raid 5 with  1 large drive and no partions?

What about things like the amout of ram dedicated to the host/ amout of ram to allocate to the guest os's.
How should the virtual disks be created, sized location. etc. Should I creat virtual drives for sbs for the os,exchange db and a seperate one for logs?

LVL 10

Assisted Solution

ThorinO earned 500 total points
ID: 35032412
You could create a single RAID 5 array, the more disks you add the faster it will be. From there you would create virtual disks based on your requirements for each OS. I would go 50GB for the C drive on the SBS08 server and then another virtual disk for D depending on your requirements.

If you wanted to, you could create a RAID 5 array with 3 disks and RAID 1 with the remaining 2. You could then present virtual disks from both to a single guest. For example for your SBS08 you could have 2 RAID 5 vdisks and one RAID 1 vidisk so that OS is on RAID 5, Exchange on RAID 5, and Exchange logs on RAID 1.

You also have the option of using one of the disks as a global hot spare which is a good thing as well. Make sure you have OpenManage installed so you can monitor the health of your RAID array through SNMP or some other means.
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LVL 42

Expert Comment

ID: 35032874
I would create a VHD for each drive letter that you plan on using for your VMs. Maybe a C drive for OS, D drive for shares, E drive for Exchange DB and F drive for Exchange logs. Something similar for your filemaker/remote desktop server. Your system is beefy enough for maybe 100+ users so performance should be good. I would give maybe 16 GB RAM to the SBS VM and 6 GB to your filemaker/Remote Desktop server. You can always change the RAM, CPU, and disk assigned to each VM. Be sure to apply the Hyper-V hotfixes. They are not available via Windows Update. Do a google search for Hyper-V hotfixes and you will find a technet page that shows all of them.

Author Comment

ID: 35038851
Thanks guys for your help with this. I am leaning toward the solution that Kevin suggested with sepertate disks for the os partitons to mimic a typical hardware based install of both sbs2008 and server 2008 terminal server.

Thanks again!!
LVL 42

Expert Comment

ID: 35038907
My suggestion is to keep all VHD files on same RAID set, but use a new VHD for every drive letter in your VMs. There is no reason to partition a VHD into multiple drive letters, and several problems with doing that. The reasons for partitioning a physical disk don't exist when virtualizing.

Author Comment

ID: 35044234
Had another question that I came up with that I thought I would pose to you guys. The physical server has two quad core E6520 Xenon processors. Any thoughts on how to allocate those in the vm's? Does each vm get a single processor? Two processors? More than that?

Any thoughts on this guys??

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