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Advice on Virtual Workstations with Hyper-V

Posted on 2011-09-08
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Hi,

Our shop has converted about a dozen virtual machines using the Virtual Machine Manager's Convert Physical to Virtual Option.  However, now we have these dozen virtual machines, along with our servers, in the Failover Cluster Manager.  However we keep adding virtual machines.

Is this the best way to keep doing this?  Is this the best practice?  The people using the dozen virtual machines have Wyse thin clients in which they connect to their specific VM.
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Question by:awarren85
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Expert Comment

by:kevinhsieh
ID: 36507190
What is your concern? Management? Storage requirements? Server requirements?
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Author Comment

by:awarren85
ID: 36507214
All of the above really. Didn't know if we were wasting resources by running them seperately. Is this crazy to do?  Is there a better way to run a dozen virtual workstations?

Will we hit problems later if we grow to 20 virtual machines.
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Expert Comment

by:kevinhsieh
ID: 36507398
What is your storage infrastructure? There are some vendors that have some greater intelligence regarding virtual infrastructure, linked clones, caching, etc. How similar are the VMs? What are their IO requirements? What do they run? I have 80+ VM servers running on my cluster, each with their own VHDs on my SAN. My only real problem is disk IOPS for all of my VMs. I will have that fixed in about a month when my new storage arrives, which should net out at least twice the IOPS I have now.

What problems do you envision if you were running 20 VMs?
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Author Comment

by:awarren85
ID: 36507491
We have 3 physical nodes on an iScsi san on an hp msa2324 array. The vms are pretty similar; all run Windows XP.

I was worried about there being a different method, such as using remote desktops on one server or looking at vmware view, that would be better.

Iops are fine right now, about 300 on each node.

I'm worried as well of how many vms hyper-v failover cluster can handle and under how much load?  Do you run your servers mixed with the vms?  Just don't want to outgrow the infrastructure or software.
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Author Comment

by:awarren85
ID: 36507523
Also -- our san only has one large lun. Will this hurt us later on.
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Accepted Solution

by:
kevinhsieh earned 500 total points
ID: 36507598
If you can run on a remote desktop session host (terminal server) then that it a lot less resource intensive than running a separate VM/OS per user. My experience is that the number of VMs you can run is limited by the IOPS your storage can deliver and the amount of RAM in your hosts. Solving the RAM problem tends to be cheaper, because it's easy to add another Hyper-V host with more RAM or to upgrade the RAM you have. My cluster consists of servers with 16 GB to 144 GB of RAM. I can obviously run many more VMs on a server with 144 GB RAM.

I generally don't see having just a single largish LUN being a problem. My largest LUN is around 900 GB. I don't make it bigger because it gets really hard to make a copy, etc. So far I don't see any problems with what you are doing.
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by:awarren85
ID: 36507818
Perfect, thanks very much for your advice.
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