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Hardware Requirements Virtualization

Posted on 2011-09-08
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Hi All,

 We have a client where I am getting ready to deploy the following setup;

 Server 2008 Enterprise (Hyper V Host)
 Small Business Server 2011 (Hyper V Guest)
 Server 2003 Standard- Terminal Server (Hyper V Guest)

 All of this will be on an HP ML350 G6. 18GB of RAM, Xeon CPU, all the good stuff.

 What I want to figure out is how to do the hard drives. I am thinking about running six 146GB 15000RPM SAS drives. Should I do this in RAID 5? Should I do two RAID 5 arrays? (one for SBS, one for the others?) SBS can be quite intensive- I'm not sure which way will be the best performance.

 Thanks for the advice!
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Question by:LindsayCole
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by:andyalder
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I'd be tempted to have just one RAID 10 array, that way if SBS needs more IOs it can borrow them from Terminal Server (at the expense of slowing it down of course).
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by:kevinhsieh
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You didn't mention your IOPS requirement, or any other way to calculate it, such as organization size. IOPS are way down in Exchange 2010 vs 2003, so a small organization should be good with two 10K SAS drives in RAID 1. If you have over 30 users or so I would look at 4 drive RAID 10 of 10K SAS. It is generally better to have a single array of more drives rather than those same drives in separate arrays, because you end up limiting the amount of IOPS available to any given array.

Slightly off topic, but why is your host 2008 Enterprise and the TS VM windows 2003? With SBS 2011 you are licensed to run Windows 2008 R2 standard on the host in addition to SBS 2011 as a VM. You would just need a Windows 2003/2008 license for the TS VM, not an expensive Windows Enterprise license. I would also make sure that the host is running the R2 SP1 version of Hyper-V, so that is either Windows 2008 R2 SP1 or Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 SP1.  
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by:LindsayCole
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To start; Server 2003 is an existing server which is running a legacy app that doesn't support 2008. I will be virtualizing it during the migration.

As for users, there are 16 users currently- with 22 possible in the next few years.

They will have six 146GB 15000 RPM drives. It's just a matter of how to configure.

So a single RAID 5 array tends to be better?
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by:andyalder
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Can they afford the space for a single RAID 10 array (or cost of two more disks)? Raid 5 sucks ar random writes, although that's a bit offset if you have a decent size battery/flash backed write cache module.
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A Single RAID 10 will perform better than a single RAID 5, a single 6 drive RAID 5 will perform better in aggregate than two 3 drive RAID 5.

I think you have too many drives. I would build a 4 drive RAID 10, kepp 1 drive as a hot spare, and leave 1 drive one the shelf as a cold spare. It will save you 12 watts of power, plus about 12 watts of cooling by removing that 1 drive.
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by:D_Vante
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Go with 8 drives, 2 RAID 10 containers.  The G6 can hold 8 drives in SFF
Then you can replicate the servers between containers for backup purposes.
Plus plenty of IOPS with the two containers
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