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Hyper-V installation on Windows 2012

I am trying to create three VMs (seen below) on a brand new single server box with XEON 3.1Ghz, 4 Core, 32GB RAM, 2TB HD on RAID 1 with two intergreated Gigabit LAN ports.

W2012 running Hyper-V
(VM1)  SBS 2011 (DC, AD, Exchange, Printers, User Data)
(VM2)  W2008 R2 (Terminal Service, Word/Excel, QB Client program)
(VM3)  W2008 R2 (QB Database components)  

 How would you divide up RAM and HD among 3 VMs?  There are 5-10 users who use QuickBooks and occasional WORD/EXCEL. There are 3 people locally in the office and 3 to 7 users connecting to the Terminal Server. Currently total file size (QB, WORD, EXCEL combined) to be less than 1GB.  In addition, I also like to know if it is good idea to use just 1 LAN port or utilize two ports.

I am installing Windows 2012 right now (which will be Hyper-V server to host three VMs) and it is showing 1.9TB as Unallocated Space. Do you recommend that I create a one big partition or create 200GB partition just for 2012 OS for now and create another partition (1.7TB) in W2012 & divide up 1.7TB among 3 VMs?
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sglee
Asked:
sglee
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8 Solutions
 
Stelian StanNetwork AdministratorCommented:
A good starting point for you is Understanding Microsoft Virtualization Solutions:
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/microsoft_press/archive/2010/02/16/free-ebook-understanding-microsoft-virtualization-r2-solutions.aspx

Hyper-V is a role you can add to Server 2012.
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Stelian StanNetwork AdministratorCommented:
I would allocate some space for you Win 2012 install and leave that 1.7 TB for the vm's.
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
As a general rule, I make a separate physical partition for each VM. This is purely for organizational reasons. It makes moving a VM down the road easier if you decide to go with tiered storage for performance reasons.

So here is what I'd do. These aren't final numbers, but they are flexible, so as you see your V,s usage patterns, you can adjust accordingly.

Host c: 50gb, no swap.

Vm1: SBS, 16gb ram, 200gb partition with a 150gb fixed vhdx.
Vm2: RDS, 8gb ram, 100gb partition with a 75gb fixed vhdx.
Vm3: QB database, 4gb ram, 100gb partition with a 75gb fixed vhdx.

Yes, hat
Eaves a lot of unallocated space. But you can grow the as necessary as your VMs grow, and even create new vhdx's as desired down the road. For example, one of the early changes I make after I see how a business uses SBS is to expand the physical SBS partition then create a new vhdx just for exchange data. All the SBS vhdx's are nicely organized on one partition, but the exchange data is contained in its own vhdx so if a spammer suddenly hammers exchange, the entire OS system partition doesn't get filled with log files and junk email.

Similarly, if you choose to use folder redirection, you can enforce quotas in the disk level, and so on and so forth. Having unallocated space now allows you a lot of room to "grow" the solution to meet your needs later without jumping through extra hoops of shrinking partitions, buying emergency disk space, and other problems often reported here.

-Cliff
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
@cgaliher
(1) When you say "200gb partition with a 150gb fixed vhdx", does it mean that the hard drive size will being at 150gb, but will not exceed 200gb?
(2)  Regarding "RDS, 8gb ram", does Terminal Server take up that much memory?
(3)  Regarding total RAM usage (SBS 16 + RDS 8 + QB 4 = 28gb), does that leave 4GB for the host (W2012)?
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
1) You really should install Hyper-V in a test lab and learn the basics before you try to implement this in a live environment. These are *basic* Hyper-V concepts. But to directly answer your question, NTFS has always operated best when there is 20%+ free disk space in the filesystem. So a physical partition is 200GB. The .vhdx file is the virtual hard drive file that the guest OS will see. The guest OS will have a C: drive then of 150GB. That means that the physical 200GB will have slightly over 150GB used by the .vhdx file, leaving slightly less that 25% free. That is a good thing. There is no "at least" or "exceed" here. As I said in my initial post, the .vhdx file should be "fixed" ...not expanding, not differencing. It won't grow. It is just leaving some free space to keep NTFS happy.

2) QuickBooks does. And you have to base your memory usage on planned maximum usage. You said there is the potential for up to 10 simultaneous sessions. When you average single-session workstation now has a minimum of 2GB, and 4GB is not uncommon, giving 10 users 8GB to run QuickBooks and Microsoft Office is not unreasonable.

3) Correct.

-Cliff
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
Having played with Hyper-V in W2012, I like to start asking one question at a time and I would appreciate your feeback. Let's talk about W2012 installation.  
I have 2TB of total space.
When I install W2012, are we in agreement that we separate OS partition from data partition?
I was going to
If that is the case, then is it ok to create a 200GB partition, leaving 1.8TB for Hyper-V and its Virtual Machines? As I understand it, absolute minimum HD space requirement is 32GB. So I firgure I would need extra space for backup software now and something else down the road.
What do you think?
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
Sounds about right.
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kevinhsiehCommented:
FWIW, I use dynamic VHDs. Microsoft eliminated the performance penalty of dynamic VHDs in 2008 R2. I haven't looked at 2012 yet, but I have seem using Hyper-V since it was released
I expect your system to be slow because you don't have enough iops in your disks. Lets face it, a single 7.2K SATA drive is barely fast enough for a single workstation, let alone ten users and four Windows environments, plus two databases. Consider adding additional disks in RAID 10 or adding some SSD.
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
@ kevinhsieh
I can't add anymore hard drives. If I am going to be hit by performance, so will be it.
I expect 3 users most of the time, but during the peak season it will go up to 10 users and they will all be using Quickbooks.  I am currently testing Hyper-V on DELL T105 with 6GB RAM and 1TB HD and I can tell it is fairly slow compared to SAS. But hopefully the production server with 32GB and 2TB would be faster.
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
@cgaliher
Say I created 200GB partition (Drive C:)for W2012 OS and I created another 1.8TB partition (Drive E:, DVD-ROM being Drive D:) in W2012 OS.
The Hyper-V manager creates  virtual hard disk location and virtual machine configuration file in the C drive by default. If I accept the default folder locations and create 4 VMs, would this create a space problem on the C Drive with 200GB due to so many files it creates/maintains for each VM?
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
Yes, yes it would. But you don't have to use the defaults. And in fact I recommend against it.
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
On my test server, during the Hyper-V installation, I replaced default folders like below
C:\Users\Public\Documents\Hyper-V\Virtual Hard Disks  ---> F:\Hyper-V\VHD
C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Hyper-V  ---> F:\Hyper-V\VMC  

After creating two VMs - (1) Windows 7  (2) Windows 2012 Server,
Currently the folder "F:\Hyper-V" has reached 15GB in Size.

It is not that big in size. Why would you be against keeping these hyper-v folders in their default locations in C Drive?
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
Not to be rude, but this has really strayed from the original question. At this rate, the question will remain open indefinitely. If you want me to give you an instructor-led class in hyper-v, I'd be happy to do so. Just contact me for rates (rogue in cheek response here.)

Shirt answer, it sounds like you are using dynamic disks. And that is exactly the RISK of dynamic disks. They can grow rapidly, eat up free space, and if that space is your system disk, you'd crash both the VM (since the VHD cannot grow) AND the host (since the host will now have no free space on the system partition.

Convert that disk to fixed and you'll see it takes up significantly more space.
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kevinhsiehCommented:
As your VMs get used, their drives will get written to and will grow, reducing the free disk space on C. There is no way you can fit the 3 VMs on a 200 GB partition. You need to put the VMs onto your larger partition. The VMs will take up disk space from their VHD and their RAM usage. Hyper-V will create a file a little larger than the amount of RAM that the VM has been assigned.
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
I really need someone to talk about configuration of Hyper-V and VM installation.
I have been testing it for a few days on a test server and am getting more familiar with it each and every day, but I need some critical questions answered before doing it on a production server.

If you are interested in helping me on the phone for a fee, please let me know how to get a hold of  you.
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
Again not to be rude, but based on this and your other questions it sounds like you are designing and implementing 3 VM's, QuickBooks, and Hyper-V, none of which you seem to be familiar with.  All of us have taken extensive training, read books on the subjects on a daily bases, and work with new versions in a test environment before tackling projects like this.  Perhaps it would be best to hire someone to set up and configure, and in the meantime sign up for some Microsoft training.  Setup is the easy part, it when you run into problems you need the real skills.  I am doubtful asking questions on EE or a couple of phone calls will provide all the information you require.

As a start, you may find Microsoft's free e-book on Hyper-v helpful:
http://www.msigeek.com/2766/free-ebook-understanding-microsoft-virtualization-r2-solutions-from-microsoft-press

It is also not accepted by EE to solicit paid support within the forums.  Some experts have contact information within there profiles offering services.
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
Agreed. Just to clarify, I was definitely not soliciting support and anybody that has done any training, such as MCTs, probably j ows the jest in my "offer" for to give an instructor-led class. Providing training is not trivial, and is not something I am equipped to do, nor would I solicit students here. I Mae the comment to Illustrate just how far this question (and others) have digressed.

I want to be clear. I am extremely community oriented. I enjoy helping others, and am happy to answer questions here as well as elsewhere. There is a line though. As an IT pro, my "product" is knowledge. And acquiring it wasn't free. As RobWill so eloquently put, I have invested time and money in classes, books, research...and every question I answer here is giving my product away for free.

I support the salvation army, march of dimes, red cross. But I don't love in poverty to do so. I think they are worthwhile causes and help make for a better community so I support then. Similarly I support EE and am wiling to give away my skills to help foster a strong community. But I have to decide when a line has been crossed and someone doesn't need "just a helping hand" but is actually taking advantage if the generosity of others. I can't give away all my knowledge all the time.

And, as my last response was an attempt to allude to, I believe we are quickly approaching that point. The scope of This project certainly appears to be beyond the current skill set available, and asking others to fill that gap is, in many ways, a form of disrespect to their invested time and effort.

It is time to buy a book on hyper-v. Take a class. Download the trials. Spend a weekend installing it and using it. And looking to the books, classes, bing, and google to newer these basic questions. EE is great if you can't find the answer elsewhere, but it shouldn't be your first stop and it shouldn't replace educating oneself.

That's my take on the current situation, take it or leave it as you see fit.
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
I have setup VMWare using ESXi to run several XPs, Windows7 and Windows 2003 and 2008 servers and it worked out well. Maybe VMWare was simpler than MS Hyper-V sollution. All I had to do in setting up VMWare, after installing ESXi, was to install VMs one a time with memory and HD allocation. Simple as that.
On the other hand, Hyper-V seems very similiar to VMWare, but different.
I know that I can just create one 2TB partition for everything: 2012 OS and Hyper-V with VMs.
Basically keep everything in one big 2TB partition. Maybe that will be the way to go.
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
@ cgaliher RobWill
I understand your point and I appreciate it.
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
@Cliff >>" I was definitely not soliciting support "
Sorry wasn't suggesting you were, your reply was obviously "rogue" in cheek, I was just letting sglee know they cannot offer to hire services here.

@sglee I appreciate you are not a novice, but I as an example I have a friend who is a Novell and Linux genius, but I wouldn't allow him a password to a windows server :-)
There are critical differences that are very important for configuring, managing performance, and more so when troubleshooting with VMware vs Hyper-v and various server versions.

EE is best used for a specific problem you cannot address or Google.  We cannot advise what server products to use, then how to use them, how to install your accounting app, best location to place the database, how to configure drives and locate space, RAM etc., until you have completed the whole process.  We have not even reached the install O/S part as of yet and how best to configure them.

Many of these questions there is no right or wrong answer, different configurations are preferred by different techs.  It becomes more of a discussion that an answer.  You saw that with your QuickBooks question.  I suspect that is why you have had so few experts respond as there are dozens of hardware design experts on EE.  Personally I tend to lurk and listen to system and drive design questions to learn from all the options, there is seldom a final definitive answer.

Again I apologize if this sounds rude, and I am sure we are all glad to help when you run into; "command xyz failed with the following results, I have tried this and that, but am stuck at this point".
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
cgaliher, how do i get a hold of you? When I looked at your profile, I did not see a phone number or email address.
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kevinhsiehCommented:
I don't think that sglee is actually that far off. Create the VMs on the large partition. They will grow over time, or will start off really large, depending on whether or not the VHD ss dynamic or fixed. RAM allocation has also been answered.

EE used to have a spot where Experts could put hiring information in their profile, but that seems to have disappeared with the v10 refresh.

@sglee, you probably already know this, but don't partition the drives inside your VMs. You probably want several drives for your SBS server (OS, user data files, Exchange DB, Exchange logs, etc.) Create a new VHDx for each of those. There is no reason to partition a virtual drive when you can create many smaller drives instead.
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
@ kevinhsieh
"EE used to have a spot where Experts could put hiring information in their profile"  --> am I allowed my email address?
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
@ kevinhsieh
"EE used to have a spot where Experts could put hiring information in their profile"  --> am I allowed to post my email address here?
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
sglee as mentioned before;  "Soliciting individuals for employment other than in designated areas (for example, within a discussion thread)" is not allowed as per you user agreement with EE under terms of use.  

You are allowed to post e-mail addresses, web sites, and even service offered in your profile.
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
@ kevinhsieh
Based on your last reponse, here is what I have in mind.

W2012 running Hyper-V : create one 2TB partition.
I will take default folders for Hyper-V setup:

Default Location for virtual hard disk files:
C:\Users\Public\Documents\Hyper-V\Virtual Hard Disks

Default location for virtual machine configuration files:
C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Hyper-V

Now here is VM setup:

(VM1)  SBS 2011 (DC, AD, Exchange, Printers, User Data)  
- 16GB RAM Fixed. 1TB HD Fixed. Within 1TB, two partitions: (1) 200GB for OS and (2) 600GB for User Data & Exchange Stuff
(VM2)  W2008 R2 (Terminal Service, Word/Excel, QB Client program)  
- 4GB RAM Fixed.  250GB Fixed.
(VM3)  W2008 R2 (QB Database components)  
- 4GB RAM Fixed, 250GB HD Fixed.

and leave some RAM and HD space for 4th VM - probably Windows Server 2012 replacing VM2 as soon as I verify that I can run QB on W2012 terminal server.
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kevinhsiehCommented:
Those are not quite my suggestions.

I suggest a 200 GB partition for the Hyper-v parent partition. Use the remaining 1.7 TB for VMs. I put VM configuration data and virtual hard disks under D:\VMs, or whatever drive letter you choose. Path can be different as well. Don't put any of the VM files on the C drive.

If you want three drive letters for your SBS server, use three VHDx files. 200 GB for OS is good, and then if two 600 GB drives for data files and Exchange data is what you feel is appropriate, that is okay. The reason for using separate drives for each partition is that you can easily expand a VHD and then the basic partition on that drive, IFF you only have 1 partition on the drive. If you have multiple partitions on the drive, you can only easily expand the last partition.

You can easily change around RAM allocations. Just shut down the VM, change the RAM, and then boot it back up.

If you want to do fixed VHD, I suggest picking a size closer to what you actually need. I doubt that you'll ever need 250 GB for a terminal server, probably closer to 20-30 GB of actual use. If you have a fixed 250 GB drive, that is 250 GB you have to move around and backup, even if you are only using a small fraction of that. If you use a dynamic VHD, the file will be much smaller, which is easier to backup. If you want to go fixed, why not pick something like 50 GB. If that isn't large enough, you can shut down the VM, expand the VHD, boot the VM, and then use diskpart.exe to expand the C drive.
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
OK. Based on your comments, here is the revised plan:

W2012 running Hyper-V : create 200GB partition initially during OS setup and create another partition - 1.7 TB - in Windows 2012.

I will change default folders for virtual hard disk & virtual machine configuration files to E drive which is 1.7TB partition (D is taken by DVD-ROM).  Can I call it say "E:\VMs"?
Will there be conflict/problem down the road because they (virtual hard disk & virtual machine configuration files) are all in the same folder?

"If you want to do fixed VHD, I suggest picking a size closer to what you actually need. I doubt that you'll ever need 250 GB for a terminal server, probably closer to 20-30 GB of actual use" --> I agree with you. So I will use a dynamic VHD starting 100GB? Is that good?
I like to do the same thing to QB Server.
For SBS2011, I will create a 200GB partition (because it requres 120GB as Min.) for OS and create one more partition wtih 600GB (a dynamic VHD ) for both user data and Exchange.
The rest of HD space ... I will use it later.
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kevinhsiehCommented:
It sounds like you have a good plan. Each VM will automatically get their own folder for configuration files. Having the VHDs in the same directory keeps things simple.
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
OK. I think everything makes sense. I will try these again on the test server.
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sgleeAuthor Commented:
VM Location for Windows 2012VM Location for Windows 7 and Windows 2008@kevinhsieh
"I will change default folders for virtual hard disk & virtual machine configuration files to E drive ....Can I call it say "E:\VMs"?  --->

Per your advise, when I installed Hyper-V, I selected F:\VMs as default directory.
I installed three VMs - Windows 7, Windows 2012 and Windows 2008 in that order.
All three VMs are working fine and no problem there except I have a question.
I wonder why Windws 7 and Windows 2008R2 hard disk image files are located in F:\VMs whereas Windows 2012 hard disk image is located in F:\VMs\Windows 2012\Virtual Hard Disks.
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