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How much physical drive space does the Host need when building a Hyper-V server

Posted on 2013-01-13
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I'm requesting a quote from Dell on a new server, that I'm going to make the Host for Hyper-V and then add 4 VM's to it.  I'm requesting 48 gig of memory and 5 nic cards, but don't know how much physical disk space I need?
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Question by:J.R. Sitman
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rindi earned 1000 total points
ID: 38772164
It depends on what you will be running as VM's. Generally you need the same amount of space for your VM's as you would on a Physical box running that OS, plus the space your host will need. It also depends on whether host will be running just a core version of the OS, or a full version with the Hyper-V role added (and also what other tasks that host might do).

It also makes sense to use separate RAID 1 arrays for each VM which each use their own disks, as that increases throughput if your VM's will be disk intensive tasks.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 38772165
In theory, you can get away with 60 GB.  Given cost of disk (and the fact that you should have the host running on its own spindles), I'd go with not less than 120 GB.  And any extra (for example, should you be talking about a minimum of 300 GB drives), I'd allocate to storage of VM templates and ISO images.
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Author Comment

by:J.R. Sitman
ID: 38772180
VM will be printerserver. file server/SQL, DC and not sure of other.  So if I bought 3 300 gig drives, 1 for failsafe, I should be fine?  

From what I'm learning, the VM's use virtual disk space and not physical, correct?

I had a company build our first Hyper-V and it had 6 136 gig drives and I'm not sure why?
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ID: 38772184
I would recommemd at least 80GB for the Host OS minimum.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 38772206
Can you clarify your question?

Are you asking how much space EVERYTHING needs or are you asking how much space the HOST OS needs to run everything?

Next, clarify what you mean by "So if I bought 3 300 gig drives, 1 for failsafe, I should be fine?"

Do you mean you would build a single RAID 5?  Build a Mirror (Raid 1) with a hot spare?  Use one drive for the OS and one for the VMs and one as a spare (this wouldn't make sense).

6x136 GB drives...

MIGHT Have had:
Host OS (C:) = 2x136 (RAID 1 Mirror)
Data/VMs = 3x136 (RAID 5) + 1 Hot Spare for both
Or
5x136 (RAID 5) + 1 Hot spare and partitioned for the host OS and Data.
Or
6x136 (RAID 6) and partitioned...

I could keep going...
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Assisted Solution

by:Tony Giangreco
Tony Giangreco earned 400 total points
ID: 38772232
From my experience, I'd use something close to what you have above. It looks ok, just keep the hot spare for insurance and you might want to increase drive space so you have it for any future needs

Host OS (C:) = 2x300 (RAID 1 Mirror)
Data/VMs = 3x300 (RAID 5) + 1 Hot Spare for both

We have never needed less drive space at any client. Count on needed additional space for some reason in the future
- An additional VM for a new app?
- RDP/TS server
- Backup server
-  ???
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Author Comment

by:J.R. Sitman
ID: 38772236
What I need to know is before I start configuration, (bare box) what size drives should the server come with?

Not sure what RAID I need.  The existing Hyper-V is a RAID 1 and the Virtual Disk is  a RAID 5.  Note I didn't build that one.  I'm learning how to configure Hyper-V servers.
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by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 38772256
It sounds like you are just learning how to setup a server and HV's. if that's the case and this is going to be a learning server rather than a production server for a business, you could go without a raid and just backup the server and VM's to an external drive incase something happens and you need to recover.

If it's a business, I always suggest atleast a read1 for the C drive and alteast a raid 5 for the data and VM's.

Is this your first server? If not, what is your situation?
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Author Comment

by:J.R. Sitman
ID: 38772300
It will be a production server.  It is the first one I've built for my company, but the second I've built  by myself.  The 1st one I did for a friend, with leew's help.  However, it only had 1 VM so much easier to configure.
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Expert Comment

by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 38772320
Then I suggest reviewing the original specs from server #1, expand the specs using the guidance we've already provided and move ahead.

We will always be here if additional help is needed.

Good Luck!
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by:rindi
rindi earned 1000 total points
ID: 38772335
Personally I wouldn't use RAID 5. It needs much more care and things can go wrong more easily than with RAID 1.

Also as I mentioned earlier on your VM's require the same amount of space as their Physical counterpart would. Your file server would have to store files, so you need to plan for the space that storage will need. The Prin-Server probably doesn't require too much. I guess you could both those servers on the same array. The SQL server probably doesn't need too much space, and the AD server probably not either, but they need high disk throughput. So those 2 servers I would use separate RAID 1 arrays for.
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Author Comment

by:J.R. Sitman
ID: 38772354
I think I'm getting conflicting info.  So here is my example.  1 Host, 100 gig, file server, 100 gig, printserver, 60 gig, DC, 75 gig.  So the physical disks would be 3, 500 gig. 1 for failsafe.  Is this correct?
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Expert Comment

by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 38772366
That sounds reasonable. Do you plan additional space for future needs?
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Author Comment

by:J.R. Sitman
ID: 38772391
Should need any more at this location.
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Author Comment

by:J.R. Sitman
ID: 38772393
I meant "shouldn't" need any more.
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 38772407
Are you sure 100 GB is enough for your OS and the files you will be having on your file-server?? In my point of view that is an extremely small fileserver. How many users will be using it? What types of files will you be storing on it?

And again, I don't recommend RAID 5 at all. RAID 1 is much more reliable.
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Author Comment

by:J.R. Sitman
ID: 38772412
Trust me it's plenty.  Only 20 users.  the current server has 100 gig drive.
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Expert Comment

by:Tony Giangreco
ID: 38772419
Any additional questions or does that wrap up this round?
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LVL 124
ID: 38772470
It would depend on the work load of your servers whether you select RAID 10 or RAID 6 for your VM datastore, based on speed, storage and how many disk failures do you want.
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Author Comment

by:J.R. Sitman
ID: 38772505
yep we are done.  Awarding points.
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Author Closing Comment

by:J.R. Sitman
ID: 38772510
thanks to all
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