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Hyper-V advice

Posted on 2013-11-18
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Last Modified: 2014-11-12
I am new to hyper-v.  I have a new server and plan to install two VM's with W2012 R2.

I installed W2012 R2, then added the hyper-v role, then installed the two VM's using the GUI.  Simple enough.  

Seems like there are three copies of the OS. If all do auto-updates, overtime, it will chew a lot of disk space too to patch downloads.

Need advice on approach.  Using core OS, instead of GUI?  

I scratched the machine, and installed Hyper-V first from MS Download site.  Was going to setup the VM's, but can't make much progress setting up the VM's using command line.  Just too complicated.

What would the best approach be in installing os's?  One VM is a  web server.  One VM is SQL server.

Does the base machine need w2012, or is hyper-V enough?
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Question by:No1Coder
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Cliff Galiher earned 500 total points
ID: 39657845
IT will be three OSes regardless, and even if you do core, the GUI components are (by default) stored as uninstalled packages, so they still take HD space. The benefit of core is that it is a better security footprint and patch/reboot footprint, not a disk space issue. Disk space is (relatively) cheap, but you still need to size them according to your workloads if you plan on virtualizing. The host OS and patches are not SIGNIFICALTY larger than doing two physical servers would be, and the other hardware for a second physical server would be more expensive so that the cost savings would MORE than compensate for an extra disk or two for the host OS in a virtualized environment.

Hopefully that helps clarify a few things so you can better choose GUI, core, or whether to virtualized at all.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 39657981
The free Hyper-V can be managed using Windows 8.1 clients (MAYBE Win8; I don't have any 2012R2 installs running at the moment to test).  Otherwise you can use third party utils such as 5Nine and VTUtilities (both have trials and then require payment - VTUtilities us great but relatively expensive... 5Nine is ok).  I'm very comfortable with the command line but I'm not sure it's even possible to install an OS from scratch on a Hyper-V free server without using some kind of GUI utility either installed on the server or remotely.  (And if it is, I'd still recommend using a GUI).

I would recommend if you have a 2012 R2 license, install it with GUI and use it.  Yes, your resource profile and security profile will be more complicated, but in most environments especially small enough environments that you'd be asking this question, it's well worth the trade off.

I would also suggest multiple sets of spindles for your VHDs.  A RAID 10 or multiple RAID 1s. spreading the writes across multiple drives can significantly improve your overall performance.  While I WOULD partition if that's your only option (keep the Hyper-V OS partition separate from the VHD partitions so one doesn't end up filling the other but if you use separate drives for each, this is a moot point).

Final tip use either fixed VHDX files or if you want to use Dynamic VHDX drives, then make sure you put them on their own dedicated partition as that should minimize issues due to growing VHDX files fragmenting.

Remember, DISK is one of the slowest points on the system and planning how you do things can significantly improve your experience.
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by:No1Coder
ID: 39659214
Another question...If I configure the base OS to auto-update, what happens to the guest OS when the system reboots?  Does it do an orderly shutdown of the guest os's?  The SQL vm I am most concerned about.
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by:Cliff Galiher
Cliff Galiher earned 500 total points
ID: 39659818
You set that on a per VM basis. Each VM can behave differently. They can be saved, shut down, or turned off.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 39660285
By default, it saves the VM and then restarts it on reboot but CGaliher is correct- it's configurable on each VM.
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