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More Hyper-V 2012 setup questions

I am ready to move forward with my setup.  I will be running the following on a Dell T310 with 32 GB RAM.  Small setup with 10 or so users and 1 physical server.  Replacing SBS 2008

Based on advice from some very knowledgeable people on here I plan to have :

4-1Tb 4th gen. WD enterprise drives set up in a Raid 1 so that I will have 2 separate 1tb drives.

Using 2012 Hyper-v I assume the OS for this will just be installed on Drive 1

Drive 1 will be 2012 Essentials R2 VM installed as DC
Drive 2 will have Server 2012 VM installed running exchange 2013
Drive 1 will have a VHDx installed for the Exchange database.

My questions are:

1) Should I make a separate partition on Drive 1 for the Hyper-V OS or just install it as is?

2) When I install the 2012/Exchange VM on drive 2 should I create a folder or just put the VM in the root of Drive 2.

3) Which drive  would it be best to locate my 'data' drives?  I plan on creating a VHDx for just data files and probably the redirected user folders.

4) If I decide to add a third server (Maybe intranet site) which drive would be best to house it?


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1 Solution
Christopher ReedLevel 2 Software Support EngineerCommented:

1.)  I would suggest creating a separate partition for the Windows Hyper-V server to reside on.  The reason is that it is only meant to be the Hypervisor itself without any of the "bloat" of a full-blown operating system.  This will also allow you to organize your partitions and drives a little better.  This is under the assumption that you are JUST installing Hyper-V server and not the role as part of Windows Server 2012.

Remember to give the partition enough room to accommodate the space requirements for Hyper-V Server 2012 R2, which at the time of my response is difficult to find.  Here is the requirements for Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 as a reference.

Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2

2.)  This is more of a personal preference.  Putting the VM in either the root of the drive or in a subfolder only changes how you look for the VM.  My personal suggestion is to put it in a folder to keep everything tidy, especially if you decide to put another VM on that same drive.

3.)  I have heard mixed opinions about where to put your "Data" drives.  Best practice would be to keep them separate from your OS drives but someone else may have a better suggestion.  Since your drives are all the same make/model, specifications aren't really a concern and all of your drives should perform equally.  Again, it comes down to making sure YOU or your replacement knows where they are.

4.)  This last question ties in with all of the others you've asked so far.  Again my personal suggestion is that you keep all of your OS VMs on one drive and your DATA VHDXs on another drive.  Whenever choosing a location for your VMs or VHDXs try to plan ahead to make sure that you don't run out of disk space too fast.  What will grow faster?  Your VM VHDXs or your DATA VHDXs?  Since it's a small organization it's more likely that your data storage requirements will grow faster than your VMs storage requirements.

I hope all that makes sense.  :-)  Please feel free to post additional questions or concerns and myself or another Expert will be happy to assist.

wrfdchiefAuthor Commented:

Thanks for your response.  As far as the hyper-v I will probably just do a full OS install with the hyper-v role.  Why?  Well basically because I am not a command line guru nor am I a full-time IT guy.  It just seems to be easier that way to me,  With that being said I have kind of wavered back and forth on this.  I even thought about installing the core hyper-v on a USB drive and booting from that.  Still on the fence about which way to go and am open to any input.
The reason for separating the drives like I had initially stated was to keep the Database drive for the Exchange server on a different HD spindle.  With as few users as I will have it probably won't matter much.  I will probably just create a separate drive on the second hard drive for my Data Files (Shares, user folders, folder redirection etc.)  Unless there is an issue you can see?

Thanks again for all your input

Christopher ReedLevel 2 Software Support EngineerCommented:
No sir.  I don't see any issues with that.  You could do the following with or without making a separate OS partition:

Drive 1:  Windows Server with Hyper-V role
               All VMs stored on Drive 1

Drive 2: Data VHDXs and/or Data Files (Shares, user folders, folder redirect etc.)

I am in total agreement with you as far as installing the full OS vs. just the Hypervisor.  I am more of a visual GUI person as well so it makes it easier to get things done instead of having to type all of the commands.  :-)

wrfdchiefAuthor Commented:
So....... while still researching this issue right after I typed in my response to you I found an interesting article about keeping your hyper-v on its own partition.  A guy had an update that hosed his hyper-v system.  With the hyper-v being on its own partition all he had to do was reinstall and all was good.  Hadn't thought about that before.
Christopher ReedLevel 2 Software Support EngineerCommented:
That's good to know.  I'm putting this one in my Personal Knowledgebase.  :^)  For the record, I suggested a separate partition to begin with, I just never heard of anything specific as to why you would do that.


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