Hard Drive Partition

Posted on 2014-03-13
Last Modified: 2014-03-27

 I am setting up SBS2011 on the new server w/ 16GB RAM, two 600GB SAS 15K Hard Disks on RAID 1 (effectively 560GB of total space).
 I am debating if I should make entire 560GB as one partition or create a 200GB partition for SBS2011 OS and use 360GB as data partition.
 On existing server, total amount of data is 140GB (30GB is Exchange Database and 110GB is user files & data)

 Since there will be only 360GB of space allocated for data, after restoring 140GB of existing data from old server, I will have only 200GB left for future growth. I think it will be ok for a few years, but it is just not a great amount of space for my comfort.

 As we know, SBS2011 OS requires 120GB of space, so out of 200GB OS partition, there will be about 50GB of free space that may not ever be used. It is a waste in a sense.

 That said, how critical is it that I create two partitions vs one partition?
 How much of performance degradation will I experience if I go with one partition?
 There are 4 users on the network. and they use Word/Excel/Outlook/IE and one Access data app (130MB in size).

Question by:sglee
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LVL 25

Accepted Solution

Mohammed Khawaja earned 79 total points
ID: 39928210
There will be no performance degradation if the partitions will be on the same physical disk  which would be same if there is one partition.  All you get with 2 partitions is that you will be sure that your OS boot drive cannot run out of disk space because of Exchange or user data.

Author Comment

ID: 39928241
Let me understand you correctly. Are you favoring one big partition (560GB) for OS, Exch, User files and App data?
LVL 95

Assisted Solution

by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 236 total points
ID: 39928321
I never install a system with one large drive.  It's a bad practice in my opinion.  You can always add disk space and frankly, I think you should be virtualizing to make this process easier in the future.
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Author Comment

ID: 39928341
I am going to create 180GB OS partition and 380 GB as Data partition.
As to Virtualization, I would have liked to do so, but given the situation, I have decided not to do so.
First, I only have 560GB in total. If I install Hyper-V, I would need to allocate 100GB there. And then create a VM for SBS2011 where I need to allocate 180GB for OS. Now I have only 280GB left for Data. Since current data size is 140GB, it will leave only 140GB for future growth. That may work for several years. But on the other hand, I just don't see the need for additional VMs for 4 users.
LVL 95

Assisted Solution

by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 236 total points
ID: 39928398
A properly setup SBS server doesn't need 180 GB on C:.  120 GB should be fine.  *IF* properly setup.

Hyper-V doesn't require 120 GB.  I usually setup 60 and I think that's overkill.  Your Hyper-V pagefile doesn't need to be very large and you cannot install anything else other than virtualization management tools so you don't need that much.

Is there a reason you cannot replace drives in the future if the space becomes an issue?  You realize you loose one form of Disaster Recovery - Hyper-V Replica - by NOT virtualizing as you can only apply Replica to a VM.

Author Comment

ID: 39929062
I looked at existing one Hyper-V and three SBS2011 installations.
First, in that Hyper-V server, I allocated 150GB HD space, but it was only using 32GB including 4.5GB paging file. So I agree with you that 60GB is enough for Hyper-V.

Secondly below is the summary of C drive(OS) on three SBS2011 sites:

                                           Site 1         Site 2      Site 3
Used Space (in GB)           120            96             120

RAM                                           24            16             10
Paging File                          37            16.3             10.4
Exchange                            0                  0             6
It appears I need at least 120GB including Paging file. On site1, it allocated 37GB which is overkill, but then Site 2 & 3, basically about the size of RAM.
So since it is using about 100-120GB, I need to allocate about 150GB for OS partition of SBS2011 VM?

Then 60GB (hyper-v) + 150GB (OS partition for SBS2011 VM) =210GB.
560GB (Total Space available on RAID 1) -210GB = 350GB
350GB - 140GB(size of all the data on current server) = 210GB Free Space for future growth.

This may work.
LVL 95

Assisted Solution

by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 236 total points
ID: 39929195
(I can be direct at times - no offense is intended)

When I configure an SBS server, I configure it so ALL data is on a different partition, NOT the C: Drive.  Indeed, most of my servers have 3-5 partitions as I use them as hard limits to ensure no single component can cause the server to fail if something behaves badly and starts filling the drive.  

Most SBS installs use 50-65 GB when configured appropriately, excluding PageFile.

Author Comment

ID: 39929252
Based on what I see in my three installation, how do you install sbs2011 so that it takes up less than 60 GB?
Fyi I took your advise and started installing W 2012 server on a 60GB partition.
Can you help me with SBS2011 installation so that I can do it on a 100 GB partition including paging file?

Author Comment

ID: 39929356
I am done with HyperV (W2012 Server) installation. Out of total 58.2GB, It used 13.6GB so far (No windows updates applied yet) and 44.6GB is free. Total RAM available is 16GB and 1.2GB is in use by HyperV and 14.8GB is Available according to Task Manager.
I created a new volume (D:) for remainder of HD which is 498GB and ready to setup a virtual machine for SBS2011.

Can you help me setup some parameters in creating a VM for SBS2011 - Partition size, Paging size, RAM allocation and type of disk?

Author Comment

ID: 39930402

Now I have close to 500GB left for VMs. I started creating a new VM for SBS2011.

VM name: DC1,
Startup memory : 8GB and chose [x] Use Dynamic Memory for this VM.  
Built-in NIC.
Now it is asking for
Virtual hard disk name: DC1.vhdx  
Location: D:\Hyper-V\Virtual Hard Disks\
Size: 127GB  
What should I enter in Size field? 130GB for OS only or something like 400GB (130GB for OS and 270GB for data files)?
If I enter 400GB here, do I enter 130GB during SBS2011 install and create a new volume 270GB in CompMgmt.msc after SBS2011 install is complete?

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