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sbs 2011 disks in hyper-v selection

I am in the process of migrating my old sbs 2003 server to a new sbs 2011 before I do the same for a SMB client.
I have already installed it into an expanding vhdx but have not done any data (Exchange, user, etc) yet.
Currently, the vhdx is at 55gb.
Should I convert this to a larger fixed vhdx with the exchange data all in the C: drive of the vhdx?
Should I just attach another vhdx (fixed or expanding) for the Exchange data.
Note: this server will not host any apps or file sharing just email and DC functions.
Planning for space is the concern.
Raid 1 300gb Intel SSD's for all.
Current SBS 2003 Exchange DB is less than 20gb.
My clients production environment is similar except their Exchange DB is about 35gb.
I have not built that server yet.
All file sharing and application serving will be handled by other servers in both environments.
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smschulz
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smschulz
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3 Solutions
 
David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
if you can put the .vhdx on another physical drive then yes use a separate vhdx.
If the vhdx's are on the same physical drive you will not see any improvement.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I prefer dynamically growing VHDs BUT putting each one on a separate partition will allow them to grow to a maximum (of the partition size) while starting small and preventing fragmentation as an issue - this is valuable if you need to move the files for some reason - a fixed VHD size could result in a 300 GB VHD drive taking an hour to copy vs. a dynamic 300GB VHD drive using only 40GB taking 10 minutes to copy (guestimating the times).

HOWEVER, fragmentation as I understand it on an SSD, should not be an issue, so if you are using SSDs (especially server class SSD), I wouldn't worry about multiple partitions and I'd just use dynamic VHDs.

If you use ONE LARGE PARTITION on the Hyper-V host to store your VHDs, then fragmentation could easily become an issue and you'd want fixed VHDs to optimize performance.
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smschulzIT Author Commented:
I am using Intel Server Grade SSD's so how would fragmentation be an issue?
I could add another RAID 1 set and move the vhdx there but would it really be any benefit.
Currently the host machine drives are one big 300gb partition (less actual usable) with the expanding vhdx stored in a folder.
Also it appears that creating another vhdx just for Exchange data is no benefit over just leaving on the original vhdx?
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
I am using Intel Server Grade SSD's so how would fragmentation be an issue?

It's not an issue
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Intel is not a grade.  Are they desktop grade or server grade?  MLC or SLC type SSDs?  Server types are SLC.  Consumer stuff you'll put in your desktop or laptop are MLC.  SLC is more expensive and lasts longer.

The advantage of a separate VHDX for Exchange is that you can easily move it to another disk if it grows beyond current physical disk size constraints.
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Cris HannaCommented:
Just as best practice on physical server is to put Exchange off on its own and data on its own the same applies to virtual setup.  if you have a crash/failure/etc on the OS partition then Exchange and data are unaffected
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smschulzIT Author Commented:
Lee, I have been an Intel IPD a long time, I know what 'server grade' is.
These are DC S3500, and even though they are MLC they are a supported server SSD from Intel.
... and btw SLC or MLC is not the distinguishing feature  in servers.
I know the difference there too.
I haven't seen any SLC since the old original X25 50nm series.
I would refer you to Intel's ark.intel.com for further data.
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
smschulz,

I checked your profile and you don't have one so there is NO WAY I could know your background since you've decided not to share it.

When I learned SLC / MLC that was the difference for server - haven't kept up on it as perhaps I should have.  NEVERTHELESS, Intel is not a grade.  Had you mentioned the drives by model to begin with, this part of the conversation wouldn't exist.

As I stated before - "HOWEVER, fragmentation as I understand it on an SSD, should not be an issue" - that said, Dynamic VHDs are supposed to perform slightly worse than fixed, but the huge hit you would have been taking in 2008 (and POSSIBLY 2008 R2) should no longer be an issue with 2012 (and possibly 2008 R2 SP1, I don't recall when it was enhanced).
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