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Should I configure partitions on the Perc controller or from within Windows?

I have a Dell T620 with 36TB of space.  I don't know enough about storage and am reading and hearing various opinions.  I want to know if I should carve up the space (200GB for the host OS, maybe 2TB for VMs, and the rest for file storage) by creating Virtual Disks on the Perc H710P controller, or if I should just create a single large VD and carve up the space with Windows Volumes.

What provides me with the most reliability?  What provides me with the best expansion capabilities?  If I set a 2TB partition for VMs and find out I need to expand that later, can I do so with either solution?

Thanks!
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Taylor Huckstep
Asked:
Taylor Huckstep
1 Solution
 
Mahesh YCommented:
Perc is a hardware raid controller only you can create RAID's using it.You can create windows volumes from it.
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Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
what kind/size of drives are installed?
depending on what you plan to use it for should dictate how to create your raid arrays
you could create a small array for the operating system then create other arrays in Windows later using OMSA; you are not required to create everything immediately in the perc bios
you mentioned virtual machines - assuming hyper-v with 2012?  for performance, you should do raid 10 dedicated to your virtual guests though depends on your physical disk configuration

to correct mahesh, you can't create windows volumes using the controller
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Taylor HuckstepSenior Director, ITAuthor Commented:
4TB SATA drives installed in each of 12 bays.  RAID 6 config on the Disk Group (since they're SATA drives, I want to survive a second death during rebuild), but I can carve out multiple Virtual Disks (LUNs) inside that disk group.  Alternately I could create a single full sized VD inside the Disk Group.  Then create windows Volumes after install.  That's my debate.

I'm going to have a host, a handful of Virtual Machines running on Hyper-V with Server 2012, and a large volume for simple file storage.  I'm afraid RAID 10 would use up too much storage since I'd have to do that with (4) 4TB drives.  I don't need 8TB (using 16 for redundancy) for my VMs.  I need more space for file storage.
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Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
ok...then you can leave as raid 6 and just create multiple partitions within windows
use the lifecycle controller to install (gpt of course because of the drive size) and just create a small partition for C then create your additional volumes after windows is installed
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Taylor HuckstepSenior Director, ITAuthor Commented:
My question, though, is around creating Virtual Disk partitions with the OMSA, or creating Windows Volumes.  Was wondering pros and cons of going each route.  I have an engineer friend who tells me to create a small Virtual Disk for windows, then create other Virtual disks for other needs.  Dell support told me to create a single large Virtual Disk, and then create windows volumes.

I just can't find any good information on which would be better.  I lean towards using hardware to control storage over windows, but Dell was pretty insistent, on having problems when a drive goes out if I set up my partitions in the Perc Controller.
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Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
you don't setup partitions in the perc controller; only the logical disks which are presented to windows as a disk which then you can partition and create volumes

if your raid 6 array is about 36tb then when you install windows, it will appear as one 36tb disk which you partition as needed.  i would do a small disk for windows (maybe a couple hundred gb) then create your other, larger volumes for virtual machines and file data
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PowerEdgeTechIT ConsultantCommented:
While you can't create "partitions" in the controller, you can make it appear as if they are separate "disks" by creating multiple VD's in the controller.  You don't want to do this more than is necessary, so splitting 36TB into 2TB VD's, while it is supported by the controller, would be ridiculous.  It is used primarily as a way to negotiate hardware and software limitations:  say you had a system that didn't support UEFI, you had software that wouldn't run in a UEFI environment, or software that didn't support large volumes.  It shouldn't be substituted as a partitioning tool.
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Taylor HuckstepSenior Director, ITAuthor Commented:
Thanks, that's what I was looking for.  I knew I could create multiple VDs, but you validated what most people seem to be saying, that I should not set it up that way, that I should use Partitions rather than virtual disks.  Knowing that it's primarily for navigating hardware and software limitations helps.

Thanks to everybody else who contributed to the conversation.  I appreciate your time and advice!
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