server 2012 2 VM raid question

Posted on 2014-08-12
Last Modified: 2014-08-22
Good afternoon everyone.  I'm in way over my head on a project, but my company doesn't feel they need to get another tech in here.  This is my first VM setup.  I have a refurb (yeah, I know) r720xd with 12 - 2 TB sata drives.  This is a small company with under 75 users, but growing and I have to get rid of SBS2008 soon.  I haven't done a VM yet, and it's been 14 years since I took my classes on Server 2000, etc.

I set up 3 different raid sets (1 raid 0 for the first 2012 install to run the 2 vm's off of), then 2 more raid 5 sets to install each of the VM's on, but looking back, I guess that didn't make much sense.  

Should I back out, run 1 large raid array with 2 hot spares (10 drives) to run everything off of at one time, or should I have different arrays for each install?

Like I said, I might be in over my head here, but with the help here I'm sure I can get it going.

we only need a single DC and single Exchange server here.  after my old sbs box is freed up I will be moving it to a remote location over VPN to do backups, or possible a failover server.

Thanks for any help/websites with good information.
Question by:shawnfrazi
    LVL 23

    Expert Comment


    To be honest giving advice that will suite your needs for 100% is quite hard but normally i would set up a raid 10 (if possible due to sizing) raid for VMWare ESXi itself. You just need a small amount of space there so get the smallest disc up and your good to go.

    The other disks (10 left if i look at the information??) can be setup as a RAID 10 also, also due to performance. If you think your gonna need the discspace you could go for RAID5 with hot spare.

    The thing is, if you have a RAID10 this will give you the IOPS you need to get the machines running in a good fashioned manner (keep a good look at those IOPS seeing you have SATA drives). And having 1 datastore within VMWare is easier because of maintenance. As long as you don't have any HA setups going (multiple ESX servers) IMHO it is not needed to have 2 datastores (other than NAS or SAN would be nice).

    But just for my general idea. What is earths name do they need 12 2TB discs for?? Even if you setup 10 discs in a RAID 10 it will still give you 10TB, for 2 machines.. Isn't that just a tad to much discspace??

    Author Comment

    If we grow as expected we are looking at about 100 users in the next 2 years.  Some of our upper management have saved emails from 14 yeats ago and have very large exchange boxes and of course we have a file server which holds almost 2 tb of information.  The server is still a bit overkill but we got it as a refurb from dell outlet with about a 10k discount over the same server if configured new.  Thank you for the response. Maybe i will leave a couple of the drives for hot swap spares
    LVL 34

    Expert Comment

    by:Seth Simmons
    1 raid 0 for the first 2012 install to run the 2 vm's off of

    yes, that doesn't make sense
    never use raid 0 in production

    agree with other comments about building raid 10 and keeping 2 for hot spare

    Author Comment

    I mistyped.  Meant a raid 1 mirror for the first install with a hot spare, which would leave me 9 other drives for my other array.
    LVL 23

    Accepted Solution

    Eventually it also depends on how many space you need and what the support contract is.
    If you have a call to fix of 4 hours then you don;t really need a hot spare (as you have a RAID 1 (or 10) already). But eventually it is all up to you to decide.

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