Advice Setting Up Hyper V Enviroment

Posted on 2014-10-08
Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Hi All we have a Brand Shiny New Server, and we would like to Virtualize our Environment.

Currently out Network Consists of 1 x SBS 2003 Server using Exchange, 1 x Server we Access Through Terminal Services

We have purchased a Dell PowerEdge R520 From Dell which consists of 2 x 300GB SAS Drives (Mirrored)

And 4 x 1.2TB SAS Drives (Raid 5)

The New server has Server 2012 Standard R2, and I was going to install Hyper v and run Exchange in a Virtual Environment as well as out TS Server, I was going to use the Main Dell (Host) as the DC

Can any Recommend any setup Configurations or Best Practices in setting this up, or can see any Possible implications with this.

Would I have to do a clean install, I assume there would be no migration Options from SBS 2003 to 2012 etc
Question by:pepps11976
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Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 40368622
Never install other roles with Hyper-V. Either run a separate server for a DC, or make a guest VM for the DC as well. Not everyone is comfortable with virtualizing a DC so you'll get a variety of opinions on that front, but with 2012 and later my opinion is it is fine as long as you aren't running a cluster. But either way, there is consensus that having it coexist with the Hyper-V role is not a good idea.

As far as migrations, there are options there. Exchange will be the most difficult portion as there is no direct path from Exchange 2003 to the current version of Exchange. You'll need to use a 3rd-party migration tool or introduce a temporary Exchange 2010 server to facilitate that migration.

Any which way, it will be a "clean" install in that you can't do an in-place upgrade. Migrating data will be done after the OSes are installed. TechNet has migration guidance for the various roles and applications, such as migrating Active Directory, DNS, DHCP, Exchange, etc. You will not find a monolithic "here is how to migrate everything" document. You will instead pick and choose each role as you see fit based on your uses.

Author Comment

ID: 40368641
Ok It would probably be easier doing a fresh install then.

So are you advising either installing the hyper v role on the server and use that server as nothing else and Virtualize everything?

or just installing hyperv server core instead of the whole 2012 Operating system either or I suppose is fine?
LVL 57

Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 40368660
Virtualize everything. In 2012, there is no longer a "core" or "full" as there was in 2008/R2. Now adding various GUI components is just feature that can be added and removed as needed. There are merits to running without the GUI for patching reasons. But there is also merit to having the GUI for management. So that is a personal decision. If you were asking about the free Hyper-V edition, I do see no reason to run that if you have 2012/R2 server licenses as their virtualization rights provide you with free use of the management OS as long as you abide by the virtualization rights and don't install other roles. The free version of Hyper-V is unnecessarily limiting in such a scenario. The only time I see using the free Hyper-V version now is if you only have licenses for older server versions (or plan on running just Linux) and want to take advantage of the latest Hyper-V features in 2012/R2. In those cases, you wouldn't have a 2012/R2 license to exercise virtualization rights, thus the free edition makes sense. But that is a small percentage of non-hosted environments these days.
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Author Comment

ID: 40368693
And Raid 5 for the Vms?
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Expert Comment

by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 40368712
I'm not a fan of RAID5 in general. But VMs, Exchange data, rather pedantic at that point. You choose the storage infrastructure to fit your performance and resiliency needs. Just because it is Hyper-V doesn't suddenly change those basic rules.

Author Comment

ID: 40368720
I open to suggestions for Raid options from what I have read Raid 10 has possible slow Write issues?
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Accepted Solution

Cliff Galiher earned 500 total points
ID: 40368772
That is a matter of context. You put 12 disks in RAID10, you'll get the write speed equivalent very roughly of 6 disks. That is *relatively* slow. Since data is being mirrored, it cuts the writes in half 12/2 = 6.  Raid5 loses a disk to parity, but also has to calculate that parity, so you take a performance hit there. It would be faster than 6 disks, but not the performance of all 12, or even 11 (minus the disk for parity storage) because of the parity calculation during write.   But with that many disks, the chances of two disks failing before a rebuild finishes goes up rapidly, so except for archive data, you'd rarely see RAID5 anyways. And archive data rarely cares about performance, so there is *still* no reason to use RAID5 on the grounds that you need the performance difference it (arguably) provides.
At only 4 disks, 4/2 = 2, or 4 -1 (parity storage) - parity calc = 2.x?  

Truthfully, you are talking about such small scales here that you are never going to get great performance no matter what you choose. But virtualizing does consolidate more of your infrastructure which means a failure inevitably has a greater impact. Which means, in my opinion, resiliency trumps performance (since performance will never be stellar), and that means RAID10.

But again, I'm just not a fan of RAID5. In the era of very large disks, it doesn't take much bit-rot to render a RAID5 array unrecoverable. You didn't see this when disks were small, but larger disks means there are a lot more bytes (and sectors) where corruption can occur, and thus a greater chance that a corrupted sector wouldn't be found until the array was rebuilding after one failed disk. I don't think RAID5 has a place in a modern server environment anymore, and RAID6 really only has a place for archive data.

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