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First Virtual Server in Physical Environment

Posted on 2016-07-28
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Last Modified: 2016-08-13
Hi,

I need some guidance. We are all physical and I'm trying to install my first virtual server. Basically we are running out of storage space on our current fileserver ProLiant DL380.

Just bought an HPE StoreEasy 1850 21TB (12x1.8TB drives) comes with Widnows Storage Server 2012 R2. Thinking of turning that into a virtual server with Hyper-V. We have total of 60 users but roughly 40 of them are using AutoCAD to work on the files which are located on the fileserver.

What would be the ideal configuration you would recommend for a first timer including the RAID level? Thanks
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Question by:Zafar
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by:Eric C
Eric C earned 1000 total points
ID: 41734006
My recommendation is RAID 10.

It gives you the benefits of both mirroring and striping. Also, since up-time is important, RAID 10 offers fast rebuild times, in case you ever need to replace a drive.

With 12 x 1.8TB drives, a RAID 10 configuration would give you about 10TB of storage.

Are these SAS drives? SATA? What is the speed of the drives? Does the RAID controller support RAID 10?

I am not sure about running VMware ESXi or Microsoft Hyper-V on a "Storage Server". These boxes are primarily designed to be high-end NAS devices, but I am not sure about running a hypervisor and hosting VMs. That's what servers are for. HP, Dell and the like make high end servers that are tuned specifically for virtualization.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 1000 total points
ID: 41734018
checkout Experts Exchange Expert Philip Elder's Best Practice Guide

Some Hyper-V Hardware and Software Best Practices

it will tell you all you need to know!
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Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 41734129
you can't virtualize this appliance.. The cpu is relatively slow, consider it just like any other NAS device with the difference being that it uses Server 2012R2 vice a linux distro. Add another cpu/memory to the hp380 and consider then implementing hyper-v
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Author Comment

by:Zafar
ID: 41735329
Hi,

The total RAM I have is 64GB. It's dual processors with 6core each at 1.9GHz (Xeon E5-2609V3). I will go with RAID 10 as suggested by Eric as its working great in one of our other server so far. The drives are SAS at 12Gb/s (10k rpm). David, do you still don't think its not good enough to be virtualized? Believe with the license I can have 2 virtual server.

Thanks Andrew for the link; I will definitely go over it in due time.

Thanks All.
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LVL 124
ID: 41735501
@Zafar - I would look before you leap and read the article, otherwise you will make mistakes, as in the OP, you remark, this is my "first virtual server.".

Yes you can have two VMs with 2012 Standard

I would also split the raid you are going to create, for the OS and Data (VMs).

Do not use partitions. Create an array of RAID 10, and then create two logical disks, one for the OS installation, and the other for Data (VM) storage.
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Author Comment

by:Zafar
ID: 41755038
Thank you Andrew for following up. After contemplating this for long, I'm leaning toward keeping this as a physical server and with only one role which is NAS. Will use the storage on this server to keep all my future virtual server and VM if we ever get there.

Thanks all.

Cheers,
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