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Best creation of VMs and base image in Hyper V 2012

Posted on 2016-08-26
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Last Modified: 2016-08-27
Hi All,

Just need some quick advice.

I am virtualising an entire estate this weekend so will have CRM+SQL, Exchange, File, DC+DHCP+DNS+PRINT, DC+DHCP+DNS+PRINT, RDS

I am creating a base image of dynamic disk 60GB which I am getting up to scratch tonight with updates and AV etc...
Then will sysprep and copy VM and start to build the infrastructure and then services.

a) All sound good so far ?

b) In my VMs. I can just expand the 60GB for each type of VM as some will need more like Exchange and the CRM+SQL. And run the VM Guest OS and Data on 1 VHDX. Or is there any amazing performance hits if I dont create 2x VHDX.. one for Guest OS and one for Guest Data/App etc...

Would like some steer before tomorrow AM please.

Many thanks everyone

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Question by:roycasella
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LVL 118
ID: 41772367
a) yes all good.

b) yes use disks instead of partitions, it's much easier to enlarge disks with a single partition, than if you put two partitions on one disk.
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by:roycasella
ID: 41772378
Great.. thanks Andrew.

So to be clear. For each VM... I will create 1 VHDX. This will Have 1 C: Drive parition that I will have the Guest OS on and also the Guest Apps and Data.

So if I have 5x VMs, I will end up with 5x VHDX only.. And enlarge them for each use and also convert from DYNAMIC to get best performance?

Thanks Andrew...
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Expert Comment

by:Adam Brown
ID: 41772380
You probably won't see any performance difference when using 1 VHD vs 2, but the solutions you have that utilize databasing (SQL and Exchange) benefit greatly from having the Database and Transaction stored on different drive spindles. This is to allow point in time recovery in the event of a major disk failure on either drive (If the Database disk fails, you can restore to the last transaction log by recovering the last full backup, then apply the logs that have been generated since then. If the logs disk fails, you have all the data in the DB still and can recover easily). So you will want to take that into account when building up your server.
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by:roycasella
ID: 41772387
Great point Adam, thanks.

I didnt point out that I will actually be RAID 6 or RAID 10 this HOST and also I am setting up an identical HOST and using Hyper V Replicas.

I get your point completely and I worked heavily in the old IT world where spindles and LUNs etc... all made sense when it came to performance..

So the transition to Hyper-V has been hiccupy and I always have the Physical vs Virtual conversation with my techs and colleagues lol.. However, Im now virtualising this paricular entire shop... so I guess I bit the bullet :).

So with my budget restrictions, using RAID, Backup to Disk from the Host and a second server ready to go, I believe this will be as sound a setup as I can make it.

However... I still want disks for OS and App and Transaction and Data.. lol... Beer money.. champagne tastes!!

Thanks everyone

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Adam Brown earned 250 total points
ID: 41772402
Going virtual doesn't necessarily change the dynamics of managing physical hardware correctly to meet recovery needs. A lot of people overlook that fact (mostly because they don't understand the reasoning behind all the rules people tell them). It actually makes it more complex in some ways. We still have to worry about which LUNs we're storing VHDs on to make sure we're not over-taxing SANs and we still have to worry about physically separating data for proper recovery. But now, on top of that, we have to consider the fact that all of these VMs are sharing the same resources. If one VM is over-utilizing resources, it impacts all the other VMs on the same server. We've decreased the amount of real estate the server requires, but we haven't removed the need to plan or think carefully about where things are going so they function properly.

For example, we think about recovery. From an initial look at Virtualization with VM replication, it would seem like replicating a VM between two VM Hosts would cover us very easily in the event that one host fails, and it does, but it doesn't help us at all if the OS on the VM corrupts itself somehow and nothing inside the VM itself functions anymore. For that situation, VM high-availability does absolutely nothing to provide Application high availability, and you end up completely screwed if that happens because you have to go to a VM Snapshot backup that has none of the data you need between the last backup and the failure. A more appropriate HA solution would be to use the Application's HA functionality (Like Exchange DAGs or SQL Clustering) to provide HA and have the two VMs on different Hosts.

Virtualization does provide a great benefit to the Datacenter. It does *not* however, solve any real problems beyond how much physical space your servers take up, and how much functionality you can get from your money.

Edit to add: TL;DR: VM Replication is great for providing Hardware level HA, but Application level HA is sometimes more important, and always more expensive.
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LVL 118
ID: 41772409
I would still use more than a single VHD, if it contains data, but don't put more than a single partition per disk.
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Author Comment

by:roycasella
ID: 41772956
IM getting stuck guys as I hve a 2.8TB partition and Windows will not let me use the rest. Even if I convert to GPT.. windows setup just doesnt seem to want to play.

now hunting from bios for UEFI settings...

need some help please.

many thanks in advance

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by:roycasella
ID: 41772960
OK set to UEFI.... was not set in the bios but now i cant boot from my usb for windows install.
Dont want to create to arrays as I want the iops from the system disk.
little stuck :)

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Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 250 total points
ID: 41772973
I think what was suggested is you create an array using ALL your disks, and then divide into two logical disks, or virtual disks, depends on the server, what it calls them, so your LUNs effectively are still striped across all your disks, and get the same IOPS.

but does depend on what controller you have in the server, if you can do this.
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Author Comment

by:roycasella
ID: 41772978
Thanks for answering Andrew.

Its a H700 in a Dell r510.

I can create Raid Arrays. I cannot create logical volumes within the raid controller.

the only way I can boot is with BIOS not uefi as I am using USB sticks only.

When I start the setup in windows. I can create a 100GB partition and then the rest get chopped into 350mb windows, 1950gb unallocated and 750gb unallocated.

When I try to use these unallocated in setup or windows when built the 750GB is completely unusable. But if I switch on UEFI... then I will not be able to boot to my OS will I?

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by:roycasella
ID: 41772982
Sorry Andrew... I think I am stuck in the fog and frustration.

You mean create 1 raid array... then create two VDs.

Build on first VD with the BOOT set to BIOS.. get my OS on... Then convert to GPT the remaining ...??
Thanks

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by:roycasella
ID: 41772984
Just checked and when I create my RAID ARRAY I am creating the VD on that RAID controller.. so I cannt create two separate Virtual Disks/Logical Volumes without losing two disks (RAID 1).

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by:roycasella
ID: 41772989
And this is because when in UEFI I cannot use my bootable usb because that has been created with Windows 7/USB loader.. and that format must not work as the servers do not boot from it when in UEFI.

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by:roycasella
ID: 41772995
Going to try and create a UEFI compatible boot usb drive.
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LVL 118
ID: 41773008
again, not all storage controllers, can create two or more VDs logical disks.
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Author Comment

by:roycasella
ID: 41773011
Hi Andrew,

I have managed to create two VDs in my one raid 6 array.

I was being a divvy :P.

K pushing on .. thanks

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by:roycasella
ID: 41773022
All up and running now..

Crumbs.. sometimes you really can over think things.

Many thanks for your help Andrew on this and my others posts. Much appreciated

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Author Closing Comment

by:roycasella
ID: 41773025
Many thanks guys.

For the initial steer and Andrew for your reclarification for me when I got in a muddle.

Thanks

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Expert Comment

by:Philip Elder
ID: 41773374
I realize this is after the fact.

On the RAID controller set up two logical disks:
75GB for the host OS
Balance GB/TB for data

This avoids the jam you ran into. We use the traditional BIOS setup for our servers at this time not uEFI.
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