Hyper-V Server or Server plus Hyper-V Role?

I am a VMware guy who has decided to take the leap over to Hyper-V. I have 1 physical server and the appropriate Server 2016 Datacenter license. It appears that I have 2 choices when installing Hyper-V:

Option 1 - install the (free) 2016 Hyper-V Server, configure it, then (since there's no desktop experience) manage it with Hyper-V Manager running on a remote workstation.

Option 2 - install a full-blown instance of 2016 Server, boot it up and then add the Hyper-V ROLE.

With either method, it is my understanding that any VMs I create from here on out, communicate with this 'parent' Server only. Is that correct? Seems like this is a single point of failure meaning if this parent server goes wonky, I lose all of my VMs and so if it's best practice to ONLY use this server as the hypervisor (that is, do not install any other roles on it such as Domain Services, DNS, DHCP, Web or File Server), it seems like a complete waste of resources (not to mention a license) if the FREE Hyper-V Server gives you the exact same thing.

So I'd like to hear from experts - am I missing something? Or is there a benefit to Option 2? (By the way in the 20740 book I'm studying, I don't even think it mentions the free Hyper-V Server product, and the labs walk you through setting up the first server as described in Option 2).

I've read some articles about how people have tested the performance of option 1 vs 2 and they seem pretty equal. So at the end of the day I suppose I am not looking to get any sort of performance increase. Instead, option 1 seems to have a smaller security footprint and seems to be the closest thing to "just" a hypervisor.

One more Hyper-V question - my server has a RAID 10 with 4.3tb of usable space. When I install the first Hyper-V server instance - do I make one big partition that is 4.3tb and ALL of my future VMs will live inside of this partition? Or ... do I make a partition only big enough to run this Hyper-V server and then create a second partition where all of my other (child) VMs will live?

I come from ESXi where one big VMFS partition is created and then the hypervisor is installed on an internal SD card and you never touch it (unless you're updating the hypervisor itself).  Hyper-V, being part of Windows itself, is a completely different animal. I am starting to understand its benefits and I'd like to set this up the best way.

Thank you doctors.
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Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/StorageCommented:
I have two very thorough EE articles on all things Hyper-V:

Some Hyper-V Hardware and Software Best Practices
Practical Hyper-V Performance Expectations

Since a Datacenter license is in place install and activate that licensed version.

Looking for Core? Then install the Server Core version not the Desktop Experience version.

It is my preference to always install Server Core in cluster settings an full Desktop Experience for standalone Hyper-V servers and leave them in a workgroup.

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Mal OsborneAlpha GeekCommented:
With both ESXi and the free HyperV server you have an option of installing the hypervisor on the RAID array, or an SD card. I have set up HyperV to boot from an SD card on many sites.  Instructions here: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee731893(v=WS.10).aspx

The free HyperV server works OK, and even supports clustering, so a fault tolerant system with no single point of failure can be configured. More here: http://searchservervirtualization.techtarget.com/tip/Build-a-free-Hyper-V-Server-failover-cluster

WRT to which version to choose, it depends on what you are trying to do.  The free version can only act as a host, and is a bit of a PITA to administer. Since it does not support acting as a file server OR a GUI, if you want to copy an image to it, you need to do that from a command prompt. Likewise other simple stuff, like partitioning drives. All pretty easy if you have a good command of Powershell.

The Datacentre version has some nice licensing terms. If you are running Datacentre as the Hypervisor, then you can install an unlimited number of VMs running Windows Server. You could have a DC, 5 Terminal servers, a file server and a web server all running at once. (CALs are still required though).  With the free HyperV, you would need a separate license for each copy of Windows server running.
You don't waste a license if you install the full version, please read the licensing terms of datacenter about lic. usage as hypervisor.

The core hyper-v is there to get people that are afraid of hyper-v to play with it and also be there for customers who don't have a server license at all but you it for testing purposes (only evaluation licenses on the guest side).

You should try the core, it is not that hard to administer. It can be used as file server, by the way, Mal. We may not use it as file server for other purposes but hyper-v, that's all.
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Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/StorageCommented:
Slight correction to @Mal Osborne:

Windows Server Standard = 1 Host + 2 VMs (each additional license adds +2 VMs to the host)
Windows Server Datacenter = 1 Host + Unlimited VMs on that host

A Windows Server license is bound to the host.

The Hyper-V Server 2016 version, the freebie, is good for folks that want to set up a VDI solution utilizing Windows Desktop operating systems or *NIX/*BSD environments that don't require any Windows Server licensing at all.
ecarboneAuthor Commented:
BIG thanks everyone for your help. Since I have the DC edition, and since I am not really up to speed with powershell, I am going to go with the full server install and then install the Hyper-V role. Thanks Philip for the articles. Lots of great info there. Regarding disk setup - I have one large 4.3tb RAID 10. I created one single partition and installed the first instance of Windows Server on there. After booting into Windows on that hard drive, I went into Disk Manager and ran 'shrink partition' to shrink it down to about 100gb. With the leftover space, I created a ReFS volume. That's where all my VM disk files will live.
Philip ElderTechnical Architect - HA/Compute/StorageCommented:
I suggest sticking with NTFS. ReFS is really only sanctioned on Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) at this time.
ecarboneAuthor Commented:
I'll take your advice and stick with NTFS. Thanks again Philip.
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