Exchange 2016 and  VM and AD install settings questions.

Michael Hemberger
Michael Hemberger used Ask the Experts™
1). Should I create a separate partition for the VM on the hard drive I'm installing the VM on or just
2). During the install of exchange OR AD  on the VM'S, are there any recommenced settings based on just 12 users who just used outlook for calendars that they share?  Like size of the vm?
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MASEE Solution Guide - Technical Dept Head
Most Valuable Expert 2017
It is always recommended to have separate drive for database and logs.
Distinguished Expert 2018
I suggest that you go with O365 F1 or business premium plan instead of setting up exchange and AD and investing in server hardware, server OS, Exchange license and maintenance.....only for 12 users
Michael HembergerIT Manager


Yes.. on separate physical drives...
But I'm asking about putting VM's on my physical drive and should I create a partition separate from the OS (Windows Server 2016 Standard) for those VM's as opposed to just added VM's to the main drive (the OS's drive)?

Right now all I have is just Windows 2016 Standard installed  and I'm getting ready to use the two available VM's.
So I was wondering if it even matters.
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Michael HembergerIT Manager


Mahesh... unfortunately, not an option for us at this time.
So I just need advice on the question as it stands..
Distinguished Expert 2018
To answer your question, what RAID config do you have on physical server in back end?

If its single Raid-1 or Raid-5 drive, then there won't be any benefit by separating OS drive and VM drive

However if you have separate Raid-1 and Raid-5 drives (Like Raid-1 for OS and Raid-5 for data, then install VMs on Raid-5 drive
Separate drives in this case will help better performance
Michael HembergerIT Manager


It's single raid... so I guess no benefit!
Thanks for answering that!

Did you have any advice on my second question?
Distinguished Expert 2018
not really

All you ca do, in VM create separate partition for OS and exchange DB / logs

For AD VM, single partition would be OK
Technical Architect - HA/Compute/Storage
Specific to your question: 2 virtual machines.
 + VM0: Domain Controller: ADDS, DNS, DHCP, File & Print (our preference is to have a unique VM for F&P)
 ++ VHDX for OS
 ++ VHDX for Data
 + VM1: Exchange
 ++ VHDX for OS
 ++ VHDX for Mailbox Databases
 ++ VHDX for Logs

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

Some PowerShell Guides:
PowerShell Guide - Standalone Hyper-V Server
PowerShell Guide - New VM PowerShell
PowerShell Guide - New-VM Template: Single VHDX File
PowerShell Guide - New-VM Template: Dual VHDX Files

Here are some focused articles:

Set up PDCe NTP Domain Time in a Virtualized Setting

Slipstream Updates Using DISM and OSCDImg

Protecting a Backup Repository from Malware and Ransomware

Disaster Preparedness: KVM/IP + USB Flash = Recovery. Here’s a Guide
Michael HembergerIT Manager


Thanks to all of you for your responses!

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