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  • Best Hyper-V physical disk arrangement

    Can someone here give me some guidance as per the physical drive arrangement on my new PowerEdge 2900 III server for Hyper-V.

    Current Configuration :
    2 - 146 GB 15k SAS drives in RAID 1 configuration for the Hyper-V OS
    1 - 300 GB 15k SAS drive in RAID 0 configuration for the Hyper-V virtual machines and virtual drives

    Proposed Storage Additions:
    Method 1:
    Add 2 - 300 GB 15k SAS drives ( to expand the original RAID 0 configuration to 900GB)
    1 - 1 TB 7200k SAS drive ( for a new RAID 0 configuration to be used for backup of the Hyper-V virtual machines and virtual drives )

    Method 2:
    Add 2 - 300 GB 15k SAS drives ( each drive being a new RAID 0 configuration and stand alone drive)
    1 - 1 TB 7200k SAS drive ( for a new RAID 0 configuration to be used for backup of the Hyper-V virtual machines and virtual drives )

    Which drive configuration would Hyper-V be more happy with? Mehod 1 ( one D:\ drive -- three physical drives as a RAID 0 of 900GB )
    or Method 2 ( three D:\. E:\ and F:\ drives of 300 GB each.)

    Then either method will use the Windows Server Backup Utility or a PowerShell script kicked off with Task Scheduler to backup the Virtual Machines to the 1 TB near-line SAS drive on a regular basis for recovery purposes.

    Orgbrat

  • #2
    Re: Best Hyper-V physical disk arrangement

    With Raid 0, if you loose one disk you loose all data, so I wouldn't go for that.
    Marcel
    Technical Consultant
    Netherlands
    http://www.phetios.com
    http://blog.nessus.nl

    MCITP(EA, SA), MCSA/E 2003:Security, CCNA, SNAF, DCUCI, CCSA/E/E+ (R60), VCP4/5, NCDA, NCIE - SAN, NCIE - BR, EMCPE
    "No matter how secure, there is always the human factor."

    "Enjoy life today, tomorrow may never come."
    "If you're going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill"

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Best Hyper-V physical disk arrangement

      Agreed.

      Also, the pedant in me noticed that you're referring to single disks as being RAID 0... any RAID implementation requires more than 1 disk.

      I would suggest RAID 1 for the Hyper-V OS, as you suggested, with RAID 5 for the VMs. RAID 5 requires 3+ disks, and I would recommend that you configure an extra disk as a hot spare.
      Gareth Howells

      BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

      Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

      Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

      "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

      "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Best Hyper-V physical disk arrangement

        Hi folks,
        Thanks for the quick replies. I take them with great sincerity. And normally you would be absolutely correct. But my problem is disk space. And since disk space is the most common limiting factor in a virtualization environment, I was looking at the RAID 0 with the 3-300GB disks for the space and the disk performance.

        I am really not referring to single disks as RAID 0, RAID 0 just happens to be the only way to get a disc in this system by it self. It just happens to be a RAID array of one since RAID 0 is described as a RAID array of 1+ discs. You are also correct in that if I loose one disk, I loose everything. That is why the 1 TB near-line storage drive is thrown in the mix. So that there will be a copy of all the data on another physical spindle to recover from.

        RAID 5 is another option, but I would loose 300GB from the array disk space. As I understand it, The third drive would be used to recover from a single drive failure. So if I can afford to give up 300GB, RAID 5 might be another solution.

        By the way these 300GB drives with drive carrier are $650.00 each and I have purchased 3 of them from DELL.

        Orgbrat

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Best Hyper-V physical disk arrangement

          You can purchase the drive caddies separately from Dell, and then buy drives at reasonable prices from other suppliers. Big disks aren't expensive these days - on a modest budget you could easily buy 4 caddies from Dell and 4 1TB drives from my supplier of choice.
          Gareth Howells

          BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

          Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

          Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

          "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

          "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Best Hyper-V physical disk arrangement

            Yes you are correct, I could have done that. But I have been working in the Virtual Server 2005 R2 world for 2-3 years now and since I am a independent consultant, I wanted to step up and purchase myself a nice development and test environment virtual server. My old virtual server was not a weak server at all but it's replacement is a work horse.

            DELL PowerEdge 2900 III
            Dual Quad Core 2.66 Xeons
            32GB of Memory
            PERC 6/I integrated SAS controller
            All 15k SAS Drives ( except for the 1TB near-line storage drive )

            You can not buy 1TB 15k SAS drives and any way why would I want to purchase all of the best hardware available and then put 7200 rpm drives in it?

            I can tell you that I have seven virtual machines created on this server now. You can have all seven up and running at one time and the performance is absolutely great. You would not know you were running in virtuals. You have get on the porch with the big dogs sometimes..

            Orgbrat

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Best Hyper-V physical disk arrangement

              If it was me, I'd purchase just the caddy as previously suggested and go with a cheaper SATA drive that offers near SAS performance. For around the same price you could use your existing SAS controller and install 6+, 300GB VelociRaptor drives configured in Raid 10.

              You'll end up with more overall drive space [900+ GB], and similar, if not better performance due to the larger array and be fault tolerant.
              Last edited by ahinson; 31st December 2008, 05:23.
              Andrew

              ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points sigpic where appropriate **

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Best Hyper-V physical disk arrangement

                Thanks for the reply,
                At this point it is not what to purchase as the additional two ST3300656SS
                ( SAS Seagate Cheetah® 15K.6 ) 300GB hard drives and the single ST31000640SS ( SAS Barracuda ES2 ) 1TB drive along with all caddies have been purchased are are sitting on my desk awaiting installation.

                At this point it is really how to arrange and setup everything for the best possible configuration.

                Orgbrat

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Best Hyper-V physical disk arrangement

                  Well if you implement Raid 0 you simply has no redundancy, though it's fast.
                  What's more important, speed and double the diskspace or redundancy?

                  If you can make that choice then I think you can think about your best config.
                  Marcel
                  Technical Consultant
                  Netherlands
                  http://www.phetios.com
                  http://blog.nessus.nl

                  MCITP(EA, SA), MCSA/E 2003:Security, CCNA, SNAF, DCUCI, CCSA/E/E+ (R60), VCP4/5, NCDA, NCIE - SAN, NCIE - BR, EMCPE
                  "No matter how secure, there is always the human factor."

                  "Enjoy life today, tomorrow may never come."
                  "If you're going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Best Hyper-V physical disk arrangement

                    In a previous post, you mentioned that there will be a copy of all of the data from the RAID 0 on another disk. Ok, so that theoretically covers you against failure of the RAID 0. But how up to date will that backup be? Also consider the downtime that you will have while you replace the failed disk and restore all of the data. Compare this to RAID 5, where a failed disk (or up to 2 failed disks, if you have a hot spare configured) will not under normal circumstances mean any lost data *at all*, or any downtime.
                    Gareth Howells

                    BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

                    Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

                    Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

                    "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

                    "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Best Hyper-V physical disk arrangement

                      Well, I will have to say that you guys have almost convinced me to buy two more ST3300656SS ( SAS Seagate Cheetah® 15K.6 ) 300GB hard drives and configure a RAID 5 array with 4 300GB drives and an additional Hot Spare. That would get me the fail-over drive within the RAID 5 configuration and a spare Hot swap drive, just in case. And I would still have the 900GB of drive space. And the backup ST31000640SS ( SAS Barracuda ES2 ) 1TB drive would almost back up both the C:\ (OS Drive ) and the D:\ ( Data Drive ) assuming they were both not completely full.

                      Right now, my only concern would be the performace of the virtual machines within Hyper-V using the RAID 5 configuration.

                      I need to do some thinking about this, but I see two more drives and caddies coming.

                      Orgbrat

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Best Hyper-V physical disk arrangement

                        Again I have come full circle and back to where I started. I guess my original feelings was more on target than what I had thought.
                        This is a pretty low to mid range configuration, and will be the very lowest cost for the disk performance attained.

                        Chosen Final Configuration:
                        2 - 146 GB 15k SAS drives in RAID 1 configuration for the Hyper-V OS
                        3 - 300 GB 15k SAS drive in RAID 0 configuration for the Hyper-V virtual machines and virtual drives ( 900GB total )
                        1 - 1 TB 7200k SAS drive ( for a new RAID 0 configuration to be used for backup of the Hyper-V virtual machines and virtual drives )
                        After reading Tony Voellm's analysis here - http://blogs.msdn.com/tvoellm/archive/2008/09/24/what-hyper-v-storage-is-best-for-you-show-me-the-numbers.aspx for RAID 0 configs and all the other good articles linked in all of the other posts of this thread, I have came to the same conclusion as John Paul Cook in this thread. It helped to see that someone actually had the same thoughts as I did. Now that does not make everyone else wrong, it shows that at least two people think the same way.

                        Thanks....

                        Steve Graddy MCP, MCPS, MCNPS, MCAD
                        Orgbrat Consulting ( Microsoft Certified Partner )

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Best Hyper-V physical disk arrangement

                          Well good luck then in that case.
                          Yes I know that Raid 0 is very fast, however you don't have any fault tolerance.
                          If this isn't important for you, fine please go for raid 0. I'm sure you got a lot of speed

                          Personally I rather would go for raid 1 or raid 10.
                          Personally I really really hate if I put a lot of effort in setting up a lab and suddenly one drive fails and then I loose all my data.
                          Marcel
                          Technical Consultant
                          Netherlands
                          http://www.phetios.com
                          http://blog.nessus.nl

                          MCITP(EA, SA), MCSA/E 2003:Security, CCNA, SNAF, DCUCI, CCSA/E/E+ (R60), VCP4/5, NCDA, NCIE - SAN, NCIE - BR, EMCPE
                          "No matter how secure, there is always the human factor."

                          "Enjoy life today, tomorrow may never come."
                          "If you're going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill"

                          Comment

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