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Downside to Virtualizing WHS 2011


Hawnted
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I currently run a Server 2008 R2 machine with Hyper-V that hosts my WHS v1 machine. I am going to purchase 2011 when it comes out and am curious if there are any downsides to virtualizing it as well? Is it best to passthrough all the drives? Should the OS have the largest or smallest drive? Any benefit to SSDs?

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I currently run a Server 2008 R2 machine with Hyper-V that hosts my WHS v1 machine. I am going to purchase 2011 when it comes out and am curious if there are any downsides to virtualizing it as well? Is it best to passthrough all the drives? Should the OS have the largest or smallest drive? Any benefit to SSDs?

 

In my opinion, there are not any additional downsides to the VM other than the VM debate itself. Becuase there is no DE or pool, either virtual or passthrough should be the same. And lastly, ther is absolutlely no benifit to running an SSD on a a server. THe amount you would have to spend to get one big enough would not be worth the investment. My two cents.

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In my opinion, there are not any additional downsides to the VM other than the VM debate itself. Becuase there is no DE or pool, either virtual or passthrough should be the same. And lastly, ther is absolutlely no benifit to running an SSD on a a server. THe amount you would have to spend to get one big enough would not be worth the investment. My two cents.

 

If that is the case, then might as well go virtual drives to preserve the ability to Snapshot the VM. I already have the Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V Machine up and running, so adding the VM for WHS 2011 will be no big deal. I just figured with the way WHS handles storage, there might be some performance benefit to physical. I did not realize they removed DE though.

Edited by Hawnted
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If you are going to pass through "all the drives" then you should go physical. The whole purpose of going virtual is expandability inside one physical box. I guess what I am trying to say is if the virtual WHS is the only VM on the box, what's the point? If not, then VM is a great way to go. Personally I would build an array and pass that drive thru and then possibly another physical drive for backups.

 

Snapshots could eliminate the need for a server backup but I would not count on or use them for data backups.

 

Sounds like you know what you want to do -- but like most of us -- need some validation.

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If you are going to pass through "all the drives" then you should go physical. The whole purpose of going virtual is expandability inside one physical box. I guess what I am trying to say is if the virtual WHS is the only VM on the box, what's the point? If not, then VM is a great way to go. Personally I would build an array and pass that drive thru and then possibly another physical drive for backups.

 

Snapshots could eliminate the need for a server backup but I would not count on or use them for data backups.

 

Sounds like you know what you want to do -- but like most of us -- need some validation.

 

I did not mean all the drives, sorry. Just the ones pertinent to that VM. I have 3 other primary VMs, and a few dev.

 

So you would build an array, pass that through for general storage and OS, then put a physical drive in for machine backups? What RAID level would you recommend? 5 I am assuming?

 

Also, can you upgrade from the RC to the RTM?

Edited by Hawnted
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That's the way I would configure the storage and with a RAID 5 array. I would not upgrade, if it is even going to be possible, which I don't think it will be. YOu will not lose any data, just the user accounts and permissions which should not take that long to rebuild.

 

The keys will be to:

 

Decide on a storage plan along with a dedicated backup strategy

Build the OS with a dedicated drive (160 gigs virtual or physical)

Allocate / move shares as needed to conform to the 2 TB limit

Test - Document

 

Rebuild the OS when the RC goes RTM......which I think will be in the next 60 days. (just my opinion)

Reattach the storage to match the RC build.

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That's the way I would configure the storage and with a RAID 5 array. I would not upgrade, if it is even going to be possible, which I don't think it will be. YOu will not lose any data, just the user accounts and permissions which should not take that long to rebuild.

 

The keys will be to:

 

Decide on a storage plan along with a dedicated backup strategy

Build the OS with a dedicated drive (160 gigs virtual or physical)

Allocate / move shares as needed to conform to the 2 TB limit

Test - Document

 

Rebuild the OS when the RC goes RTM......which I think will be in the next 60 days. (just my opinion)

Reattach the storage to match the RC build.

 

 

Thanks, last question.

 

Why does WHS 2011 require 160GB System drive when there is no longer pooling? Assuming the OS is going to partition 60, which is what I have heard, there seems to be no benefit to forcing the 160GB requirement. I would prefer to keep the data and OS separate.

 

Does it still matter if the largest drive is the system drive as it did in WHS v1?

Edited by Hawnted
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That's still the $64K question and I suspect it has to do in this case with Shadow Copies. Once you setup the original configuration, you can isolate (move the shares) away from all other data. Those shares would go to your passthru storage.

 

If you are going to build the VM, just allocate 160 gigs as the only drive and then start moving the shares around. To be sure, there has to be a lot of thought up front when you build this server unlike the old days when you just kept adding drives to the pool.

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To be sure, there has to be a lot of thought up front when you build this server unlike the old days when you just kept adding drives to the pool.

 

You are right about that. I am actually trying to decide between going with physical or virtual. I have a 500gb drive, 160GB drive, and a 2TB drive at my disposal. If I go physical would it be best to install to the 160GB and then add the 500GB/2TB later?

Edited by Hawnted
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I have a similar set up and have been running this for 2 months. I am running on W2K8 R2 Core, so I have a very minimal base machine. The physical machine and VMs are running off of a Raid 1 500GB pair of harddrives for redundancy, performace isn't bad either.

 

When you create the VM just use the self expanding. My image is only around 17GB currently, so easy to backup, just drag the file. I only have a 1TB drive attached, so not much storage yet.

 

I also have my WHS V1 as a VM on the same machine, but with 8 drives and 9+TB of replicated storage. All of the drives are pass through and work perfectly. I have not gotten the smart drive information to pass throught, so if you know how to do this let me know.

 

My plan is to create a new VM with the RTM version when it comes out and then slowly move all of my storage to it. The nice thing is I can do this with out physically touching the box. I also have a media center pc, development pc, and personal pc all running from this. Life is good and VMs rule;-)

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