Jump to content
RESET Forums (homeservershow.com)

WHS 2011 on Hyper-V, passthrough the disks or VHD?


eagle63
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hey guys, I'm working on migrating from version 1 to WHS 2011. I've been successfully running v1 on Hyper-V for a while now but want to give 2011 a try. On v1, I passthrough my storage pool disks. But for 2011, there seems to be less reason to do that - but I think I'm still going to anyway... Just want to see if anyone feels strongly one way or the other. Here's my rough plan for storage:

 

- The main "system" drive will be a VHD. (this will get backed up as part of my host-level windows server backup)

- I will have two 2TB data drives for a total of 4TB of storage. These will be passed-through to the WHS 2011 VM.

- I will have two additional 2TB drives which will be for server backup. (also passed-through)

- I have an external USB drive which will be used when backing up the entire Hyper-V host box plus VM's. (so it will hold backups of everything except the WHS data storage drives)

 

 

I know if I created VHD's for the storage instead of passing the disks through, then I could back them up as part of my overall nightly host backup. But is there really any reason to do that rather than what I outlined above? As I see it, the advantage to passing my disks through is they're highly portable: I could remove any of them and stick them in another PC and read the data off without needing to do anything special.

 

Thanks for any advice!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From my own experience, I want backups to be in a "flat file format" rather than any proprietery formats. Any virtual environment that I have ever worked in, enterprise or personal, has always had data stored on physical hard drives. Keep it simple.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm with jmwills; I want my data in flat file format because:

  1. I want it to be readily accessible without special software and
  2. I want to keep it a long time, so I don't want to be dependant on software that might get out of date.

I don't mind if the OS drive is proprietary because:

  1. you can't do a bare metal restore from a flat file backup and
  2. OS installs are ephemeral anyway.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks guys, good to have some confirmation. The only potential issue that I could think of by passing-through the data disks is the (unlikely?) possibility that the data on those "native" data drives could be out of sync with the VHD'd system drive in the event that I needed to restore everything. I saw this once on WHS v1, where I had to restore the VM and it didn't seem to recognize the data disks. My hunch was that it maybe had something to do with the tombstone files that are stored on the system drive becoming out of sync with what was on the data drives. If everything was a VHD and all backed up at the same time then that probably wouldn't have happened.

 

On the other hand, does WHS 2011 even use tombstone files - or was that a relic from v1??

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On the other hand, does WHS 2011 even use tombstone files - or was that a relic from v1??

It's a relic. Since 2011 doesn't have Drive Extender it doesn't need tombstone files.

Edited by ikon
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Agreed. The only time I use VHD with any Win7, Server 2008 system is to create an image of the initial install, patched and before the shared folder get moved.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...