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File server on Windows 2012 R2 with Hyper-V role


iandrews
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Note sure of the best sub forum to place this on, but seeing as it’s to do with my Gen 8 thought I would post here.

 

So, I have Windows 2012 R2 with the Hyper-V role. I am running a number of VM’s (AD, Exchange, Web / Weather software,  Ad-hoc / testing) and one of them was going to be a File Server. I have 4 * 3GB WD Reds in the front bays, and they were set up as Raid 10 off a P212 card. I had created a VHDX file on this and added it to a VM that I had built to act as the file server and had started setting up folders / shares. All was fine until the P212 reported disk issues and killed the array meaning that I lost (when I say lost, the data was backup of other data on my main PC / existing NAS, so nothing was lost that I couldn’t replace) all the data on it. To cut a long story short I have now ditched the P212 and got a M1015 that I plan on running in IT mode to just present the disks to teh Host OS.

 

So, how best to set up the file server now. I plan on taking (offsite) backups, but still want local (server) data redundancy. I see Stablebit Drivepool (and Scanner) mentioned lots to pool disks together and offer data duplication, so was maybe thinking of using that, but there are  several ways to do it.

  1. Install Drivepool (and scanner) on the Windows 2012 R2 with Hyper-V role, set up the File Server role, and just share the files from there.
  2. Install Drivepool (and scanner) on the Windows 2012 R2 with Hyper-V role, create one (or more) VHDX files on the Drivepool and attach them to the File Server VM, and share the files from that.
  3. Create one VHDX file on each of the 4 * 3GB WD Reds, then attach them to the File Server VM, Install Drivepool (and scanner on this and / or the 2012 host) on the File Server VM, and share the files from that.
  4. Pass through each of the 4 * 3GB WD Reds to the File Server VM, Install Drivepool (and scanner on this and / or the 2012 host) on the File Server VM, and share the files from that.

 

Any thoughts. Would probably go with 1 or 2, and can see Pros and Cons for each, but wanted a view on what others are maybe doing.

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Well, what OS are you using for the host and guests?

 

If you are using Windows Server 2012R2 Standard, ... then I'd say using Essentials as a VM for the file server, web server, and AD (passing the disks through to the VM). Then use another VM for Standard and use it for Exchange and the like. And then you have can use additional VMs for testing.

 

The reason I say this, is that Standard gets you VM rights to 2 machines, and downgrade rights to essentials.  But I'd recommend talking to a certified Microsoft Partner about this, for details and license compliance, just to make sure.  But this *is* a supported method (for Essentials, download the eval ISO, activate with the Standard key... which sounds "wrong", but is the official method to do so).

 

The caveat here is that passed through disks don't show SMART data in HyperV.  That means if you want to use StableBit Scanner, you'd want it on the host system to get SMART data and run a surface scan on the non-passed through disks. And you'd want it on the guest machines (VMs) so that it will perform the surface scans and file system scans.

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Hi, I am using Windows 2012 R2 as the Host OS, and Windows 2012 R2 (and 2008 for Exchange) as the guest OS's. I'm using MSDN licences as using the setup to test / learn Hyper-V / 2012 etc, but while doing so also wanted the kit to hold my home data. 

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