Partitions For Hyper-V Server



  • I am getting ready to set up my new server, which is going to run Hyper-V, with two VM instances (at least) of Windows Server on it.

    I have a RAID 5 (SSD, don't worry!) array that will be more than enough for these two VMs.

    How do people typically partition the drive on the Hyper-V server? Do you just make one big 😄 partition since there won't be any data on it, per se, other than the VMs?

    Also, what is the best practice these days for setting up a Windows Server for my VM instances? Used to be 20GB, though I know that's way out of the times today. Or since these will be VMs, do you make them dynamic, and not worry about the size?



  • I try and avoid partitioning, it's almost a universal law that you'll run out of space on one and use none of the other.

    Keep it big, let HV gobble up disk as it wants.

    Setup an alert (email or whatever) for disk space low.



  • @BRRABill said:

    I am getting ready to set up my new server, which is going to run Hyper-V, with two VM instances (at least) of Windows Server on it.

    I have a RAID 5 (SSD, don't worry!) array that will be more than enough for these two VMs.

    How do people typically partition the drive on the Hyper-V server? Do you just make one big 😄 partition since there won't be any data on it, per se, other than the VMs?

    Also, what is the best practice these days for setting up a Windows Server for my VM instances? Used to be 20GB, though I know that's way out of the times today. Or since these will be VMs, do you make them dynamic, and not worry about the size?

    For the VM instances, here, we allocate 60GB, but thin provision the disks. I generally run my Hyper-V servers with one big 😄 drive.



  • I generally break it up between 😄 and D:. Run 😄 at something like 50-60Gb. That way if you fill up 😨 with VMs they don't mess with the operating system.



  • On Hyper-V, yes, just one big partition in this case. Two really, one for Hyper-V itself, then one for all of the VHDs. Do not make a partition for each file, one partition per file does not have any benefits.



  • Put all your VMs in the same spot and use thin provisioning always.



  • @coliver said:

    I generally break it up between 😄 and D:. Run 😄 at something like 50-60Gb. That way if you fill up 😨 with VMs they don't mess with the operating system.

    I thought I read that somewhere.

    Hopefully I'll be watching and be alerterd (and smart enough to know the max size of all VMs), but if a VHD got out of hand it could bring down ALL the other VMs.



  • Are we honestly looking at a system with a 200GB RAID for this?



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    On Hyper-V, yes, just one big partition in this case. Two really, one for Hyper-V itself, then one for all of the VHDs. Do not make a partition for each file, one partition per file does not have any benefits.

    To expand on this, if you can install Hyper-V into a USB stick/SD Card, then that would be on it's own partition. Then all of the SSD space would go to the VM datastore. Otherwise I agree with Scott. Probably 40 GB to Hyper-V, and the rest to the datastore.



  • @Dashrender said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    On Hyper-V, yes, just one big partition in this case. Two really, one for Hyper-V itself, then one for all of the VHDs. Do not make a partition for each file, one partition per file does not have any benefits.

    To expand on this, if you can install Hyper-V into a USB stick/SD Card, then that would be on it's own partition. Then all of the SSD space would go to the VM datastore. Otherwise I agree with Scott. Probably 40 GB to Hyper-V, and the rest to the datastore.

    Has anyone gotten Hyper-V to install on a SD card? Just wondering.



  • @coliver I thought about doing it on servers I put out this summer, but never tested it to try it out. I just created a small virtual disk off my raid controller for hyperv.



  • @BRRABill said:

    @coliver said:

    I generally break it up between 😄 and D:. Run 😄 at something like 50-60Gb. That way if you fill up 😨 with VMs they don't mess with the operating system.

    I thought I read that somewhere.

    Hopefully I'll be watching and be alerterd (and smart enough to know the max size of all VMs), but if a VHD got out of hand it could bring down ALL the other VMs.

    No, if that is a possibility then you've made other mistakes. Thin provisioning alone creates no danger. You are thinking of over provisioning.



  • @coliver said:

    @Dashrender said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    On Hyper-V, yes, just one big partition in this case. Two really, one for Hyper-V itself, then one for all of the VHDs. Do not make a partition for each file, one partition per file does not have any benefits.

    To expand on this, if you can install Hyper-V into a USB stick/SD Card, then that would be on it's own partition. Then all of the SSD space would go to the VM datastore. Otherwise I agree with Scott. Probably 40 GB to Hyper-V, and the rest to the datastore.

    Has anyone gotten Hyper-V to install on a SD card? Just wondering.

    I know lots of people have done it. MS even has some vendors that ship that way.



  • @coliver said:

    @Dashrender said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    On Hyper-V, yes, just one big partition in this case. Two really, one for Hyper-V itself, then one for all of the VHDs. Do not make a partition for each file, one partition per file does not have any benefits.

    To expand on this, if you can install Hyper-V into a USB stick/SD Card, then that would be on it's own partition. Then all of the SSD space would go to the VM datastore. Otherwise I agree with Scott. Probably 40 GB to Hyper-V, and the rest to the datastore.

    Has anyone gotten Hyper-V to install on a SD card? Just wondering.

    That'd work ok I guess - I bet HV has a ton more writes than something like vmware though. If you're going to do it, I'd suggest something like the below, it will not have any issues. Bonus: it has a real controller in it so you'll get way faster speeds.

    http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA7RD3GE1841&cm_re=usb_ssd--20-233-767--Product



  • Faster to do what, though?



  • @scottalanmiller bonus faster, not necessary faster



  • @DustinB3403 said:

    Are we honestly looking at a system with a 200GB RAID for this?

    What do you mean?



  • Originally I bought the server with a SATA 7200rpm array just for the Hyper-V server, but now that I have SSD in there (and more room than I'll ever really need) I figured I'd just do it all on the SSD array.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @coliver said:

    @Dashrender said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    On Hyper-V, yes, just one big partition in this case. Two really, one for Hyper-V itself, then one for all of the VHDs. Do not make a partition for each file, one partition per file does not have any benefits.

    To expand on this, if you can install Hyper-V into a USB stick/SD Card, then that would be on it's own partition. Then all of the SSD space would go to the VM datastore. Otherwise I agree with Scott. Probably 40 GB to Hyper-V, and the rest to the datastore.

    Has anyone gotten Hyper-V to install on a SD card? Just wondering.

    I know lots of people have done it. MS even has some vendors that ship that way.

    That's good to know, last time I looked into it Microsoft was frowning on the practice.



  • @coliver said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    @coliver said:

    @Dashrender said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    On Hyper-V, yes, just one big partition in this case. Two really, one for Hyper-V itself, then one for all of the VHDs. Do not make a partition for each file, one partition per file does not have any benefits.

    To expand on this, if you can install Hyper-V into a USB stick/SD Card, then that would be on it's own partition. Then all of the SSD space would go to the VM datastore. Otherwise I agree with Scott. Probably 40 GB to Hyper-V, and the rest to the datastore.

    Has anyone gotten Hyper-V to install on a SD card? Just wondering.

    I know lots of people have done it. MS even has some vendors that ship that way.

    That's good to know, last time I looked into it Microsoft was frowning on the practice.

    That's a debated subject. Microsoft has never frowned on it as a whole, ever. MS has said that officially it is an OEM supported practice only. But Microsoft's official reps (which although they are the hired spokespeople for Microsoft officially, Jared does not agree that they speak for them, which I get to some degree, but they are the official reps nonetheless) have agreed that it is both an industry and a Hyper-V best practice regardless of the "official" support statement on Technet. Technet says that it is not officially supported but does not frown on it. All they are doing is encouraging OEM installations.

    So you can look at it as officially MS recommend or unofficially MS recommended, you can look at it as officially unsupported or likely wink wink supported, but there is no question that MS does not frown on it.



  • @BRRABill said:

    @DustinB3403 said:

    Are we honestly looking at a system with a 200GB RAID for this?

    What do you mean?

    With such tiny partition conversations.

    it was a joke... disregard me.



  • @DustinB3403 said:

    With such tiny partition conversations.

    it was a joke... disregard me.

    Hey this is MY hill, and these are MY beans!



  • @BRRABill said:

    I am getting ready to set up my new server, which is going to run Hyper-V, with two VM instances (at least) of Windows Server on it.

    I have a RAID 5 (SSD, don't worry!) array that will be more than enough for these two VMs.

    How do people typically partition the drive on the Hyper-V server? Do you just make one big 😄 partition since there won't be any data on it, per se, other than the VMs?

    If you installed Hyper-V Server directly on the RAID5, then just make it all one big C drive. There is really no point in a separate logical drive.



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    @coliver said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    @coliver said:

    @Dashrender said:

    @scottalanmiller said:

    On Hyper-V, yes, just one big partition in this case. Two really, one for Hyper-V itself, then one for all of the VHDs. Do not make a partition for each file, one partition per file does not have any benefits.

    To expand on this, if you can install Hyper-V into a USB stick/SD Card, then that would be on it's own partition. Then all of the SSD space would go to the VM datastore. Otherwise I agree with Scott. Probably 40 GB to Hyper-V, and the rest to the datastore.

    Has anyone gotten Hyper-V to install on a SD card? Just wondering.

    I know lots of people have done it. MS even has some vendors that ship that way.

    That's good to know, last time I looked into it Microsoft was frowning on the practice.

    That's a debated subject. Microsoft has never frowned on it as a whole, ever. MS has said that officially it is an OEM supported practice only. But Microsoft's official reps (which although they are the hired spokespeople for Microsoft officially, Jared does not agree that they speak for them, which I get to some degree, but they are the official reps nonetheless) have agreed that it is both an industry and a Hyper-V best practice regardless of the "official" support statement on Technet. Technet says that it is not officially supported but does not frown on it. All they are doing is encouraging OEM installations.

    So you can look at it as officially MS recommend or unofficially MS recommended, you can look at it as officially unsupported or likely wink wink supported, but there is no question that MS does not frown on it.

    I have never disagreed that they speak for Microsoft. I have in the past, and still do, contend that It is not a supported installation method. You have to lie to the OS in order to install.

    I have also never seen it recommended by anyone paid by Microsoft. I have only seen those people state that it can be done, and usually referencing the same old TechNet article.



  • @JaredBusch said:

    If you installed Hyper-V Server directly on the RAID5, then just make it all one big C drive. There is really no point in a separate logical drive.

    Do yo you really think this is wise? While it's true that Windows rarely dies if the 😄 Drive is 100% full, is it worth the risk in the case of a Hyper-V machine?



  • @Dashrender said:

    @JaredBusch said:

    If you installed Hyper-V Server directly on the RAID5, then just make it all one big C drive. There is really no point in a separate logical drive.

    Do yo you really think this is wise? While it's true that Windows rarely dies if the 😄 Drive is 100% full, is it worth the risk in the case of a Hyper-V machine?

    He only has a single RAID array. If Windows fails, the entire thing is gone anyway. Does not matter if you have another logical drive. You can repair Windows the same if it is all C or has a C and D. If Windows fails to repair, you wipe and reinstall, then restore the VM's from backup.



  • @JaredBusch said:

    @Dashrender said:

    @JaredBusch said:

    If you installed Hyper-V Server directly on the RAID5, then just make it all one big C drive. There is really no point in a separate logical drive.

    Do yo you really think this is wise? While it's true that Windows rarely dies if the 😄 Drive is 100% full, is it worth the risk in the case of a Hyper-V machine?

    He only has a single RAID array. If Windows fails, the entire thing is gone anyway. Does not matter if you have another logical drive. You can repair Windows the same if it is all C or has a C and D. If Windows fails to repair, you wipe and reinstall, then restore the VM's from backup.

    But if Windows is failing because you have no drive space left for Hyper-V because your thin provisioned VMs filled the disk, the crashing happened because of something unrelated to the host hypervisor (well, it wasn't a fault in the hypervisor).



  • @JaredBusch said:

    I have also never seen it recommended by anyone paid by Microsoft. I have only seen those people state that it can be done, and usually referencing the same old TechNet article.

    Oh, I definitely had the Microsoft rep state out, and repeat in multiple places, that installing it to an SD card was best practice. Far more than it "could" be done, they themselves recommended it on behalf of MS and called it the best practice. That's why I've repeated that so much, it was very clear that they were promoting it (while acknowledging that officially it wasn't supported if you did this yourself.)



  • @scottalanmiller said:

    No, if that is a possibility then you've made other mistakes. Thin provisioning alone creates no danger. You are thinking of over provisioning.

    And what mistakes would these be?

    Obviously it would take a perfect storm, or sever overprovisioning.

    But what if a VM or two just went nuts one day saving stuff? Log out of control. Users saving too much stuff. Whatever.



  • @BRRABill said:

    But what if a VM or two just went nuts one day saving stuff? Log out of control. Users saving too much stuff. Whatever.

    What if they did? They are still going to cap at the total provisioned amount. Thin provisioning does not cause overprovisioning. That's a myth that's repeated to support thick provisioned systems after people have already done it and trying to scrape together an excuse because they didn't have a reason for having done it.

    No matter how "out of control" a VM gets, thin provisioning does not put you at risk. Over provisioning, yes, but that's different. And when handled well is essentially no risk.


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