I have a new server, which has a RAID 1 array of 2 x 300gb and RAID 5 array of 4 x 900gb and have questions about general configuration of Windows Server 2012 Standard and installation of 2 Win Server 2012 VMs.
1. Firstly, do I need to partition the arrays or just leave RAID 1 array as c:\ and RAID 5 array as d:\ (i.e. 1 volume for each array)?
2. I was thinking of installing Host + 1 VM on RAID 1 array, AND the second VM on RAID 5 array?
3. What is the best configuration for setup of VHDs and VMs where i am intending to run a 1 VM for a file server/SQL Server and 1 VM for domain controller? That is, should I have 1 VHD for each VM. So that balance of RAID 1 ARRAY is a VHD for
1 VM, and the entire RAID 5 array is allocated a VHD for the second VM? Your thoughts would be much appreciated.
I have read various articles and would love some feedback.
In terms of partitioning, there's no need to partition them technically, however in the case of the array holding the host system installation I'd suggest you create two partitions, one for Windows and the other for the VM. The reason being that when it
comes to backing up the host server (so you can recover the config, system state, etc) Windows Backup and DPM (amoung others) use drive snapshot based backups, therefore it's simpler if you have them separate, therefore giving you a smaller amount of data
to backup in order to protect the host system data.
Since the SQL server will likely need a lot more storage than the AD controller you probably want to put the SQL VM on the RAID 5 array volume, while the DC is on the second volume of the RAID 1 array volume. That also has the benefit of RAID 5 being better
for random read performance (but not sequential write), which if the SQL server is predominantly used for OLAP operations (predominantly database reads rather than writes) then that would give you the best IO performance.
Alternatively, if SQL write performance is more important, or even if read performance is very important, you could consider using the second RAID array (5 for read, 1 for write) purely for a drive containing the important SQL database (so the SQL VM would
have disks on both arrays), and then on the other array create two volumes, one for the host system as described above, and the other for the AD controller and the SQL Server's system disk. If that's a consideration then you probably want to double check on
one of the SQL forums though, since while I work with SQL I don't do much with high workload setups.
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