Virtualization - Best setup for my network?

April 19, 2011 at 06:45:26
Specs: Server 2008 R2, 3GHz/1GB

Would like some advice please on how I should be setting up virtualisation on my network. Will be using one HP Proliant ML350 G6 server with 2 processors and 24GB of RAM, will use Hyper-V for virtualisation.

The setup I was going to go for is as follows:

Physcial server: VM host, not on domain, not fulfilling any roles, just hosting the vms.

VM1: AD DC, hosting network shares, DHCP, DNS. This will do the bulk of the work on the network so will allocate 12-14GB of RAM to this server.

VM2: Dedicated SQL database server only. This will do far less work so will allocate around 6GB of RAM to this server.

This setup will leave around 6GB of RAM to the physical server.

My questions are as follows:
1. Not being extremely experienced with virtualisation, am I going about this all wrong?
2. I have used a very similar setup before but on an ML360 G7 server which has 4 NICs, allowing me to assign a physcial connection to all 3 servers present. This server only has 2. Am I going to be able to do the above on this server? What happens when I need to update things on the host that requires a network/internet connection? Is there a practical solution to this? Is this server not really suited to virtualisation of this sort?
3. Would I be better off just putting the roles of VM1 on to the host directly and not even using a vm for that? Thereby only having VM2 (which would become VM1 if you know what I mean) as a virtual server for the dedicated sql database? The reason I designed the setup as above is because I often have to perform tasks on the sql database server during the day and it then needs a restart, which is fine for the small number of users that use that database, but I would not be able to put the sql databse on the main server as it would then disrupt the rest of the network during daytime restarts. Like wise, if the above VM1 roles were on the physcical server and not virtualised at all, in the event of that server needing a restart it would obviously disrupt my sql server.
4. If I were to actually go for a design as above with one physcial host and 2 vm's on that host, would the host actually need 6GB of RAM or would it get along fine with less considering it only has to boot up and then allow the other 2 hardware virtualised servers to take over? Or does it still require a large amount of RAM?


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April 23, 2011 at 13:40:15
6 gig is a bit low for any production server but your baseline tests ought to show what you need. It may be fine.

The reasons for VMs are basically the way you maintain them. Real or VM make the choice yours. I'd never let any work on the host but almost all places do some tasks on the host. I'd keep it all in the VM to back the reasons to be using a VM in the first place. One is that they maximize the resources. Two is the way you move and re-create and restore the machines. There are many reason also that one may wish to use VM's.

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