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How to configure DL380 G5 for virtualization in W2K8 HyperV

 
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How to configure DL380 G5 for virtualization in W2K8 HyperV

DL380G5 specs:
- two L5420 processors
- 16GB RAM
- 6x 146GB 10k drives
- P400/256 no battery
- E200/64 no battery

Questions:
1. How to set up the array controllers for best performance? RAID level? Logical drives?
2. Should I upgrade to BBWC cache?
3. Would going from 256MB cache to 512MB cache make a big difference?

I intend to run WIN 2K8 HyperV, with 4 VMs running WIN 2K8 and acting in different roles, including DB and WEB server.
5 REPLIES
Bruno J. Melo
Valued Contributor

Re: How to configure DL380 G5 for virtualization in W2K8 HyperV

Hi,

Here's a white paper regarding Hyper-V Release Candidate 1 on ProLiant servers:

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bc/docs/support/SupportManual/c01286554/c01286554.pdf

1. I would configure RAID1 for the Parent Partition and Swap and RAID 5 for the VM configuration files VHDs.

2. Yes, adding a BBWC module will increase your disk I/O performance. It can make disk writes up to 10x faster. It also prevents data corruption from occurring on a system crash.

3. It depends on the type and amount of data you'll be writing to disk. You say you'll have a VM with a RDBMS, but is it a big database? Do you expect it to grow very fast?

HTH

Re: How to configure DL380 G5 for virtualization in W2K8 HyperV

This is going to be a development and testing machine, so the size of the databases will not grow that fast.

You suggested RAID 5 for the other 4 drives. How would you set up the logical drives? One drive per non-DB VM, 4 for the DB, one OS, one DB, one LOG, and one TEMP?

Would RAID 10 be faster than RAID 5 by any noticeable factor? I could ad two more drives to fill all the 8 spots...

Also, for adding the BBWC module, I have two options:
1. Keep the 256MB memory module and simply add the battery option to it
2. Upgrade to 512MB + battery
Is #2 worth the extra cost. Any idea what percentage improvements one might get?

Thanks!
Bruno J. Melo
Valued Contributor
Solution

Re: How to configure DL380 G5 for virtualization in W2K8 HyperV

Hi again,

I forgot to mention, the BBWC upgrade also enables more features depending on the Smart Array controller. Features like:
- Online array expansion;
- Online logical drive extension;
- Online RAID level migration;
- Online strip size migration.

Regarding the size of write-back cache it depends, but on this case I would go for the 512MB of cache since you'll be working with large files (VHDs).

On logical drives, I think you're not being very clear... Since all logical drives are presented to the Parent Partition.

What you do is create Virtual Hard Disks (VHDs) and present them to your VMs through Hyper-V Manager.

If you wan't to be able to present a Logical Drive directly to a VM you'll need a shared storage.

Yes, RAID 10 would be faster but since that's going to be a development and testing machine I wouldn't be spending my money there...

HTH

Re: How to configure DL380 G5 for virtualization in W2K8 HyperV

Do I need SAS shared storage, such as an MSA50 or 70, or do I need an FC SAN?

The shared SAN storage brings up another question. The machine has an infiniband HCA, 409778-001 installed, which we were planning to use for virtualizing all connectivity. Do you know if I can configure the parent partition and/or the VMs to boot over this HCA?
Bruno J. Melo
Valued Contributor

Re: How to configure DL380 G5 for virtualization in W2K8 HyperV

Hi,

MSAs 50 and 70 are, in fact, Direct Attach Storage (DAS) Systems. You would need an iSCSI or Fibre Channel Storage System for SAN connectivity like MSA2000i (iSCSI) or MSA2000fc (Fibre Channel) or EVA (both).

On my lab environment I use software based iSCSI target OpenFiler v2.3 x64: http://www.openfiler.com/

The Parent Partition can be a Full or Server Core installation of Windows Server 2008 x64, if there are certified drivers for the hardware to be used on this operating system you probably can. At least for the VMs I don't see what could be the problem. But concerning the Parent Partition booting from this controller I wouldn't know for sure, since I haven't worked with these controllers yet...

HTH