Tuesday 28 October 2008

SBS 2008 - Setup Webinar this Thursday

I will be facilitating an SBS 2008 setup Webinar with my co-author Harry Brelsford this Thursday evening at 18:00hrs Mountain Standard: SMB Nation Webinars. The registration link is there.

We will run through the SBS 2008 setup process, talk a bit about the book and its contents, and address some of our SBS 2008 setup experiences to date.

It should be informative and give you an opportunity to see an SBS setup process live.

From the above link:

SBS 2008 Setup Webinar, October 30th 5PM PDT: Join Philip Elder and Harrybbb (we are writing the forthcoming Small Business Server 2008 Blueprint title) for a complimentary 90-minute Webinar sponsored by HP/Microsoft FLP on Thursday, October 30 at 5:00PM PDT (UTC\GMT-7 right now until early next month).

You will specifically witness the SBS 2008 server-side setup process, learn more about the pre-requisite step of configuring your router\firewall FIRST BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING and the exact use of the answer file. There will be a presentation at mid-point by HP and then you will have plenty of time to ask all the questions that you have.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

*All Mac on SBS posts are posted on our in-house iMac via the Safari Web browser.


Anonymous said...

Will you be covering installing in Hyper-V?

There is a lack of info about this especially about Host and Guest disk / partition sizes.

Philip Elder Cluster MVP said...

The install will actually be run as a Hyper-V guest. 2 cores and 6GB RAM will be assigned. I will try and preamble post the setup prior to the Webinar.

We will dedicate one of the physical NICs to the VM and connect it to one of the routers in our shop for this purpose.

I am hoping to have Hyper-V Server 2008 setup and ready for the job. If not, we will run on Server Core with the current Hyper-V RTM version installed.

I have already done a number of SBS 2008 VM installs on Hyper-V with no real issues.


Anonymous said...

Dear Philip,

I've just completed my first Install as a Hyper-V guest.

Dell PowerEdge with 2x146GB in Raid 1 and 4x146GB in Raid 10.

I installed full WS2008 as the host, mainly because I've never used core, so don't know about installing drivers, updates, and apps such as USB over Network without GUI.

WinServer 2008 recommends 51GB for it's drive partition, so out of 136GB usable space that only leaves 85 for the SBS VM. The VM will use the same amount of space as the RAM in the VM so thats another 6-8GB gone. leaving only 75 for SBS. So I made a fixed size disk of 70GB for now (this is a test setup BTW).

Is 70-75 suitable for a production box with all data on another drive?

Should VHD be on seperate partition and or seperate physical drive for performance?

Is there an advantage to using a physical partition in the VM over a VHD?

Philip Elder Cluster MVP said...


More spindles is better!

In your case, I would install the Host OS onto the RAID 1 in the following partition scheme:
C: 110GB (OS)
S: 36GB (Dedicated Swap File Part.)

The RAID 0+1 array would be setup as follows:

L: 292GB (Drive letter high to reduce the possiblity of interference with network drive letters, USB hard drives, etc.)

I would put the VHDs into a folder on the dedicated spindle set partitioned with L:.

This will give the OS and Swap its own spindle set and the virtual machines a high performance spindle set all to itself.

For the SBS VM:
C: 60GB (remember 60GB min)
S: 20GB (Swap File)
L: 100GB (Data, Exchange, WSUS, etc)

You could get away with 36-50GB VHDs setup for your Vista and XP guests depending on what you are doing with them.

If you need to store your ISOs locally, they can go on the C: OS partition into a folder called ISOs or the like.

A VHD will always be used for your guest OSs. The Hyper-V setup does not allow for physical drive access as I understand things.

Thanks for the questions!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great answers!

I like your proposed setup. Yes I have all ISO on one of the drives, including one with printer drivers, BPA, USB over Net setup files etc for SBS.

Looks like I'll need to add 2 more drives to the RAID10 but thats no biggie.

A couple more quick questions while we are on the topic, I've heard that NTFS drives perform best with 40% free space, with a noticable dropoff in performance when you get below 30% and 20%. If you fill a physical drive with VHD does this performance hit also apply?
(part b) does it apply to VHDs themselves?

How do you decide the swap file partition size? Is it related to RAM size? Just wondering why only 20GB for SBS and 36GB for the host.

Would it make sense to have the swap drives on opposite arrays, ie. the host swap partition on the RAID 10 and the SBS Swap VHD on the RAID1?

60GB is the minimum for SBS, is there an unofficial recommended size?

Sorry I seem to be taking up a lot of your time lately, I'll bite my tongue for a while. I did ask on the SBS 2008 NG but got nothing.

BTW in Hyper-V there does appear to be an option to select either a Virtual or a Physical Hard Disk.

Philip Elder Cluster MVP said...


NTFS performs fine.

Our experience is the bottleneck tends to be the drives themselves. Systems today are more than capable of handling the data throughput a multi-spindle RAID 0+1 PCI-E 8x or 4x bus setup can throw at it.

If you already have 6 drives in the system, 2@ RAID 1, 4@ RAID 0+1 then you are good to go with the suggested configuration.

Our Swap file is 1.5x for 32bit and 2.0 to 2.5x for 64bit the total RAM installed in the system. Over 8GB of system RAM, and you will need to tailor the host swap file according to your experiences.

Keep in mind you do not want any swapping going on in the host. That is why we have all that RAM.

You want your VHDs on the fastest possible spindle set and that is the RAID 0+1. Your host only needs the spindles to boot from then the occasional read/write depending on configuration. So the host only needs the RAID 1 array.

For a VM, you could get away with 60GB total for everything then tack on another VHD to set your swap and data partitions on in the 30-60GB range.

Hyper-V is VHD only.


Anonymous said...

Thanks again.

I found some Hyper-V best practice tip on the Infrastructure blog that may be of interest.

Tips for Physical Machines

Tips for Virtual Machines