Saturday 6 February 2016

Hyper-V Virtualization 101: Some Basics Around Hyper-V Setups

Here are some pearls learned over our years working with Hyper-V:
  • Host/Node Setup
    • Make sure the host and all nodes in a cluster have the BIOS Settings identical (All settings)
    • Leave ~1GB to 1.5GB physical RAM to the host
    • We leave 1.5GB of space on a dedicated to VM LUN
    • We leave ~50GB to ~100GB of free space on a shared LUN/Partition
    • We set the MiniDump option and lock the swap file down to 840MB
      • wmic RECOVEROS set DebugInfoType = 3
    • Always set up a standalone host with two partitions: OS and Data
  • Hyper-V
    • Hyper-V lays out a file equivalent in size to the vRAM assigned to VMs. We must have space for them.
    • Snapshots/CheckPoints create differencing disks. These _grow_ over time.
    • Deleting Snapshots/CheckPoints requires enough free space to create an entirely new Parent VHDX.
    • vRAM assigned to the VM should not traverse NUMA nodes (performance) (more on hardware).
    • vCPUs = Threads in CPU and must be processed in parallel thus # physical cores - 1 is best.
    • GHz is preferred over CPU Core counts for most workloads.
  • Storage
    • Be aware of the IOPS required to run _all_ workloads on the host/nodes.
    • More smaller sized spindles is better than less larger size spindles = More IOPS.
    • 10GbE should be the minimum bandwidth considered for any iSCSI deployments.
    • At least _two_ 10GbE switches are mandatory for the storage path
  • Networking
    • Broadcom physical NIC ports must always have VMQ turned off (blog post)
    • We prefer to use Intel Gigabit and 10Gb Ethernet Server Adapters
    • We start with a minumum of 4 physical ports in our hosts/nodes
  • UPS Systems
    • UPS Systems should have at least 1-1.5 Hours of runtime.
    • Host/Nodes and storage should be tested for shutdown durations.

There are quite a lot of these types of posts on our blog. Please click through the category tags to find more!

Thanks for reading.

Philip Elder
Microsoft High Availability MVP
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

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