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Installing SBS 2003 in Virtual Server 2005 - Installed onto a WHS share or it's own non-share hard drive? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I know it works (I just finished testing it), but I'm unsure where I should be installing the VHD's from Virtual Server 2005. I can install them onto a share, or I can add a new hard drive and not include it in the WHS storage pool.

    I understand that installing a disk and not using the storage pool is probably the best idea... but it's not ideal in for me. I don't want to use 1 of the 4 hard drive slots on my EX470 just to store a hard drive for my Virtual Server OS.

    I'm only installing SBS 2003 for the exchange server it comes included with. Exchange Server won't really work with WHS, and although you can get it working, it isn't worth all the work and effort. I'm only using Exchange Server so I can sync my Outlook data (not email... only Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, and Notes) between my two computers and my mobile phone. Yes... a totally overkill setup for something so simple... but it works and I'm happy with the results.

    That all being said, would there be much downside to running my Virtual Server VHD files on a WHS share? From my testing, my VHD file for my SBS 2003 was about 8GB. It's only going to be me and my girlfriend accessing Exchange Server, so it won't be seeing much of a load and there shouldn't be too much reading/writing going on.

    In the future, I may also use the Sharepoint Server that comes with SBS2003 as well. I actually got Sharepoint 3.0 working on my WHS machine a while ago when I was working on a business with a partner of mine. While I got it working on WHS, WHS isn't the ideal place for it. Now that I'll be running SBS 2003, I will use that as my sharepoint server. So that is something else to consider when it comes to how I will be using everything.

    Why is it such a bad idea to install a VHD file in a share on the WHS? Does it have to do with WHS balancing the hard drives? WHS will contstantly be moving around the data from the VHD files?

    I'd hate to waste an entire drive for something as simple as I'm doing... but if it's the right way to do it, I will.
    Sunday, October 4, 2009 10:03 AM

Answers

  • Thank you for taking the time to reply.

    So I can do one of two things:

    1.) Install a drive and add it to the storage pool, then create a folder on the root of the D: drive and install my VHD file there.

    2.) Install a hard drive and not include it in the storage pool. I can make the drive a E: drive and use it only for my VHD file.

    2 sounds like the best option... but I'll be losing the 1 hard drive slot from my WHS and my total possible storage decreases. But at least with that option I have the potential for fewer errors.

    I understand my EX470 is pretty week for this type of setup. I upgraded the memory to 2GB 2 or so years ago when I first got the server. I upgraded the processor a while ago but wasn't happy about the heat it generated and read of numerous people having trouble with upgrading a processor (LE-1640). Because of that, I went back to my original processor. It's not fast, but it should work for my setup.

    SBS 2003 requires a minimum of 512MB of memory. I setup Virtual Server 2005 to give SBS 2003 512MB of memory and to use no more then 50% of the processor. While installing SBS 2003 takes a long time (including updates, about 3-4 hours). But once fully installed, everything seems to work fine. Exchange syncs my data without slowdown, and accessing Sharepoint 2.0 via my WHS domain is quick as well. Since it's only being used by 2 people, I don't see it as being a problem.

    I also understand that what I'm running isn't approved or supported by Microsoft. But I love my home server, and would love to have exchange activesync support. Instead of wasting money (both in building and future electricity costs) and time building a server just for SBS 2003, I can run this on my WHS.

    Just so I know, what's the downside to having WHS' drive extender moving around my VHD file?

    It won't "move it around" unless necessary.  However, assuming you leave your VM running 24/7, you will get File Conflict errors due to the file being left open.

    It could cause some slowdown always moving around a large file right? What other types of conflicts could I be looking at? Corruption?
    Anything is possible.

    In any event, as Ken said, go with option 2.
    • Proposed as answer by kariya21Moderator Sunday, October 4, 2009 7:15 PM
    • Marked as answer by Sheekamoo Sunday, October 4, 2009 10:50 PM
    Sunday, October 4, 2009 7:14 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Besides the fact, that the HP EX470 is too weak for hosting a virtual server machine (CPU wise and memory wise) putting stuff to a shared folder would cause potential conflicts with drive extender on long term. Definitively, if duplication is on for that share, but also, if the disk containing the VHD runs on its limit and Drive Extender attempts to relocate the file.

    If you think you want to use a disk in the storage pool anyway, a separate folder in the root of drive D: should be the target.

    Short term - its unsupported, it may break anytime (especially after upgrades), its not recommended by me - but may work anyway for a while.

    Best greetings from Germany
    Olaf
    Sunday, October 4, 2009 11:12 AM
    Moderator
  • Thank you for taking the time to reply.

    So I can do one of two things:

    1.) Install a drive and add it to the storage pool, then create a folder on the root of the D: drive and install my VHD file there.

    2.) Install a hard drive and not include it in the storage pool. I can make the drive a E: drive and use it only for my VHD file.

    2 sounds like the best option... but I'll be losing the 1 hard drive slot from my WHS and my total possible storage decreases. But at least with that option I have the potential for fewer errors.

    I understand my EX470 is pretty week for this type of setup. I upgraded the memory to 2GB 2 or so years ago when I first got the server. I upgraded the processor a while ago but wasn't happy about the heat it generated and read of numerous people having trouble with upgrading a processor (LE-1640). Because of that, I went back to my original processor. It's not fast, but it should work for my setup.

    SBS 2003 requires a minimum of 512MB of memory. I setup Virtual Server 2005 to give SBS 2003 512MB of memory and to use no more then 50% of the processor. While installing SBS 2003 takes a long time (including updates, about 3-4 hours). But once fully installed, everything seems to work fine. Exchange syncs my data without slowdown, and accessing Sharepoint 2.0 via my WHS domain is quick as well. Since it's only being used by 2 people, I don't see it as being a problem.

    I also understand that what I'm running isn't approved or supported by Microsoft. But I love my home server, and would love to have exchange activesync support. Instead of wasting money (both in building and future electricity costs) and time building a server just for SBS 2003, I can run this on my WHS.

    Just so I know, what's the downside to having WHS' drive extender moving around my VHD file? It could cause some slowdown always moving around a large file right? What other types of conflicts could I be looking at? Corruption?
    Sunday, October 4, 2009 11:30 AM
  • You want option 2. You can connect the disk internally, or via eSATA (there's an eSATA port on the back of the EX470). Using USB isn't recommended.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Sunday, October 4, 2009 1:27 PM
    Moderator
  • Thank you for taking the time to reply.

    So I can do one of two things:

    1.) Install a drive and add it to the storage pool, then create a folder on the root of the D: drive and install my VHD file there.

    2.) Install a hard drive and not include it in the storage pool. I can make the drive a E: drive and use it only for my VHD file.

    2 sounds like the best option... but I'll be losing the 1 hard drive slot from my WHS and my total possible storage decreases. But at least with that option I have the potential for fewer errors.

    I understand my EX470 is pretty week for this type of setup. I upgraded the memory to 2GB 2 or so years ago when I first got the server. I upgraded the processor a while ago but wasn't happy about the heat it generated and read of numerous people having trouble with upgrading a processor (LE-1640). Because of that, I went back to my original processor. It's not fast, but it should work for my setup.

    SBS 2003 requires a minimum of 512MB of memory. I setup Virtual Server 2005 to give SBS 2003 512MB of memory and to use no more then 50% of the processor. While installing SBS 2003 takes a long time (including updates, about 3-4 hours). But once fully installed, everything seems to work fine. Exchange syncs my data without slowdown, and accessing Sharepoint 2.0 via my WHS domain is quick as well. Since it's only being used by 2 people, I don't see it as being a problem.

    I also understand that what I'm running isn't approved or supported by Microsoft. But I love my home server, and would love to have exchange activesync support. Instead of wasting money (both in building and future electricity costs) and time building a server just for SBS 2003, I can run this on my WHS.

    Just so I know, what's the downside to having WHS' drive extender moving around my VHD file?

    It won't "move it around" unless necessary.  However, assuming you leave your VM running 24/7, you will get File Conflict errors due to the file being left open.

    It could cause some slowdown always moving around a large file right? What other types of conflicts could I be looking at? Corruption?
    Anything is possible.

    In any event, as Ken said, go with option 2.
    • Proposed as answer by kariya21Moderator Sunday, October 4, 2009 7:15 PM
    • Marked as answer by Sheekamoo Sunday, October 4, 2009 10:50 PM
    Sunday, October 4, 2009 7:14 PM
    Moderator