Monday, September 26, 2011

Virtual Hard Disk

There is one feature that bring into my attention in the Microsoft HYPER-V, in the standard virtualization environment. I think some of you might hear about static disk or thin disk provisioning.

Microsoft did a good job in introducing a new type of disk which they called differing disk. Microsoft HYPER-V use the virtual hard drive or VHD to store virtual machine data.The disk can be created in a very simple environment or in a very complex environment.To give you an idea , do have a look in the figure as below:


The main problem on this type of deployment, it is very hard for you to identified which is the differencing disk or the normal disk and the best practice, those disk need to be name with a meaningful name.

I see this feature is good for deployment of QA server or development. You can quickly setup a new instance within a minutes.

The step below show you how to configure a differencing disk.

Requirement: You must have a base Operating system installed.

Step 1:

Step 2:

Step 3: 
Key in a new name for your new disk

Step 4:
Locate the existing base that you will like to use

Step 5:

Please take note that , the base disk need to be set read only to avoid any alteration from the child disk and also make sure you do backup the base operating system VHD.If not you will get error message as below.
When you do hit to the screen as above you will have 2 option which will help you to reconnect it back to the base disk.
1)Inspect disk
2)edit disk

So my recommendation is do not use use this for production environment especially on the cluster environment as this might impact the performance.As I do mention it is good for DEV or QA. Once you are comfortable with the machine you can convert the disk into dynamic or fixed disk.

The step above will show you the steps.
Step 1:


Step 2:

Step 3:

Step 4:

Step 5:
 

After you have convert the disk to a fixed or dynamic disk, make sure you configure you VM to locate the new VHD.

You can see deploying a test server within few clicks:).

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