Question

Single larger drive or several smaller drives attached to VM?

  • 9 October 2019
  • 4 replies
  • 2466 views

We are in the process of setting up a new fileserver using AHV and Windows 2019. Our current physical server has one larger 2TB drive letter for all file storage with 3-4 various shares. My question is would it make any difference to keep this same setup with AHV, 2TB drive attached to the VM for storage for files, or would it be better to have 2-3 smaller attached storage drives?

4 replies

Userlevel 3
Badge +5
Hi @willw

Maybe a good idea is to create multiple smaller drives, one per share, since depending of the file server I/O demand, the random write buffer can be saturated.

We have a best practices document where we recommend separate drives for a SQL Server that you maybe can take a look to understand the recommendation: https://portal.nutanix.com/#/page/solutions/details?targetId=BP-2015-Microsoft-SQL-Server:BP-2015-Microsoft-SQL-Server

Also, did you considered the use of Nutanix Files to replace the file server on Windows Server?
Hi @willw

Maybe a good idea is to create multiple smaller drives, one per share, since depending of the file server I/O demand, the random write buffer can be saturated.

We have a best practices document where we recommend separate drives for a SQL Server that you maybe can take a look to understand the recommendation: https://portal.nutanix.com/#/page/solutions/details?targetId=BP-2015-Microsoft-SQL-Server:BP-2015-Microsoft-SQL-Server
Also, did you considered the use of Nutanix Files to replace the file server on Windows Server?



Thanks @RichardsonPorto

So yes I have looked at files several times. My only hold up is that I only have a hundred or so people connecting to our fileserver. We are not a big environment. But I have liked what I see about files. Especially with the new analytics and reporting.

My question is would it be overkill for my needs? It would spin up 3 vms, 12GB RAM each, and be a lot more resources than I have now in a Windows filesever. I was looking at this but I just think it would be more than I need

Open to any thoughts on this?
Userlevel 3
Badge +3

@willw  on the top of what what was said and pointed by @RichardsonPorto  about the performance and what you found out regarding Files analytics, “Redundancy” is something you can count on with Files. If you are using distributed shares for user home folders and one FSVM goes down there won’t be a loss of “Service” like it could be the case for Windows file server.

 

Also, with Windows file server you will need to bring down the server for “updates and patching”, with Files no downtime. 

 

Another feature is the ability of the cluster to generate alerts  when something is wrong with File servers, with Windows you have to check the event viewer.

Hope these are trades that could make it worth switching to Files.

Userlevel 5
Badge +5

@willw Depending on the requirements and expectations of the setup you could go for a one node FS:

Nutanix Files 3.1 introduced single FSVM deployments intended for one- and two-node Nutanix clusters. You can also have single FSVM deployments for larger clusters with 5.10.1 or later.

Nutanix Files: File Server Virtual Machine 

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