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I'm about to deploy a Hyper-V Server, that will have 2 local drives: 250GB for VMs, 2TB for Shares.

Does Hyper-V Server (standalone, not as a role) allow you to setup Network Shares? Or will I have to setup a VM with the 2TB drive allocated to it, for setting up the Shares?

If Hyper-V supports Shares, would there be a performance benefit in using it for the Shares?

The Shares will be used by both the VMs on the Hyper-V Server and other Servers within the Network.

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I assume those two "disks" are actually RAID arrays, correct? If not, you should probably consider fixing up your storage situation before getting two far down this road. –  EEAA May 21 '10 at 20:44
    
No, they're single drives. This Hyper-V Server is for development purposes only, all our production servers use SANs for storage. –  Lazlow May 21 '10 at 20:53
    
Okay, good to hear :) –  EEAA May 21 '10 at 20:57
    
I believe this would be a licensing violation. The parent partition on Hyper-V server is only to be used for management of the Hyper-V system. –  MattB May 21 '10 at 21:16
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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Standard practice would be to give the 2TB drive to a virtual machine and create shares at that level.

Performance:

  1. You should not expect any significant performance impact on the Server 2008 R2 version of Microsoft Hyper-V Server.
  2. The original Server 2008 (not R2) version of Hyper-V may noticeably limit file server performance vs. bare metal, particularly when working with large files, because it does not support jumbo frames on virtual network adapters. This is an issue only if the guest machine and its clients are running Vista/Server 2008 or newer, as XP/2003 file servers cannot take advantage of these features anyway.

As MattB pointed out, the "Hyper-V only" versions of Server 2008 and Server 2008 R2 are not licensed for use as anything other than a hypervisor. Even if it is technically possible to create file shares on the host (and I haven't tried), it would not necessarily be legal.

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You can't add the File Server role to the system, but you can setup a file share if you open the firewall up for that. –  MattB May 21 '10 at 21:46
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Well, I don't have much experience with Hyper-V specifically, but generally speaking, aside from a few edge cases where extremely high I/O performance is needed, I always prefer to implement systems as a VM. If you have shares created within the host OS, you won't be able to take advantage of many of the really nice virtualization features such as hardware independence, portability, snapshots, etc. In addition, with these shares on the host OS, you won't be able to throttle and/or limit access to system resources (IO/Memory/CPU/etc.) like you can on a VM.

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