I'm building a new server. The purpose of this new machine is as a VM host. Previously we had several desktop-class machines masquerading as servers, and I aim to change all that. What I don't have (yet) is anything like a SAN. This server and the VMs that it hosts will all live on drives installed directly in the server — 8 of them with 250GB each, to be precise.
The server itself is an IBM x3620 M3 and will initially have 1 X5650 processor and 12GB RAM with an m5015 RAID controller. I'm going with Server 2008 R2 + Hyper-V for the bare metal, as we have one other system right now that already uses this. It's a two-socket server, so if cpu or memory load start to become a problem I can add more ram or another processor later.
I'm expecting to host 2 VMs initially, with as many as 3 more moving to this server over the next year. Both initial VMs are essentially web servers (both internal-facing, so limited load). The other three candidates include my domain controller (a real server, but it's six years old), my SUS/reporting server, and an "IT" server that doesn't have any real load; we use it for testing and other things and it sits mostly idle.
So, I have 8 drives. What strategy should I use to allocate them? One big 10 array? RAID 1 for the host OS, with something else for the guests? The 8 drives max out the available space in the server. Any thoughts appreciated.