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Old 07-30-2013, 06:51 AM   #1
Registered: Nov 2007
Location: India
Distribution: Debian Stable, Debian Testing
Posts: 218

Rep: Reputation: 27
KVM Server Setup Help (HDD Partitioning etc)


I am trying to setup a virtualised environment for deploying client VMs which will mostly be running web applications. I am listing out the plan here, i am hoping to hear from you all on this as i may be missing out on some of the details...

I have the following server:
Server Config:
Processor: 2 x Xeon 6Core
HDD: 2x300GB HDD in RAID 1

I am hoping to hear from you all on what a good hard disk partitioning scheme would be for this scenario, considering that storage is limited. Do i setup LVM or a use a simple scheme where there is one Swap partition (of 24GB ?) and the rest as root / ?

Another query i have is that i have 3 HDDs of 146GB & 2 of 147GB with me in stock, can i use these to two existing 300GB HDDs and get more storage space while still having redundancy through RAID? If so what would the total capacity be?

I am thinking of using KVM. I have used neither KVM not XEN till now, i am hoping to have a setup with GUI tools for deploying and managing VMs. Which tool should i use? I am thinking of using Debian as the base OS, any suggestions would be of great help.

Hope to hear from you all on this.


Last edited by austinium; 07-30-2013 at 06:59 AM.
Old 07-30-2013, 10:03 AM   #2
Registered: Dec 2007
Location: Canada
Distribution: RHEL,Fedora
Posts: 995

Rep: Reputation: 115Reputation: 115
1. stay away from debian, KVM works much better on RHEL/Fedora and the derivatives
2. two disks in raid1 are ok to run an OS, multiple VMs will very quickly saturate the disk subsystem and grind down to a crawl. With additional drives, I'd probably just give each VM a separate 146Gb disk, and rely on backups instead of raid (beggars can't be choosers after all)
Old 07-30-2013, 10:10 AM   #3
Registered: Sep 2012
Distribution: RHEL5/6, CentOS5/6
Posts: 216

Rep: Reputation: 38
Well, quite a few answers to your questions depend on what OS you will use for host and clients.
All info I could find out from your post is you consider KVM or XEN.

I'd recommend using LVM with one volume group (VG) for your host system setup (including LVM partitions for /boot, /, /Swap, whatever you need) and a second VG for your clients.
Install your host OS and add LVM partitions on your second VG for your clients. KVM can mount them straight into your VMs. This gives you a lot of flexibility and performance for the cost of a bit complexity. OF course you could setup separate VGs for every single client as well.
Underneath your LVM layer you may want to add some RAID (10, 5, ...) and if needed you can always just increase your VGs if HDD space gets tight.


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