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I'm looking at getting a Raid Enclosure for running vm's on. I have noticed that the ones that I have found, only have 1 sata port on the back of them. I'm going to be running the hard drives in this enclosure in RAID 0. Would this 1 sata port be a performance bottleneck when running the vm's? I will also be getting 3 - 4 250gb 7200rpm drives, and running 6 - 8 vm's on the machine. I can't have an internal setup because the computer only has 1 hard drive bay.

Basically I'm going to have a test environment. There will be a Domain Controller server running AD, DNS, DHCP, and will have a couple user accounts. Then I will have a Windows Deployment Server, Configuration Manager Server, exchange server, and any other server to test and learn how to use. Those servers will probably not be running at the same time unless there is a good reason to do so. Then the rest will be dummy win7 machines, to verify servers are running and doing what they are suppose to do. I'm trying to prepare for microsoft certifications and implement new solutions into my work environment if they work out.

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The single port will be a bottleneck. Some VMs may require more or less I/O so more info is needed.

While not as neat as one array, I have used eSATA RAID 1 drives from Western Digital to run multiple VMs. One external eSATA device per VM. USB 3.0 devices would work as well.

Not ideal but it works well for teh VMs I have been running

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I currently use a CFI A7879 Mini-ITX Server Case.

This case supports up to four 3.5" hard drives and one 2.5" SSD/hard drive. This chassis only support ITX boards. I use a Intel Atom based board, which works fine for Windows Server 2008 R2 but obviously won't support Hyper-V. Depending on how you set this up:

  1. You either want to go with the most powerful ITX board you can find (make sure it has enough SATA ports) so you can run some type of visualization software on it.
  2. Only use it for storage by setting up iSCSI targets and then keeping your VMs on it and using something like VirtualBox to connect to the VMs. Make sure you have a Gigabit connection too.
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