Build an Affordable Virtualization Server for Thin-Client Computing
Ample storage is a must when hosting a multitude of virtual PCs. In the enterprise, that storage would come from a SAN or an array. With our focus being on the small business segment, we chose to go with internal storage.
We needed ample capacity, along with adequate speed and low power usage. With so many choices on the market, it was hard to find an ideal balance, but with the idea that bigger is always better, we chose a Western Digital "GreenPower" Caviar Hard Disk drive with 1TB of capacity.
One could argue that's excessive capacity for our goal, but the simple fact is that VHDs (virtual hard drives) grow exponentially and most administrators would prefer to have additional capacity to configure many different versions of a virtual PC.
The 7200RPM WD10EACS offers a SATA 3G-bps transfer rate, uses less than 8 watts of power and runs cooler and quieter than previous generation drives. Although the Caviar series of drives are aimed at desktop users, the low cost (under $180) and low power usage make the drives very attractive for a small business server. At such a low cost, system builders may want to consider installing a pair of drives and using mirroring to protect the data and further increase throughput.