Best Practices To Setup XEN Running On CentOS 6.4

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I’m looking for advice on the best way to setup the guest disks on a single-server XEN system running on a CentOS 6.4 fresh minimal install as the dom0.

I currently have a system running a traditional VHD disk image for each guest but I’m having disk I/O difficulties and I am looking to optimize it the best way I can. The host disks are two classic 500GB SATA-III┬ádrives running in software RAID.

My question is what is the best way to set this type of system up? Using the VHD disks or a dedicated LVM partition?

Ideally the host will run a few VM’s, development, MySQL/Memcached, and Web Server utilities.

My current planned disk layout is to have a host system running a raid’d root 20GB partition, leaving the rest for VM’s. Should the remaining block be a complete LVM device and carve that up for VM’s, or is there a better “accepted practice” for a setup like this?