7 Replies Latest reply on Dec 8, 2016 3:06 PM by housecall5

    Can adding drives to create a SAN

    housecall5 Lurker

      Want to add 8 drives to an already existing ESXi host machine and set it up as a separate raid for use as a SAN.

      Assuming we do set up the 2nd raid successfully on the server (I don't think this would be a problem), generally speaking, we should be able to see the new array in vSphere and use it as a SAN, correct?

      Do you have any helpful hints or tips to help me accomplish this?   [ We have ESXi 5.5.0 .  It is a lone host, so no VCenter server has been installed... only VSphere.]

      Thanks for your time.

        • 1. Re: Can adding drives to create a SAN
          RAJ_RAJ Expert
          vExpert

          Hi ,

           

          add 8 drives to an already existing ESXi host machine and set it up as a separate raid for use as a SAN.


          If the Server and Raid Controller is supporting then you can configure new raid  and use the Raid Disk as new Data store


          new array in vSphere and use it as a SAN, correct?


          SAN - Storage Area Network  and it will be configured with help of Storage array (physical / virtual ) , and the RAID Locally Configured will work as Direct Attached storage

          and you can use that in your ESXi host as Local Data store

          RAJESH RADHAKRISHNAN
          VCA -DCV/WM/Cloud,VCP 5 - DCV/DT/CLOUD, ,VCP6-DCV, EMCISA,EMCSA,MCTS,MCPS,BCFA
          https://ae.linkedin.com/in/rajesh-radhakrishnan-76269335
          Mark my post as "helpful" or "correct" if I've helped resolve or answered your query!
          • 2. Re: Can adding drives to create a SAN
            housecall5 Lurker

            Thank you for the response! I appreciate it.

            Assuming we create the new raid disk, and assuming we see it as a new data store in VSphere,  we would want to put all the company file shares on it. (For about 125 people).  No VM's would go on this new data store.

            We would have a Windows Server, acting as a file server, use this data store.

            At least that is the plan. This will work, right?  Would we have to format the new raid disk with NFS or VMFS?

            • 3. Re: Can adding drives to create a SAN
              RAJ_RAJ Expert
              vExpert

              you can use as vmfs and from there you can create a virtual disk and assign to vm for file share .

               

              but it is recommend to use storage for this . not local data store

              RAJESH RADHAKRISHNAN
              VCA -DCV/WM/Cloud,VCP 5 - DCV/DT/CLOUD, ,VCP6-DCV, EMCISA,EMCSA,MCTS,MCPS,BCFA
              https://ae.linkedin.com/in/rajesh-radhakrishnan-76269335
              Mark my post as "helpful" or "correct" if I've helped resolve or answered your query!
              • 4. Re: Can adding drives to create a SAN
                thecloudxpert Enthusiast
                vExpert

                I'm not even sure why you would attempt to do this. 

                 

                Is the target host apart of a Cluster or is it just standalone?  I'm trying to understand why you would put 8 disks in a single host to use as a file server which will effectively be a single point of failure as you will not be able to move the data easily form the host in the event of a problem.  What is the availability requirement, rpo and rto of the data?

                 

                But let's park that for a moment.

                 

                If you configure a hardware raid setup for the new 8 disks then assuming the Windows Server you are using as a file server is a virtual machine on the target host you can either use an RDM or create a VMFS datastore on the disk and use a VMDK attached to the windows server to create sufficient space for the file server.  If you are suggesting that you are going to use the target host as some sort of storage server AND a VMware host then as far as i no that wouldn't be support (nor would could i work out how you would do it).

                • 5. Re: Can adding drives to create a SAN
                  housecall5 Lurker

                   

                  I think we are on the same page.  One raid currently houses EXSi and VM’s.  I am entertaining the possibility of adding more disks to this server --the server has plenty of open slots--and creating a 2nd raid to be used as storage for network shares. This is a totally stand alone VMware host.

                   

                  I now understand it is not recommended… But what are the chances of this working well enough?  Poor change, fair chance, or good chance?

                   

                  Thank you Thecloudxpert and Raj_Raj

                   

                  (Of course the reason to consider all kinds of possibilities like this in the work place is the need to upgrade while not spend money. We have had a lot of “luck” here in that things just keep working.  Our single domain controller is an old Windows 2000 server—been running for nearly 16 years with no problem. Dangerous… we know. Yet we have to do what we have to do, and use what we have to use.)

                   

                  • 6. Re: Can adding drives to create a SAN
                    thecloudxpert Enthusiast
                    vExpert

                    I'm still unsure how you plan to expose/export the new storage to a server that is not a VM on the same host.

                     

                    For iSCSI or NFS you would need something installed to act as the NFS server or iSCSI initiator (i.e. some sort of OS) as well as dedicated network connections that were not allocated to VMware as access ports into the host.

                     

                    Just because you can fit another 8 drives into the server doesn't mean you should and maybe a NAS chassis with your 8 drives would be a more robust solution.

                    • 7. Re: Can adding drives to create a SAN
                      housecall5 Lurker

                      Any one else have any info that might help in getting this to work?