Stijn17
Contributor
Contributor

Best way to add iSCSI storage to VM Win 2012 R2 File Server

Hi,

First of all I don't know this is the right place to post this question / discussion so I also posted this in the vSphere Storage forum.

We have created a VM with OS Win 2012 R2 to create a file server. We bought a seperate Dell EqualLogic PS4000 iSCSI storage to store the files/folders of the users where I created a volume with a size 2,2TB.

So to be clear the VM server and the files/folders storage are on seperated Dell EqualLogic systems.

I would like to know what is the best way to connect that volume to the VM file server? It also have to be easy if the VM breaks I can connect the storage to another VM.

In my view I see three options:

1. Connect the volume through the Win 2012 R2 iSCSI initiator

2. Connect the volume to the ESxi server and create a datastore of it and attach that to the VM

3. Connect the storage through the ESXi server to the VM with RDM

What is the best practice?

Thanks

4 Replies
ThompsG
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Hi Stijn17,

Firstly best practice changes depending on what engineer you speak to and the the time of the day and whether you spoke to them yesterday or last week Smiley Wink

For me, the best option is option 2 in your list. This encapsulates the data within a VMDK which can be easily moved between VMs and storage (if required) and is transparent from the vSphere client as to what is going on. It also allows you to use all the vSphere features if required or of benefit.

Again, for me, the other solutions hide how the LUN is presented up to this VM and the environment. These options require more than a passing glance to see what is going on here.

Does this help?

Stijn17
Contributor
Contributor

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vishalch
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hi Stijn17

The option number no 2 is best option because you can use the benefits of VMFS datastores and other vSphere feature with this option. So here I agree with ThompsG.

However if you are using vShpere 5.0 or 5.1 then please keep in mind that you cannot create a single vmdk larger than 2 TB.

This limitation is not anymore in vSphere 5.5 and later versions.

Regards

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ThompsG
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Hi Stijn17,

Not 100% sure what you are asking here Smiley Happy

If you are asking should you use ParaVirtual SCSI adapters with this VM then my answer is yes. Back in the dim dark past there were recommendations around not using the ParaVirtual adapter for OS drives and drives with low IO requirements however most of these concerns have been addressed or fallen away with ESXi 5.x and greater. It now boils down to generally two reasons to not use the PVSCSI adapter:

  1. Running a MSCS (Microsoft Clustering) with Windows 2008 or earlier
  2. Running an OS that doesn't support the PVSCSI adapter

Take a look here at this link as well as the person sums things up quite nicely: https://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2014/02/vscsi-controller-choose-performance.html

Kind regards.

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