Virtual Machine Guest adding data storage

We are running vSphere ESXi 4.1, we have two physical NICS connected to seperate network to our iSCSI EMC SAN. We currently have three 400 GB datastores setup.

We are building a SQL server running Windows 2008 R2. What is the best option for database storage.

Should you create s second hard drive and have it point to the same data store that VM is using?

Or, is there a way to setup an iSCSI initiator and point to an ISCSI LUN on the SAN specifically setup for the databse for this server? This is how we have our physical SQL servers setup now? If this is possible how do you set this up, so the VM Guest OS can see this ISCSI LUN that is on a seperate network from VM's?

What is the best practice solution for this scenario?



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You have a couple of options here:

1) Create a virtual machine port group on the iSCSI vSwitch, create a virtual NIC for the SQL Server on that vSwitch and then configure the iSCSI initiator within the guest OS to connect to your storage. With this setup you'll mirror what you have with your physical SQL Server, but the downside is that the VM has access to the storage network.

2) Use a Raw Device Mapping - with a RDM the VM will have direct access to the iSCSI LUN (i.e. the VM formats the LUN NTFS) but the VM doesn't require access to the iSCSI network for this. If you need to you can easily reassign the LUN to a physical host.


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