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QProf
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Local datastore storage add

Here is my situation (new at this stuff, so hopefully more info will help with answered help.... question I need help with below.

My whitebox server hardware:

Server hardware: Asus P6T, i7 920, 12 Gig RAM, Intel Pro1000 PT Quad Ethernet card, 3ware 9650SE 12ML ( I am looking into getting battery back-up just in case the powersuppy goes as I realize tht UPS is not a complete solution - right?) with 8 1.5 TB SATA Green drives in a Raid 6 array giving me about 8+ TB with one hotspare all housed (I know raid 10 is more favored for speed, but this raid card recieved a pretty good speed in testing, so I am going to try it first) in a NORCO RPC-4220 4U Rackmount Server Chassis. I also have a 500 GB SATA drive which will hold the ESXi and installed virtual machines. Network includes a Netgear Prosafe FVS336G Firewall, Netgear GS724Tv ProSafe 24-Port Gigabit Managed Switch on a dhcp cable modem internet

service provider.

My set-up:

Esxi 4.1 is installed and working. I have installed three operating systems - ubuntu, MS windows server 08, MS windows XP. I have auto carved the array into 2 TB chunks, and want to add them to Esxi. I know that there is a debate on not using esxi to extend the Luns together, but I have read that if they are on the same spindle (array) if one disk goes the array still will hold together as I have failure protection of two disks and hot spare ready to go.

I am going to set-up some team nics once I get this storage server in place to spread the load of the esxi host, storage, and later web server (something for another discussion once I get the add storage issue resolved first (I think).

How to add storage, this is new to me and I need some help here:

I can see all the datastore luns when I go to the configuration tab, then select storage in the left column then select add storage. I select network file system (nfs later to have a xfs file system).

  • The first properties page comes up, and I am not sure what to put down for Server:??? what do I put here... the .com address I have set-up with Ddns, or do I put my actual numbered address location (which is the same as the esxi server because it is a local disk array)?

  • The next is the folder... that implies that it has already been formated and a folder has been put on that Lun.... so is that what I have to do first before adding datastore luns? and if so what do I use to see and format the disk and what folder location do I choose/set-up?

  • What does the checkmark box Mount NFS read only mean??

  • Datastore name... do I put the name that I seen which esxi sees (if I select the other option when I select "Disk/Lun" instead of Network File System)?

I am stuck at this point, and not sure what to fill in here. I want to install openfiler and use the Luns with 2 extents to make a 4 gig location (or should I just leave separated, even though my point above suggest otherwise) as the storage location and be able to access it from the virtual operating systems that I have installed and also from local networked computers, and later set-up to access over the internet portions/folders of that storage. I understand there are many ways to set-up configurations, and this is why I have tried to give as much info as I could in order that someone can give me some answers to above issues, direct examples and/or suggestions.

Also, is there any other major issues I need to look into after I get this set-up? I know I will have to work on setting up my quad network ports for teaming, anything else?

Q-Prof, "Quality of life is too valuable to take short cuts. By constantly improving our habits and striving to do our best, will dramatically improve the quality of our lives"
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idle-jam
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If it's a local storage it should be Disk/Lun. If vsphere detect the LUN you will then be next prompted to format it. Btw. You need it to be 2TB - 512KB per LUN size.

also NFS is only applicable if you have a NFS server with storage attached externally, that is why you're being prompted with so many parameters for connecting it.


iDLE-jAM | VCP 2, VCP 3 & VCP 4

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idle-jam
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On the storage - What is the brand/model of your storage? it's an iSCSI or NFS or local HDD storage?

On the network - http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=100408...


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QProf
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It is a local bank of hard drives SATA on a 3ware 9650SE set-up on an array raid 6 with autocarving into 2 TB chunks. At this point I have not done anything else to them and I can see them if I go to the configuration tab, select storage in the left column, then add storage link at the top, then select from the two options Disk/Lun or Network File System. I want to do NFS as I have read this is suggested.

Q-Prof, "Quality of life is too valuable to take short cuts. By constantly improving our habits and striving to do our best, will dramatically improve the quality of our lives"
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idle-jam
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If it's a local storage it should be Disk/Lun. If vsphere detect the LUN you will then be next prompted to format it. Btw. You need it to be 2TB - 512KB per LUN size.

also NFS is only applicable if you have a NFS server with storage attached externally, that is why you're being prompted with so many parameters for connecting it.


iDLE-jAM | VCP 2, VCP 3 & VCP 4

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QProf
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Thanks , that helps out a lot! That makes more sense about the nfs and adding datastores locally.

So I will then select the the Disk/Lun and that should work. The Luns were already chopped up into 2 TB chunks using the autocarving configuration on the raid card when I created the raid 6 array, so that should be good.

I know extents is not favored, i.e. adding luns to make a bigger datastore location as to reduce the number of drive letters, but as I mentioned above I read that if it is on the same spindle array, it shouldn't be a problem and that the best place to put the 2TB luns together is in Esxi using remote vsphere client. Here is the link I read this from: Getting ESX to recognize large arrays - what are your thoughts on this idle-jam?

Q-Prof, "Quality of life is too valuable to take short cuts. By constantly improving our habits and striving to do our best, will dramatically improve the quality of our lives"
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idle-jam
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The LUN is not equal to the Drive letter as we what know in the Windows World. In vSphere a LUN, after formatted it will be called Datastore. Inside the datastore we will then create VMDK (virtual machine disk) for the virtual machine usage as drive letter.

My advise is do away with extends and modifications to recognize large drive volume. Reason is that it gives you a strong foundation and it would make your life much much easier when you choose to upgrade in future (lesser things to worry about).

If does not make sense to do extend as it would incur additional risk (ie, if a single LUN is corrupted, there goes all the spanned LUN). You can have multiple datastore of 2TB-512KB (the max without without modification). and then create multiple datastore. from there when you create VMDKs (max 2TB), then you will randomly place them across different datastores.


iDLE-jAM | VCP 2, VCP 3 & VCP 4

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QProf
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Thanks for the quick explanation. I have been reading both ways of doing it, but based on your experience and makes sense what you are saying as I am following it. So I'll live with the VMDK's as is sounds a lot safer risk wise, easier for future. Thanks for the help again!

Q-Prof, "Quality of life is too valuable to take short cuts. By constantly improving our habits and striving to do our best, will dramatically improve the quality of our lives"
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