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VMWare vSphere4 - esx3.5 - MD1000 - Configuration suggestions

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Colleagues,

Fairly new to this area and after some suggestions - have a Dell PE2900 host running esx 3.5 / VMWare (currently with six virtual machines running Windows Server 2003 and 2008 R2). Attached to this is a Dell MD1000 (via PERC 6/E adapter) fully populated with 1 TB drives under RAID 5 giving a combined storage of around 12TB.

I am aware of the 2TB limit for virtual disks but was hoping to find some way to present some of this storage as a 8TB "chunk" for use as a storage area for video / mulitmedia resources (e.g. hopefully presented as a mapped drive).

So far have tried:-

  • Creating a 8TB RAID 5 group from OpenManage - unable to see this correctly in vSphere due to 2TB limit on disks
  • Created several 1.9 TB RAID groups and joined these together using extents - unable to assign as a "drive" in vSphere due to 2TB limit.

Is there any way of doing this under the current configuration ? Upgrade of OS / software not currently possible 😞

Your suggestions greatly accepted!

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Immortal
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If I go into properties of one of the VMs on this host and try to create a 4TB disk I hit the 2TB virtual disk limit. Happy to accept this is the limit under my configuration, but is there any way to "stitch" these 2TB virtual disks together ?


With Windows a solution could also be use Dynanic Disks to create a bigger volume.

Andre

Andre | http://about.me/amauro | http://vinfrastructure.it/ | @Andrea_Mauro

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Immortal
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Welcome to the community.

The PERC works with RAID group and Virtual Disk.

You can have a single (or two) RAID group also larger than 2 TB.

But be really sure that each VD is smaller than 2TB + 512B.

Then boot your host and make a configuration / storage / add new storage

Andre | http://about.me/amauro | http://vinfrastructure.it/ | @Andrea_Mauro
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Thanks for the reply Andre,

Sorry but I may have missed the obvious here -

I have created the RAID groups, then configured new storage to create a Datastore larger than 2 TB (let's say 4TB) - how do I present this to clients attaching to the host as one block of storage (i.e. it would be preferred if a client PC was able to simply "see" a 4TB mapped network drive on a VM or something similar)?

If I go into properties of one of the VMs on this host and try to create a 4TB disk I hit the 2TB virtual disk limit. Happy to accept this is the limit under my configuration, but is there any way to "stitch" these 2TB virtual disks together ?

Thanks.

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Immortal
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You are stuck with the 2TB limit on disks but you can use whatever facility within the OS to either "stitch" the disks  together. Mount points in Windows or Linux will work.

If ESXi is installed on something other than what is attached to the Perc controller you could try passthrough to attach the MD1000 to a VM like openfiler or freeNAS. You could then use iSCSI to present a large LUN to a virtual machine directly within the OS.

-- David -- VMware Communities Moderator
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Immortal
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If I go into properties of one of the VMs on this host and try to create a 4TB disk I hit the 2TB virtual disk limit. Happy to accept this is the limit under my configuration, but is there any way to "stitch" these 2TB virtual disks together ?


With Windows a solution could also be use Dynanic Disks to create a bigger volume.

Andre

Andre | http://about.me/amauro | http://vinfrastructure.it/ | @Andrea_Mauro

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Thanks for the suggestions I appreciate your thoughts.

At this stage we have decided to go with the Dynamic Disks idea, created several VHDs, presented these to a VM and then used the Dynamic Disks Spanned Volume wizard to link them together.

I am running some tests with IOmeter today to see what sort of performance we can achieve with this configuration.

Thanks again Dstavert and Andre.

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Hi,

Just as a follow-up, dynamic disks seem to be performing well, no issues encountered in testing and will shortly release to production clients for use.

Thanks.

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Sorry to anyone following this post, have been sidetracked in another role. Unfortunately this was not resolved in my case as our ICT Unit converted all over to Hyper-V before resolution. Thanks to all those contributing.

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