3 Replies Latest reply on May 18, 2012 6:44 PM by saurabhbhattacharya

    Install ESXi and VMs into 'real' volumes

    distributer Novice

      Hi,

       

      first post and start a new discussion, but I tried hard.

      Anyway, is there a way to use proper volumes similar to LVM instead of those .vmdk files?

       

      Looking here for example, they throw straight at your face NO:

      http://communities.vmware.com/thread/194856

       

      The problem is, that I plan to put a filer into a vm and using vmfs for the data would be hmm not so good. I will also look more deply into the boot.cfg and deploy scripts, if one can tweak things but want to ask if there is any guide already?

       

      One thing I think of:

      1. create two independent RAID arrays, one for ESXi and it's 'datastore'/vmdk files and another for the DATA

      2. the DATA array could then be put as PCI passthrough directly to the filer?

       

      Any help welcome

        • 1. Re: Install ESXi and VMs into 'real' volumes
          saurabhbhattacharya Enthusiast

          Hi Welcome Aboard,

           

           

          You can create Hard disks as RDMs if you have a storage which is SAN based as NAS doesn't  support RDMs and then you can use your desired file system. Although, I am a big fan of VMFS for few of the following reasons:

           

          1. Its a Clustered file system.which provides simultaneous concurrent access to different hosts and VMs on the datastore.

          2. It can be dynamically expanded even when VMs are running from that datastore

          3. You can have a maximum size of a single datastore upto 64TB.

          4. You can expand within the same LUN or add another extent and expand the datastore size.

          5. VMFS-5 uses 1MB block size so you can store more data

          6. It uses sub-block addressing.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Install ESXi and VMs into 'real' volumes
            distributer Novice

            Thanks for the reply

             

            Wohoo, and with VMFS-5 you can even have LUN sizes of 64TB (which is good to put the disk as RAID together)

            http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?cmd=displayKC&docType=kc&docTypeID=DT_KB_1_1&externalId=2003813

             

            But:

            Only pass-through RDMs (Raw Device Mapping) can be created with a size  >2TB. Non-pass-through RDMs and virtual disk files are still limited  to 512B ~ 2TB.

             

            There is no SAN, but nothing is set in stone yet. I would need ~4-6TB...

             

            Could explain that:

            You can expand within the same LUN or add another extent and expand the datastore size.

             

            So it is possible to use storage devices only partially for a datastore and the rest for e.g. pure data? Would I need to do some pre-partitioning first?

            Or was that for the SAN option only?

            • 3. Re: Install ESXi and VMs into 'real' volumes
              saurabhbhattacharya Enthusiast

              Hi,

               

              If you want to use RDMs, there is no boundation of SAN. You may very well achieve the same result with any software which can emulate the SAN behaviour. For example, you may use Openfiler software to do the same. Hope this helps.