virtual file server?

Posted on 2007-10-12
Last Modified: 2008-02-06
I'm converting several of our servers into virtual machines (free version of VMWare Server).  One of these machines has about 60 GB of shared files, basically a small file server.  The conversion went fine and it runs fine, but of course this makes for a fairly fat virtual machine.  I'm wondering if I should add a second physical drive to the virtual machine and move the shared files over to it.  That way the virtual machine itself wouldn't be so large.

(I ask this because my gut feeling is that storing LOTS of files into this virtual single file might be asking for trouble...a single file corruption could wipe out all the shared files contained within.)

Question by:garystark
    LVL 23

    Accepted Solution

    I wouldnt worry about a VM being that big. I have several VM that have been running for a year or so on vmdk's three times that size.

    On the other hand you never know when corruption could occur so run backups on the file server just as you would any other server to backup your data. Also create snapshots of your vm's incase you ever have to revert back to a known good config

    Author Comment


    So is the snapshot like doing incremental backups?  Is the very first snapshot extra large because it's not based on changes?

    LVL 23

    Expert Comment

    When you snapshot a vm it creates a flat file of the vm (very small).

    here is an article that gives an overview of snapshots

    Now i know snapshots are supported with server just not all the functionality of ESX.

    I would not rely on snapshots as a means of backing up because it is only a flat file of the vmdk file. you will still need a good copy of this file to revert a snapshot. without it the snapshot is useless

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