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Deploying Hyper V using an iSCSI SAN for VHD files

Posted on 2008-09-30
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Morning -

Just curious as to what everyone is doing out there when it comes to using iSCSI SANs to hold the data files for Hyper V Virtual Machines...

Are you creating an iSCSI LUN on the host box that points to an iSCSI share on the SAN and then are you using that virtual disk drive for all your VM data files such as the VHD?

By the way - we're talking about print server VMs, App server, monitoring server all running Windows Server 2003 std - nothing mission critical

Thank you for any help
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Question by:javajo
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Author Comment

by:javajo
ID: 22615191
Should this perhaps be moved to a different zone?  Perhaps a Server 2008 Hyper V zone?  Or a SAN zone...?
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kevinhsieh earned 2000 total points
ID: 22620199
I am running most of my VMs under Virtual Server 2005 R2, with just 1 VM under Hyper-V, but the concept is the same.

I put each VHD onto it's own iSCSI LUN.  This makes it easier to move MVs from host to host, because it's just a matter of mounting and unmounting the LUN from each host.  No need to copy VHD files or try to have shared access to them.

I mount each LUN into an empty NTFS folder.  This way I don't use a drive letter for each VM.  

I put all of the files (VHD and configuration) into a folder inside the LUN.  I do this because I had problems with setting NTFS permissions properly to files at the root of the drive.

If a server just needs an OS and basic disk, it all goes on a VHD.  My file, SQL, and Exchange servers make iSCSI connections to the SAN itself.  I do this so that I still get all of the advanced SAN functionality such as the ability to grow the volume on the fly, application aware snapshots, hardware VSS backups, etc.  These servers interact with the SAN just like physical machines.

I have been running VMs with my SAN for close to two years now, so I am pretty confident that this is a good configuration.  Virtual Machine Manager made me put each VM on it's own LUN so that it can do the  quick migrations.
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by:javajo
ID: 22623945
cool - this is exactly the kind of advice i was looking for!

Question...

How are you mounting a LUN inside an NTFS folder on the host?  We use a NetApp 3020 with iSCSI SAN functionality.
When i mount LUNs, i don't ever remember seeing this option....


Thanks again!!
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Author Comment

by:javajo
ID: 22624030
Never mind...found the article:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307889


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Author Comment

by:javajo
ID: 22624313
ok - so i read the article..very cool!  We've never had need to use these before...

So i guess if i'm looking at my host server, i can take my physical D: and create a folder called VMs.  Then create subfolders for each VM - vm1, vm2, vm3 etc..

then mount my iSCSI luns inside these individual folders.  Then within these individual folders create a folder for the VHD files.

Is this the general idea?


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Expert Comment

by:kevinhsieh
ID: 22626076
That is exactly how to do it.
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Author Comment

by:javajo
ID: 22636251
In the above explanation with mounting LUNS inside empty NTFS folders, is there a problem with having all the VM files in one folder:

For instance - LUN mounted to vm01
inside this folder i have the vhd file.
Then within the vm01 folder is a vm01 subfolder that contains all the vm files
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Expert Comment

by:kevinhsieh
ID: 22637089
I put all of my VM files into the same folder.  Things are just easier that way.  You are on the right track.
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