VMware install question ?

I am going to install VMWare 3.5 ESX  Infrastructure on a Dell Power Edge 2950 with RAID5 Storage connected to PowerVault Modular Storage Array . My question is when I install the VMware 3.5 ESX  OS on the RAID5 and put the VMs on the Powervault modular storage array, What can I do with the remaining space on the RAID5, can it be a Windows Volume or host a VM ? Does the VM have to be on a separate controller then the VWare OS Console?
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

The remaining space after all of ESX's partitions is usually make a VMDK partition. On mine I usually put ISOs so they can be easily mounted to a VM if needed. You can also store VMs there, just remember that VMs and things on local storage can only be seen by that ESX host, so you can't vmotion them to another ESX host if they are stored on local drives.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
bereanbsSenior Professional Services ConsultantCommented:
Local storage on an ESX host can be configured with a VMFS partition (it probably already is).  You can store VM's on the local VMFS partition, or on the external storage array. So yes, you could put a virtual disk which is used for a Windows volume on the local VMFS partition.
I often store ISO images on the local VMFS partition, which I can then mount in a VM to use for installation, updates, whatever.
If you are clustering VM's using OS clustering (Microsoft clustering for instance), in some cases you would need to put the VM on local storage for clustering to work properly.
The local VMFS partition does not need to be on a separate controller from the service console.
Err, I meant VMFS (like bereanbs) said, not VMDK.

Another note on storing ISOs on the local disk: Remember to disconnect them from the VM when you're finished or vMotion won't work for that VM until you do.
Protecting & Securing Your Critical Data

Considering 93 percent of companies file for bankruptcy within 12 months of a disaster that blocked access to their data for 10 days or more, planning for the worst is just smart business. Learn how Acronis Backup integrates security at every stage

bereanbsSenior Professional Services ConsultantCommented:
Good point about disconnecting the ISO's so VMotion works.  This will give you nightmares if you forget and you need your VM moved to another host automatically by resource management.  
In practice, I try to make it a habit of disconnecting ISO's (or my client CDROM if I am using it) as soon as I am done using it.  Also, I don't usually set the CD/DVD to automatically connect when the VM starts  - unless of course I am trying to boot from the CD/DVD.
cap7Author Commented:
I also have the HA Hiugh Availablity option, why should I use MS Clustering ? HA from VMWARE  instead of MS Clustering, would we have to have the VM locally for clustering to work properly?
cap7Author Commented:
Again, I  also have the HA High Availablity option, why should I use MS Clustering ? Does HA from VMWARE have to have the VM locally for clustering to work properly?
With VMware's HA, if the ESX host with running the VM goes down, another ESX server will try to start the VM, so it will be down for a couple of minutes since it takes time for ESX to see that it is down and time to boot up the VM on another ESX host. If you had MS clustered servers they would both be up at the same time (hopefully on different hosts), and if one went down, the failover to the next server in the cluster would be quicker. I guess it depends on your requirements, like how much of an outage is acceptable.

You shouldn't need it to be stored locally for most things, but like bereanbs said there could be special cases where you'd want it locally I guess.
cap7Author Commented:
Do you have a link to explain how to setup Microsoft Cluster for the 2 ESX Host to be an active passive failover ? With MS Cluster and VMware HA, will I have 2 ESX host and 1 VM or 2 ESX Host and 2 mirrored VMs ? I think it may be easier just to use the VMWare HA option. What do you suggest ?
This isn't specific to clustering on VMware, but http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc739634.aspx

With an MS cluster on ESX you'd have a VM on both ESX hosts. With HA, you'd just have one VM on 1 ESX server, and if that ESX server went down the other ESX server would power on that VM. The recommendation depends a lot on how long you can live with the VM being unavailable. With an MS cluster, it may be flaky for seconds while it fails over, with HA alone it would be down for a couple of minutes. it is a good bit more complicated setting up the MS clustering though.
bereanbsSenior Professional Services ConsultantCommented:
I don't have the link handy, but if you go to VMware's site at www.vmware.com and look up the documentation for ESX, you will find a document specific to Microsoft clustering that goes through all the details.
cap7Author Commented:
I would peronally use the VMware HA option not MS Clustering, if it would be a just me a minute ot two downtime.
cap7Author Commented:
I have Dell PowerVault MD3000i iSCSI Configuration. Should I allocate a virtual disk or each VM ? Can I allocated on big virtual disk for all 3 VMs ?
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.