Is it possible to add a NTFS LUN to a Xenserver5 VM?

Posted on 2009-04-20
Last Modified: 2013-11-11
I'm planning on virtualizing our file server and I just wanted to run my plan by you guys to see if it is best practice or is even feasible.

The file server uses LUNs on the SAN for file sharing
The Hosts would have access to the same SAN
The SAN is an EMC Clariion CX 3-40

I want to first convert the OS partition and place it in the LUN shared by the other VMs. From here I'm a bit lost as to what do do next.

Do I just mask those LUNS (containing the file shares) for the HBA's on my hosts and attach them to a VM? That won't wipe the data in the LUNs will it?

I know Vmware lets you do this (they call it Raw Disk Mapping) but does Xenserver do this as well? I can't imagine Xenserver not letting me do this but I wanted to ask if this was possible.

Thank you all very much for your time and patience.


Question by:dcontinuum
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    The virtual machines are bridging on the Xen servers nic's which mean, that they are capable of making ISCSI and NFS connections without problems.
    What you should consider though, is, that if you convert your network share to data on a virtual disk (which I guess is connected to the Xenserver as a Storage Repository through ISCSI or NTFS) your virtual machine should perform better (please read SHOULD).
    The disadvantage is, that all your files is put in a virtual file (vhd-file), so you can not browse the files directly, but has to go through the share, that
    is made on you VM.
    You can however always copy this VHD-file to a physical machine and use standard Microsoft tools to map it as a local drive on the machine,
    and this way get your data out.

    Hope this is some of the answers you were looking for.

    Author Comment

    Thanks for the reply Kentrix70!

    ISCSI would have made this simple. I would have just mounted the LUN via the Microsoft ISCSI initiator.

    Unfortunately our SAN is Fibre Channel so that rules that out. I was hoping I could do the following.

    * Present those LUNS to the XenServers

    * Log into XenCenter

    * Go the fileserver VM and attach the LUN as a new disk.

    * In the VM (Windows Server 2008) the LUN should show up as a new disk

    This what I assumed I could do. No idea if it works though so I was hoping someone who admins Xenserver could answer this.

    I wanted to keep the share as NTFS due to the disadvantages you described.

    Thanks again for the reply..

    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    Hi dcontinuum.

    You are welcome.

    I have found an article in the Citrix user forum

    Does that have something to do with your challenges.
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    Was my latest link at any help to you?

    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    Any feedback would be appreciated.

    LVL 6

    Accepted Solution


    I think it is only fair to request a feedback of my response to your question.
    I actually have spend some time helping you out.

    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks for the direction provided. We ended up not going with Citrix in the end. Should have provided fedback sooner.

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