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What Volumes do I need to create on my Equalogic SAN for my ESXi embedded hosts?

Hi Everyone,
I am in the process of setting up an Equalogic SAN and 3 ESXi embedded hosts and was wondering what Volumes I need to create on the SAN and what the best strategy for setting up volumes is?

Basically I have 3 ESXi embedded servers that I wish to configure in a HA/DRS cluster but I am unsure on how to go about setting up the volumes on my SAN.

Do I need to configure on volume for each individual ESXi  embedded host for vmware purposes such as a dump file etc?

Do I need to create a separate Volume to host the VMFS that will host virtual machines for each Server or can they all share one specific volume that hosts the Virtual machines?

I would like to keep the volume setup as simple as possible and any assistance and advise on how to set up the volumes would be greatly appreciated.

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SteveJ-007
Asked:
SteveJ-007
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2 Solutions
 
dicconbCommented:
ESXi is self-contained, and doesn't require any SAN space for dump files.  

To allow for HA/DRS, the volumes you use for VMFS should be associated with any one host.  I suggest 500GB volumes, unless any of your VMs will need very large virtual disk files. Create as many 500GB volumes as you need to hold the virtual machine files.

The VMFS volumes can be shared among ESXi hosts - VMFS assigns read/write access to a VM's files to the host that it is currently running on.

Cheers,

D
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dicconbCommented:
Sorry, typo! That should read:

"To allow for HA/DRS, the volumes you use for VMFS should NOT be associated with any one host"

D
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dicconbCommented:
This article shows which box to tick on the Equalogic array to allow shared access to your volumes:
http://www.vmwareadmins.com/index.php/articles/46-vsphere-dell-equallogic-part-1.html

I also suggest reading the VMWare iSCSI SAN configuration guide, and at a minimum reviewing the checklist on page 79.
http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere4/r40/vsp_40_iscsi_san_cfg.pdf

Cheers!

D
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ryder0707Commented:
"Do I need to configure on volume for each individual ESXi  embedded host for vmware purposes such as a dump file etc?"
A: Embedded esxi just need shared storage for you to store VMs. You present the same LUN/LUNs to all hosts. This will be the shared storage use by all the hosts. By having this, you could use advance features of esx like vmotion/HA but you need vCenter to manage all hosts but the advance features will only available depend on the license that you've purchased.

"Do I need to create a separate Volume to host the VMFS that will host virtual machines for each Server or can they all share one specific volume that hosts the Virtual machines?"
A: Depends on requirement and storage tiering/design. You could store busy virtual disks/VMs on Tier1 disks for high performance(more spindles from many disks, high rpm, raid5/10) for databases, Tier2 disks(medium performance can be on raid 1/5) for standard prod VMs mainly for the guest OSes and normal load apps and Tier3(low performance) for test/dev environment. Try not to present single large LUN to all hosts and store all your VMs there. Performance might be impacted by disk contention. Start with 300-500GB per LUN.
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SteveJ-007Author Commented:
Thanks for the great advise
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dicconbCommented:
Thanks for the points Steve!  Good luck getting your SAN set up.

In case it helps, I also found this Technical Report and Video Demo for setting up vSphere on an Equalogic array:
http://www.equallogic.com/resourcecenter/assetview.aspx?id=8453

Cheers,

D
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