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VMWare ESX 3.5: DataStore planification and maintenance questions

Hi,

We would like to begin migrating physical servers to our ESX env, however we would like to clarify some things about the DataStores.

We currently have 2 data stores with 500GB each. Some of the physical server we are going to P2V are file servers with a 300GB drives (E: drives).

If we P2V the servers the DataStore is almost gone between the C: drive and the D: drive, however we will have some space still left.

We have several questions:

1.) If the DataStore runs out of space because the D: drive keeps getting bigger, could the current datastore be expanded or could we create a new Datastore and attach it to the current one? Either way what would be the best solution in such scenario?

2.) Does anyone could suggest a way for us to plan the Datastore creation? I mean larger and less datastores or smaller and more datastores? Planning in future growth (we are a small company we won't have more than 30 or 40 P2V windows servers)

3.) What are the issues or thinks to be aware with the Datastores when carving the space in the SAN? What should be done if we want to resize a Datastore?

We would appreciate anwsers or tips related to this questions.

Thank you.  
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llarava
Asked:
llarava
2 Solutions
 
nappy_dCommented:
  • Each VMFS store should never be filled beyond 15-20% of its total capacity.
  • Each VMFS store should also have as much free space as you have RAM allocated to each guest os.  This is on top of the 15-20% of total capacity
  • Datastores on ESX 3.5 can be no larger than 2TB
  • you will also need to consider the IO from each machine.  Basically, if you have guests that have greater IO to your SAN, maybe consider creating a separate disk group with LUNs for those machines.
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llaravaAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your comments.

I am still looking for an anwser on number 1.

1.)If the DataStore runs out of space because the D: drive keeps getting bigger, could the current datastore be expanded or could we create a new Datastore and attach it to the current one? Either way what would be the best solution in such scenario?

Also would it make any sense to keep the C: and D: drives of the servers in different DataStores? Or different LUN's?

Also the D: drive for the file server is about 300GB so when we do the P2V the VMDK file holding the D: drive will be over that size and it will become bigger since the users will add more data (it will take a long time). How do we manage this? Are there any limitations on the VMDK file size? Would that be a problem?

 

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Paul SolovyovskyCommented:
1.) If the DataStore runs out of space because the D: drive keeps getting bigger, could the current datastore be expanded or could we create a new Datastore and attach it to the current one? Either way what would be the best solution in such scenario?

You could add an extent (an extra LUN that will add space to the datastore).  The reason for this is that you made your D drive too large.  If you upgrade to vSphere you would be able to enlarge the LUN on the SAN and then resize the datastore.



2.) Does anyone could suggest a way for us to plan the Datastore creation? I mean larger and less datastores or smaller and more datastores? Planning in future growth (we are a small company we won't have more than 30 or 40 P2V windows servers)

Normal rule of thumb for me is to keep the datastores around 500GB for smaller VMs and separate datastores for larger VMs let's say a large Exchange or SQL Server.  For the datastores in general try to keep the same OS to take advantage of transparant page file sharing, it optiizes memory by 10-20 percent.  

If you need to grow the datastores you can add extents.  I would recommend upgrading to vSphere it allows you to grow datastores on the fly.

Remember to keep enough room in the datastore for you memory swap (normally equal to the amount of memory you provide the VM) in addition to space for snapshots in case your backup application uses it.

You could put your VMs on the same datastore or choose to put your system and data volumes on different datastores. Normally I keep them on the same datastore unless I have a LUN that it on faster drives and has faster I/O.  I that case I place Exchange mailstores, logs, sql, on there, otherwise not that much difference

3.) What are the issues or thinks to be aware with the Datastores when carving the space in the SAN? What should be done if we want to resize a Datastore?

With vSphere this is not an issue.  If you have Enterprise edition in VI3 you can use Storage vMotion to move the VMs to a temp datastore, blow away the current datastore and create larger one.  Once done move everything back.  This is if you don't want to use extents
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