ESXi Shared Storage 4.0.0 Update 1

Posted on 2009-12-31
Last Modified: 2013-11-14
What I am trying to do is create a virtual storage area that I can map as a local hard drive to all of my virtual machines, that way I can have a main repository for all of the files the VMs may need with direct access at each VM rather than a network share.
Question by:ehawkins
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    If i understand your question..... This is being used a lot and can be easily done with a NAS storage device that support NFS. You create a shared volume on it which you assign to a datastore in the infrastructure client. Next you can assign portions of this space to VM's. This way you don't need any local storage (hard-drives) in your server(s) anymore(except for a usb stick with ESXi on it)

    Author Comment

    Maybe I didn't explain it eight but I just want to partition a section of the host's HDD to be used by all VMs.
    LVL 24

    Accepted Solution

    It cant be done, there is no option to share local disk directly at the host level
    You cant even reuse/share any vmdk as it will be locked by vmfs once a VM is started
    You cant use RDM be cause the host recognize it as local disk, it must be a LUN

    so 2 things you can try:

    1. Try creating datastore from the empty space, create a VM utilizing pvscsi driver
    Install Windows based guest OS on it, and share a folder to all the VM using the normal folder sharing instead(well i know you dont want this, just an option but at least the performance is better)

    2. VMdirectpath with full passtu shareable for example a single device like USB drive connected to the host is shared with multiple VMs but i dont think it will work for another partition of the host local drive as the host will definitely recognize it as a local drive

    LVL 4

    Assisted Solution

    You could use some free software SAN solution, such as openfiler, or falconstor, which will share part of the local hard drive as an iSCSI lun, which can be shared by all machines.  This will obviously add some overhead to the access.
    LVL 6

    Assisted Solution

    you could also run the hp VSA to share out the local storage as a ISCSI SAN

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