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Adding Local storage to My VM Host

ahmad1467
ahmad1467 asked
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Am currently running WMware ESX,4.0.0 in my cluster I have a VM Host that I would like to add local drives to. Once the drives have been add I would like to be able to see and use them as storage space so that my VM servers can see them as usable storage. So far I can add the drives configure the raid but not sure how to make them part of my data center.

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Commented:
You need to add a new Storage Repository.  Should be under the Storage configuration.
You need to add a Local Data Store under Configuration Tab. You might have to specify IP address of the host which you want to use

Author

Commented:
If I’m Looking at this through vSphere Client would the configuration tab be under DataStores?
Top Expert 2010
Commented:
Log in with vSphere Client. Go to the Configuration tab -> Storage -> Add Storage link to add a new datastore. If you have over 256GB on these disks, you will need to specify something other than the default 1MB block size (1MB block = 256GB max datastore size; 2MB = 512GB; 4MB = 1TB; 8MB = 2TB). Once your datastore is added, go into the settings of your VM (right-click on VM -> Edit Settings). Click the Add button and select 'Hard Disk'. This is the add disk wizard. Select 'Create new virtual disk. The Windows OS will see this as a new volume. Go through the remaining screens, including choosing how much space you need for your VM. Then, when done, go into the OS and initialize/format the disk (new volume).

Regards,
~coolsport00
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
After you log in, click on your host on the left navigation tree area. Then on the right, you'll notice tabs -> Getting Started, Summary, Virtual Machines...Configuration, etc. Click that Configuration tab, then select the "Storage" link. On the far right side, in the Storage link area, you'll see a link to 'Add Storage'. Click that link to add a datastore. When adding a datastore, if the storage you need to create for your VM needs to be larger than 256GB of space, use the block size reference I shared with you in my previous post to choose the correct block size.

~coolsport00

Author

Commented:
Sorry I see the tab now, just want to make sure that I’m thinking about this correctly on my VM Host Server I have 6 slots available that I m going to add 6- 500GB drives running RAID 5 witch should probable give me a Total Array 2499.89GB and total Useable 2328.21GBB. Now going off the Block Scale
Would I use the Total Arry size or total Used? So for 2328.21GB the ratio would be still be 8M=2TB or 9MB ?
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
You cannot add a datastore larger than 2TB, so when you add your datastore, the largest block size option is 8MB. Choose to add 1.99TB as the allocation. When the datastore is added, click on the host in the left side and make sure the Summary tab is selected on the right. You should see your datastore within that Summary tab area on the right. Right-click on the newly created datastore and select 'Properties'. There should be an option to 'extend' the datastore to the remaining space left on your disks (~400GB maybe?).

What I recommend doing is creating 2- RAID5s (3 disks each...giving you 2 - 1TB datastores). You lose 2 of your disks for the 2 RAIDs, but you have 2 datastores to separate VMs off of instead of 1 (redundancy, performance are gained). You're not "putting all your eggs in 1 basket" so to speak, if you had just 1 datastore. It's really up to you.

~coolsport00
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
Here are a couple nice 'picture' articles on how to 'extend' (increase) the datastore size:
http://blog.wilmsenit.nl/?p=630
http://vm-help.com/esx/esx3i/expand_a_datastore.php

~coolsport00
LBizzleMicrosoft Enterprise Administrator & AWS cloud Consultant

Commented:
You do know you lose failover capabilities doing this correct?... Using local storage for anything in a virtual enviroment doesn't really make sense other than the kernel OS install for VM or Citrix etc... Shared FC storage should be the only thing used (for the most part)

Author

Commented:
Would I be abe to create 2 more RAIDs if VMware is already running on my first RAID
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
Sure; in the RAID Config Utility, you select the amt of disks you want in the RAID (3), then select the RAID type (5). Do this twice. When you go through the Add Storage wizard, you should see 2 pieces of storage to select from.

~coolsport00
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
Actually...wait a minute. I misread your post :)

You're confusing me; you said you were going to ADD 6 more disks to what you have now. So don't you have ESX installed on a RAID currently, and I assume your current datastore is also a part of that same RAID? So, if you have a RAID currently, you can add more disks to your server, then in your RAID utility, configure more RAIDs as I specified above.

~coolsport00

Author

Commented:
Yes I have ESX installed now mirrored across  2- 146GB drives this is the only thing running on the server currently the 6 drives I want to add are only temporary to help me clean up space on my SAN which is where I normally keep my Data Stores
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
Ah..ok; well, since these are temporary, it really doesn't matter if you make 1 or 2 RAIDs. Just create a single RAID5 from your 6 disks in your BIOS's RAID Config Utility. Once created, you can add this storage (of limited size...<2TB) within ESX. What is the total space used by your VMs currently? You probably don't need to add all your disks anyway since you only have about 130GB of space being used currently by your VMs...unless you have something long-term planned for your disk usage. Anyway...I've provided you with some options on what you can do. I guess any further questions can be asked in another post since I've answer your orig question (and then some) here. :)

Regards,
~coolsport00

Author

Commented:
Thanks for all your help I will give this a try