How do you create a virtual disk in VMware ESX that can be acessed by mutiple VMs?

Posted on 2010-08-14
Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Ok, what I am looking to do I though was simple.  I have an ESXi 4.0 server.  I have a bunch of drives physically in there.  I just want to create a say "Virtual Disk" so when all my VMs on that server power on they see that 1TB Hard drive as an E: drive or something...  

So instead of creating and building it off a windows virtual server and having a Windows manage it.  

I figure ESXi can do it for me taking away that extra layer....???  I have tried searching for the answer yet it eludes me.  Any assistance would be most excellent!

Question by:Daeta42
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LVL 23

Accepted Solution

jakethecatuk earned 500 total points
ID: 33438108
It can't be done how you want to do it.  All you can do is create a VM that runs some type of NAS software (i.e. freenas, openfiler, nexenta)
LVL 28

Expert Comment

ID: 33438132
ESXi won't do that. It sounds like you a bunch of Windows boxes on your ESXi, why not just give it to one of them and have that one share it over SMB to the rest of your boxes?
LVL 40

Expert Comment

ID: 33438135
Nope...can't be done as "jake..." mentions...sort of. The only thing you can do is create a virtual disk and assign it to a VM, then share it out and map to the drive from all your other VMs.

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LVL 28

Expert Comment

ID: 33438136
Note that it doesn't have to be a Windows server OS to share a drive, though I would expect a server OS to perform better...

Good Luck

Author Closing Comment

ID: 33438157
Thanks all...  So, Basically I have to run some type of 3rd party software or just use Windblows...  That's fine...  I was just trying to think outside the box...  My very tightly contained box....

Perhaps I can convince my boss to buy me 100k+ of hardware and software so I can have a fully capable VMware setup....

LVL 42

Expert Comment

ID: 33438432
You don't need 100K+ to build a viable system.  for instance a lower end Netapp can run about $30K and give you VMware and act as a file server. Or you can get a low end iscsi SAN and a few ESX hosts for even less.

Author Comment

ID: 33439245
Oh, I know...  But if I am going to build it I want to build an IT mausoleum in my server room w/ an active off-site fail over... Plus a few toys for me......  :-)
LVL 42

Expert Comment

ID: 33439298
For VMware there's a few decent options. SRM is one but Veeam and Vizioncore repliction are also good bets.  If everything is in a VM SRM makes it easy but expensive.

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