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

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!

Daeta
Daeta42Asked:
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jakethecatukConnect With a Mentor Commented:
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)
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bgoeringCommented:
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?
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coolsport00Commented:
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.

Regards,
~coolsport00
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bgoeringCommented:
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
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Daeta42Author Commented:
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....

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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
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.
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Daeta42Author Commented:
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......  :-)
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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
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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