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virtualize a fileserver?

hi experts,

we have about 30 people working here and our fileserver has about 200 GB data,
Is ist okay to virtualize this server (win2003), so that all files are stored inside this VM?

We have 2 ESX4 Server each running 5 VMs which are stored on a HP MSA2312i(15krpm SAS disks).(HA enabled)

Or are there any disadvantages with virtualizing a fileserver?  (performance, security..)

3 Solutions
Luciano PatrãoICT Senior Infraestructure  Engineer  Commented:

I have virtualize many File Servers

After you virtualize a Server, then you can treated as a normal Physical Server regarding the security.

The performance, just need to create the Server, create a Virtual Disk to hold the files(here you can use a normal disk or a LUN connected directly to the server a RAW disk). The write/read performance will always depend your Storage to hold your Data Files

If you need more information just ask please

You should hove no issues virtualizaing a file server of that size. I would stick with vmdk files for the data as opposed to rdm. Only thing to watch is snapshots if this is heavily accessed on write, they can grow rather quickly and take forever to commit the data back to the base disk.

Good Luck
In my opinion, I do not like to virtualize file servers.  Functionally it's fine to virtualize them.  You won't have any problems virtualizing  a file server.  But in a case like yours and, I'm guessing a number of other people with VMware in a production environment with decent storage for the backend, I would rather just put the file shares on my storage.  Why have another windows server with patches, antivirus, virtualization overhead, and all the security holes that go along with windows, when you could possibly create some cifs shares on your NAS/SAN.  Just my 2 cents.  But to answer your question, no, there shouldn''t be any problems virtualizing your file server
lenn0xAuthor Commented:
thank you all!
@chkdsk01, yes, I thought about this, maybe I will do so later, after the fileserver ist virtualized. I'm just in a bit of a  hurry to get this done..
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