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Can I use pass-through disks in a Hyper-V cluster to eliminate the VHD size limitation?

Posted on 2010-09-08
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Greetings -

I'm stuck in a situation where I'm going to create a Cluster Shared Volume (CSV) to host 4 VMs.  Unfortunately, one of these VMs needs a data disk larger than 2 TB so that means I can't use a VHD as the VHD size limitation is 2 TB.

I figured I would create a pass-through disk.  What I don't know is... can I do this in a clustered configuration?  In other words, will the pass through disk follow from host to host assuming the zoning and LUN configuration is done properly?

The confusing part to me is... from the host perspective, the pass through disk must be OFFLINE.  I'm not sure an offline resource can follow/fail from node to node.

Is this a legitimate configuration?  Can I have as many disks/VHDs as possible on the Cluster Shared Volume and then have this one pass through disk for one of the VMs hosted on a separate LUN and have the cluster work?

Hopefully this makes sense.  Let me know if you need any additional data to help answer.
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Question by:amendala
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msmamji earned 2000 total points
ID: 33632826
I figured I would create a pass-through disk. What I don't know is... can I do this in a clustered configuration? In other words, will the pass through disk follow from host to host assuming the zoning and LUN configuration is done properly?
Yes, you can do it in a clustered configuration, you can add a pass through disk to a HAVM. Here is how.
http://blogs.technet.com/b/askcore/archive/2009/02/20/adding-a-pass-through-disk-to-a-highly-available-virtual-machine.aspx

Is this a legitimate configuration? Can I have as many disks/VHDs as possible on the Cluster Shared Volume and then have this one pass through disk for one of the VMs hosted on a separate LUN and have the cluster work?
Yep. Infact that is the only way this would work in a cluster. You do have the option of using the local disk (on a node) as pass-through but that would not work for HAVM, as the disk would be local to the node.

For the sake of completion, there is one more option, you have when you want to exceed beyond the 2040 GB limit of the VHD/disk for a VM, but I would not recommend it. You can have multiple VHDs added to the VM and then make a software RAID from inside the VM. Software RAID in windows are limited to RAID0, RAID1 and RAID5.

Hope that answers your question.
Regards,
Shahid
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Author Closing Comment

by:amendala
ID: 33638122
Perfect!  This is exactly what I needed.  Thank you!
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