Solved

Using OpenFiler to create 2 TB+ NTFS / NFS datastore over VMware

Posted on 2010-11-10
9
2,211 Views
Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hi All,

I'm about to create a very large file system for Windows Server and client to use (NTFS), by using Openfiler as the iSCSI initiator. [any other free appliance is also great]

Can OpenFiler that is deployed on my VMware ESXi as VM presenting / using the unformatted 2 TB+ datastore as the RDM ? [Because of the VMFS limitations it cannot recognize or use > 2 TB datastore]

My situation is to utilize the unused 6x 500 GB SATAII disks that is on my Dell Power Edge server, all of the VM is on my SAN.

Any kind of help and suggestion in presenting the unformatted LUN greater than 2 TB to the Windows Server would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
0
Comment
Question by:jjoz
  • 5
  • 3
9 Comments
 
LVL 23

Assisted Solution

by:jakethecatuk
jakethecatuk earned 250 total points
ID: 34109596
Openfiler is good, as is Freenas (www.freenas.org) or Nexenta (http://www.nexenta.org/).

RDM's can only be used as an RDM when they are remote from the server.  VMWare does support more than 2tb but you have to join them together using extends to give you your maximum.

6 x 500gb as RAID 5 will give you around 2.9tb which is good.

Don't forget that under Windows you can extend multiple volumes into one...so...you could use your iSCSI VM and create two iSCSI LUNS of around 1.4tb each and extend them under Windows.

One thing to remember - you have a SAN for a reason and one of those is probably for redundancy.  Putting this onto your single server will introduce a single point of failure for your Windows storage.
0
 
LVL 1

Author Comment

by:jjoz
ID: 34109601
ah.. ok, so in this case i've created the VMFS LUN > than 2 TB, and now I shall begin to install OpenFiler and then add 2x1TB HDD (VMDK) into it ?

cmiiw
0
 
LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:justadad
ID: 34110071
Do I understand this correctly....

You have a Dell server that you want to run Openfiler on to allow it to be an iSCSI target for your Window VM to use so that your Windows VM can have larger than a single TB disk to use instead of using a VMDK for it. Is that correct?  If it is then yes you could do that however I would caution on using snapshots on the Windows VM. (I haven't read about that but I would assume that a snapshot could be potentially disastrous if you reverted to it. Suggest more research on that.)

Or is your ESXi running on the Dell server directly?
0
 
LVL 1

Author Comment

by:jjoz
ID: 34130811
Q:Is your ESXi running on the Dell server directly?
### my ESXi is installed on USB drive which is attached to my Dell Poer Edge 2950-III server, so that i can utilize th maximum 6x500 GB disk space.

Finally, here's what I'vegot, it is configured on my ESXiVM with the following Openfiler configuration:

R/W Mode: Write-thru
Transfer Mode: blockio

hopefully I'm on the correct path.
iSCSI-BlockIO-WriteThru.jpg
0
Threat Intelligence Starter Resources

Integrating threat intelligence can be challenging, and not all companies are ready. These resources can help you build awareness and prepare for defense.

 
LVL 7

Expert Comment

by:justadad
ID: 34132060
So assuming that your Openfiler and the Windows VM are on separate hosts I can understand why you want to do this. If they were running on the same host, then I would suggest giving the Windows VM the raw disk mapping directly.

So the answer to your original question Can you do this?  The answer would be YES.  The question is should you do this? I am not clear on that answer.
0
 
LVL 1

Author Comment

by:jjoz
ID: 34132865
"If they were running on the same host, then I would suggest giving the Windows VM the raw disk mapping directly."
### yes this Openfiler is running on the ESXi server but the Windows Server that is going to use this storage is  a physical server.
0
 
LVL 7

Accepted Solution

by:
justadad earned 250 total points
ID: 34132970
Ahhh. OK. Thanks for clarifying. Then yes the RDM for an Openfiler VM makes much sense and I would give it a try.  

Thoughts on RDM:
-Bigger than 2TB and simpler to get going
-Little more difficult to backup Disaster Recovery image of the VM.

Thoughts on multiple VMDK's from 2 VMFS file sytems on the RAID 5 disks put together with extents in Openfiler:
-Easier portability of the OpenFiler VM to another host in future.
-Higher risk of data corruption if one disk times out, but may never be an issue.

I would rather put the extents together in OpenFiler than putting them together in Windows. If the VMDK's are all coming from the same spindles don't put the VMDKs together with a RAID 0 as that will slow things down.

Note: I would increase the timeout of the Windows server in regards to the iSCSI target lun. Here is one blog article about it. I am sure you can google a lot more.
http://www.boche.net/blog/index.php/2009/10/29/vmware-esx-guest-os-io-timeout-settings-for-netapp-storage-systems/

0
 
LVL 1

Author Comment

by:jjoz
ID: 34133028
yes, thanks for the explanation sir, I do appreciate it so much.

Little more difficult to backup Disaster Recovery image of the VM. --> this is a fileserver for backup purpose so no need to back it up again :-)
0
 
LVL 1

Author Closing Comment

by:jjoz
ID: 34141375
thanks for the responses.
0

Featured Post

Top 6 Sources for Identifying Threat Actor TTPs

Understanding your enemy is essential. These six sources will help you identify the most popular threat actor tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs).

Join & Write a Comment

VM backup deduplication is a method of reducing the amount of storage space needed to save VM backups. In most organizations, VMs contain many duplicate copies of data, such as VMs deployed from the same template, VMs with the same OS, or VMs that h…
This article will show you how to create an ISO CD-ROM/DVD-ROM image (*.iso), and MD5 checksum signature, for use with VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.5 (ESXi 6.5). It's a good idea to compare checksums, because many installations fail because of a corr…
This Micro Tutorial steps you through the configuration steps to configure your ESXi host Management Network settings and test the management network, ensure the host is recognized by the DNS Server, configure a new password, and the troubleshooting…
This video shows you how to use a vSphere client to connect to your ESX host as the root user. Demonstrates the basic connection of bypassing certification set up. Demonstrates how to access the traditional view to begin managing your virtual mac…

706 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question

Need Help in Real-Time?

Connect with top rated Experts

20 Experts available now in Live!

Get 1:1 Help Now