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Configuring Openfiler 2.3 iSCSI as VM for large file storage (backup server)

Posted on 2010-11-12
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hi Everyone,

Does anyone here use Openfiler as VM for the iSCSI datastore ?
I'd like to know how do you set it as your Virtual Machine and what's the performance so far ?

My primary goal is to present the Openfiler as iSCSI storage larger than 2 TB to my Windows Server for storing large datafiles, so it must be formatted as NTFS.

Thanks.
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Question by:jjoz
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by:Justin C
Justin C earned 2000 total points
ID: 34126104
If you need to present iSCSI storage to a VM as greater than 2TB and have it formatted natively as NTFS, your best bet is to create the Windows VM and use the MS iSCSI initiator to mount the iSCSI datastore.  
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by:jjoz
ID: 34126106
oh, so it is possible to use NTFS for > 2TB ?
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by:Justin C
Justin C earned 2000 total points
ID: 34126144
Yes.  The apparent limit for NTFS is 16Exabytes, depending on the type of partition you create.  

When it comes to VMware and the 2TB-512byte limit that we constantly hear about is a VMFS limit, not a limit of the guest OS filesystem.  Presenting the storage to the OS using the Windows native iSCSI initiator circumvents any underlying VMFS limitations, though it does create a more complex environment in that you must plan for block IP storage being sent across your VM network as opposed to a backend ESX storage network.  
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by:jjoz
ID: 34126147
thanks for the reply man,
I've stitched the VMFS by using 3x extents, and now I'm about to insert/attach 1 very large drive to the VM.

is that normal way to do it ?
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by:Justin C
Justin C earned 2000 total points
ID: 34126154
Are you still presenting the datastore with the extents as a .vmdk to the VM?  If you use the MS iSCSI initiator within the VM, you'll need to remove those iSCSI volumes from the ESX host and configure them on the Openfiler array so that the Windows VM can access them.  
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by:jjoz
ID: 34126164
yes, so it is possible then to utilize this with Openfiler.
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Justin C earned 2000 total points
ID: 34126172
Yes, it's possible.  You just need to modify the way you present the volumes to the VM.
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by:jjoz
ID: 34126187
thanks for the suggestion man.
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