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iSCSI within VMWare to a Dell EqualLogic

I have found that VMWare 4.1 Update 1 still has limitations regarding LUN sizes it can import into it's datastore, limits of 2TB per LUN. With ~6TB of direct attached RAID, I was able to split the RAID up in my Dell PERC 5/I to ~2TB each, and then import those virtual disks into VMWare at 2TB each.

Once I expanded the initial disk/datastore to ~6TB within VMWare, I then found that I was unable to make a virtual disk in VMWare greater than 2TB (with 8MB block sizes).

If I were to bypass VMWare's disk management completely, and use a host-based iSCSI initiator, such as Windows Server 2008 R2's iSCSI initiator, to connect to a Dell EqualLogic PS4000(E,X,XV) storage unit, would there be any limitations with regards to the size of the LUN I could export?

Thanks
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ifrogz_forum
Asked:
ifrogz_forum
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
this is completely normal for vSphere 4.1

Checkout the Maximums Document here

http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere4/r41/vsp_41_config_max.pdf
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ifrogz_forumAuthor Commented:
I am aware this is normal. What I want to know, is the answer to my question in the third paragraph.

If I were to bypass VMWare's disk management completely, and use a host-based iSCSI initiator, such as Windows Server 2008 R2's iSCSI initiator, to connect to a Dell EqualLogic PS4000(E,X,XV) storage unit, would there be any limitations with regards to the size of the LUN I could export?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Microsoft iSCSI Software Target maximum VHD size is 16 TB

So the limit is 16 TB
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
but remember that software iSCSI inside the VM has a CPU overhead, in generator all the iSCSI software packets.
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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
We use ms is so initiator at times and works fine. CPU load on a modern system is negligeble. If you're going to do this create a vswitch and connect nics to the San subnet/clan. You will need to redo backups if using only vm backups. I would baseline first. I would probably not go above 3tb.
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