virtual identifacation on physical disc

Daft question of the day – but if you have say 5 virtual machines on one physical host (5 internal drives). If you took a replica copy of the physical discs – how would you know which data is related to which virtual machine? Say for example you wanted to see the c:/programme files of the vm001 – how would this “appear” on the physical drive? Does each part of the physical drive have some sort of cordoned off area where only each virtual machine can save to, or is all the data just shoved together and with just the drive – it would be impossible to say which data relates to which virtual machine?
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Maen Abu-TabanjehNetwork Administrator, Network ConsultantCommented:
The machines on the disk saved as vmdk file which is vmware harddisk you need to mount it with either 3rd party software as winmount :

or using vmware disk mount tools ( am not sure its will work fine with you) , it will be mounted as drive in my computer then you can use your backup tools to backup the specific folders and files :

or share it with physical machine and map it as network drive then back-them up

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pma111Author Commented:
So say I had 200 word documents on my vitual machine, they will be physically stored within the vmdk file? And if another v machine had 200 excel spreadsheets, they'd have them stored in their own vmdk?
pma111Author Commented:
I assume each VM machine will have its own OS level password required for access to its data?
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Maen Abu-TabanjehNetwork Administrator, Network ConsultantCommented:
the whole hard disk with its partition with all data stored as vmdk file :)
Maen Abu-TabanjehNetwork Administrator, Network ConsultantCommented:
no the idea like physical hard disk , if you want move data from other hard disk i assume you plug it to your computer and access its data without need password.. correct? its the same idea
pma111Author Commented:
Im a bit lost (sorry still trying to learn this).

Say on my PC (one internal drive) i have 2 virtual machines (vmdk). On one "virtual machine" I save 100 word documents. If I take a replica image copy of the physical drive, where on this drive will the 100 word documents reside? Is the vmdk like a file container? So to get to my 100 drives I'd have to open this virtual container?
Maen Abu-TabanjehNetwork Administrator, Network ConsultantCommented:
in this case mean you move the whole vm machine include the files inside and OS and other application inside the machine , vmdk = Vmware Disk , if you want to get your file's back from vmware disk (vmdk) you need either to power your machine with VMDK and share the folders to access it through network , or use 3rd party software to mound vmdk and get your files .. if you mount vmdk file what you will find it ?
all partitions inside machine C:,D: ..etc , and all files and folders.
Maen Abu-TabanjehNetwork Administrator, Network ConsultantCommented:
vmware machine contain 2 files = .vmx , .vmdk
vmx its the virtual machine you create its not much important becasue you can create it any time and also its text file its like your PC (without Hard disk).
vmdk : is the Hard disk which contain your partition , your folders , operating system ..bla bla .

so same idea of PC , you can not run your PC without Hard disk , but you can run your hard disk on any PC.
got it??
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Are 5 physical drives in a RAID impossible, as the virtual machines are stripped across the 5 disks.
pma111Author Commented:
I think so.

But in a nutshell - my files for that vm machine are inside the vmdk "file"?

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
in VMware ALWAYS if using VMDK!

if you use RAW disks, there is no VMDK, you write direct to disk.
Gerald ConnollyCommented:
5 disks in a RAIDset is often seen as a sweet spot (capacity v cost) normally as RAID-5

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