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VMware How to Make Multiple VMs Access a Single SAN Volume

Posted on 2012-03-26
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I have multiple VMs on one physical machine.  The physical machine is connected to a SAN (Fujitsu DX-80).  I want ALL the VMs on this machine be able to access the same file directory.      Is this possible?
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Question by:Drafter421
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by:xperttech
ID: 37768459
I don't believe you can mount the same LUN (volume) on multiple VM's except for certain circumstances like "MS Clustering".

What you can do is mount the volume on one of your VMs and create a share at the top level and then share it with the rest of the VMs.

If you have a specific need, perhaps you can describe it in more detail, and I can try to give you better guidance on that.

-XT
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by:Drafter421
ID: 37768471
The sharing thing is what we are trying to avoid.  Mostly for fail over.  If a VM fails we want to quickly make another one that access the same data as the one that failed.
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xperttech earned 500 total points
ID: 37768554
Depending on the nature of the data stored in this storage location, you could use NFS which allows for multiple systems to map nicely. Read/Write.

Now, if you are trying to mount a LUN in multiple VMs (this is called RDM -- Raw Disk Mapping), you might be better off planning your redundancy at the VMWare Host level.

How many hosts do you have? You can provision the LUN to the hosts instead and monitor Host stability with HA/DRS and if the host fails or becomes isolated, the VM (which should reside in the LUN <datastore> that multiple VMWare hosts see) would be brought up in the surviving host.

For higher licensing levels, there is also FT (Fault Tolerance) in VMWare.

Is this something you could consider?
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by:Drafter421
ID: 37768571
Where is NFS configured?
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by:xperttech
ID: 37769155
I don't know what kind of storage you have. I will assume that end is taken care of.

On the VMware host, go to Configuration/Storage and select to Add Storage, you will be asked to provide the server IP or DNS name and then the NFS share name. This is quite simple. You don't format the NFS storage because it is simply ready once you set it up at the storage processor end. This is the Unix type of file system.

Note:
When setting up NFS on the storage side, make sure you give read/write rights and root level access. And specify the allowed hosts (VMware hosts) by IP or DNS name. This way no one else can browse it and make changes to your data. NFS is pretty universally standard and can be read by almost all OSs. SO be crefull on this end.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Drafter421
ID: 37772804
Thanks for your help and for sharing your knowledge.
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