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meaning of booting from SAN in Vmware

if I understand, ESX servers use SAN as storage for virtual machines. though they can store VMs in their local storage, but it is less efficient way.

in some articles, I read about booting from SAN, but I do not know if they mean VMs are in the SAN and they start up from there or it has another meaning.

Any help?

thanks
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jskfan
Asked:
jskfan
3 Solutions
 
Mohammed KhawajaCommented:
What they mean is that the ESXi will boot off the SAN (i.e. the server does not need any local drives).  What I recommend is booting ESXi from a USB key as it has a low overhead and can be moved between different systems  When booting from SAN, a LUN0 is created which point to a LUN assigned to the host.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
It means the SAN LUN is configured in such a way, that the ESXi operating system is stored on the SAN, and the BOOT Sectors are written to the SAN LUN.

Justn like an OS is installed on local disk, and boots, it can be install to a SAN and Boots, this is not limited to ESXi, Windows and Linux physical servers, can also boot from SAN.

It's an expensive way of install an OS, and I think is rather old fashioned today, considering ESXi has a very small footprint, and can be installed on USB flash drive or SD card.

I would install ESXi onto a USB flash drive or SD card.

Here is the VMware KB on installing 4.1 on USB/SD:
http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1020655

Here is the VMware KB on installing 5.0 on USB/SD:
http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2004784
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jskfanAuthor Commented:
If I understand by ESX is installed on the SAN, does that mean there will be no physical ESX servers like it used to be ?
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jskfanAuthor Commented:
The analogy of windows and linux boot off the SAN, is because the whole machine is physically (the file) located in the SAN, but resources like RAM, CPU are provided by physical ESX servers.
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Aravind SivaramanCommented:
If I understand by ESX is installed on the SAN, does that mean there will be no physical ESX servers like it used to be ?

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Its not correct, you will have existing physical server without a local disk, You will installing the ESXi on the SAN disk
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
I do not really understand your statements.
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jskfanAuthor Commented:
So  ESX server can have the disk that is to say  the Operating System of the ESX, located in the SAN and not local to ESX ?

Is this configurable the first time you power up and install ESX , it will prompt you where to install the OS ?
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jskfanAuthor Commented:
thanks
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