Setting up P2000 SAN and 2 ESXi Hosts

Posted on 2013-11-14
Last Modified: 2013-12-16
Hello Experts,

So, I am converting our current server infrastructure to a VM setup with a P2000 SAN.  The current setup is as follows:

SERVER1 - FILE, PRINT, DC, DNS, DHCP, VPN Access, (Other utility services)
Server2 - CaseManagement System, FILE, DNS, QB Database Files

Esxi1 - Remote Access VM

The change which I am in the process of making is the introduction of a SAN, P2000, and 2 more Esxi Hosts.  I have the VM Essentials bundle.

I want to create the following VM's, spaced across the 3 ESXi hosts while providing for the best redudancy and of course performance.  Those VM's will be the following:


I may want to add a couple more VMs for various services down the road.  

The SAN is a SAS 24 10k 7.2TB

The FILE Server and Exchange are the first 2 VM's that I would like to create.  We are currently storing approximately 2TB as of today, but this will be growing.  So I was going to allocate 3TB for the file server.  OR can I wait to do that?  

My experience with setting up SANs is limited so any help would be extremely appreciated.  Any base assistance would be EXTREMELY helpful for me.
Question by:sXmont1j6
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LVL 42

Assisted Solution

paulsolov earned 250 total points
ID: 39649261
Which model P2000?  Are you using SAS/ISCSI/FC?  If you haven't purchased it take a look at the newer model, the MSA 2040.

I normally prefer SAS or iSCSI for simplicity.

You can use the best practice guide for 4.1, should be similar to 5

Author Comment

ID: 39649279
Thanks For the reply.  

SAS due to the simplicity, as you stated.  

And I did review that document, I was really in search of some good real life examples on this type of setup...
LVL 118

Accepted Solution

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 250 total points
ID: 39649281
When you create your SAN, put all the disks into the same volume, and then create smaller virtual disks, and present them to ESXi. (you will need to map both ESXi servers to the LUNs).

You can create a 3TB virtual disk at once, if you are using the new version of VMware vSphere 5.5.

Author Comment

ID: 39649310
Thanks for your reply hanccocka,

In terms of the SAN, after I create the VOLUME, I could create smaller virtual disks on the SAN, correct...

For the VMware, 5.1 the most is 2TB, correct?  I will see if I can upgrade to 5.5 for free.  

Also, can I introduce 1 host at a time to the SAN?  The reason why is because currently 2 servers that I am converting to Esxi are in use.  I wanted to "gradually" perform this conversion.
LVL 42

Expert Comment

ID: 39649351
For the P2000 I like to keep the vdisks around 500GB to 1TB.  Since you have all the same disks I'd create a single disk group.

If you're going to be doing snapshot keep in mind that you'll need double the space.

Since the connectivity is SAS all you need to worry about is the ESXi side networking, how many nics do you have on the hosts?
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Author Comment

ID: 39649386
4 on each host.  

"When you create your SAN, put all the disks into the same volume, and then create smaller virtual disks,"  What RAID am I making this?  IF 5, it was will not let me select all of the disks.
LVL 118
ID: 39649401
What RAID do you want to create?

Yes, maximum size of virtual disk under 5.1 is 2TB-512bytes, 5.5 is 63/64TB

Author Comment

ID: 39649417
Based on my Needs.  I presume RAID 5... But will only allow for 16 drives and 4 spare...

Author Comment

ID: 39649458
How can I get all of the drives into the same volume?
LVL 55

Expert Comment

ID: 39649541
I would make 2 disk groups, then one controller can own one ant the other controller on the other, at least they both have something to do that way rather than it being active/passive.

Author Comment

ID: 39649559
So, you are saying create 2 vdisks 11 drives with 1 spare for RAID 5?

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