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VMWare File Server Philosophies

Posted on 2014-09-06
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Looking for thoughts and opinions from people regarding file server philosophies. We have data shares on five different servers that we are looking to virtualize. Probably about 3TB of data across all shares on those servers.
I have plenty of room on my VMWare environment - Disk, Processor, RAM.
What works for you? One big file server, all shares hanging off of it? Multiple servers to spread the shares? Within the one/each, is a larger datastore to hold the entire VMDK more efficient, or more prone to error/issue?
Thanks in advance!
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Question by:LingerLonger
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 1500 total points
ID: 40308033
If you have the licenses, I would be inclined to either

1. Keep the same, e.g. P2V the physical servers, to virtual, or create new file servers, e.g. 5 virtual servers.

OR...

2. use DFS, and create two new Large File Servers using DFS to replicate the data between the servers.

Use VMXNET3 interface for all servers.

Large datastores and virtual disks are okay, the only issue, is NTFS if it becomes corrupted, a chkdsk can take many hours to complete with many files....(lots of downtime, waiting for it to complete...)

which is why ReFS is better for super file servers....

Personally, we've transferred all our file servers to NetApp Filers (from 2004) and CIFS shares, because performance is better, and use a non NTFS file system.
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