Need more disk space on virtual server. Should I add more disks on VM and then use Windows to make spanned volumes?

hi guys,

I'm building a new file server. The original data is on a Windows 2003 server along with SAN storage. We're talking around 6-7TB's of data.

I've got storage on our SAN worth around 14TB. So if I wanted to create a new file server with around 10TB available on it, I would need to create large enough disks.

Now, I've been told that adding disks to Windows and then created a spanned volume on there isn't a great idea for performance? Is that true?

I'm running Vmware 4.1 sadly for now, so I know you can only go up to 8mb blocks and then create a maximum 2TB disk size until we upgrade to vmware 5.5 (which we are planning doing within the next 2 months).

Should I wait and upgrade to Vmware 5.5 and then be able to add larger disk blocks? Is that better for performance?

Thanks
Yashy
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YashyAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Performance of spanned disks, is poor, also spanned disks, as a way to increase disk size is really a "hack job".

Options

1. Spanned DIsks - the "hack job"

2. Create a 10TB LUN, and present this to the VM as a RAW Disk. (RDM)

3. Create a 10TB LUN, and present this to the VM as an iSCSI DIsk, in the VM, using Microsoft iSCSI Initiator.
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YashyAuthor Commented:
Hey Andy,

Thank you sir.

I usually add the disk by creating a new virtual disk and then selecting the datastore.

Can you tell me the difference between adding it as a RAW Disk? When I looked into that option it seems like a far more complex route of adding a disk, which evidently has its reasons.

Cheers
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
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YashyAuthor Commented:
Aha....just read it. I get it now:). I don't use it and would love to see how they are used in environments, but I now understand why they're used.

Thanks Andy for the feedback as always
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
No problems.

Andy
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