Best method for adding partition to the VM in VMware ESXi5.5

Hi VMware Experts,

I have to provision a new VM for running CallXpress service on a virtualised environment.
This is the first time I am trying to install CallXpress server on a VM.
I have found out we can run the server on a windows server 2012 R2 environment.

These are the basic requirements
1)The new VM should have at least two data drives C:\ and D:\.
2)It should have min 4GB of memory.
3)It should have NIC.
2)It should have the ability for vMotion, HA, Flash read cache and dynamic resource allocation.

We already have a server 2012 R2 template which have 60GB C:\ partition with 4GB memory which I can use to deploy the c:\ drive,but how do I create a D:\ partition?

What is the advantages and disadvantages of creating the C:\ and D:\ partition in the same LUN of SAN?

What I was planning for this project is to deploy the VM from the existing template and then just before finishing the creation, customize it by adding another one more vDisk and use a different LUN for the D:\ drive vmdk file than using the same LUN used for creating the system files,so that in the future if I need to expand the d:\ drive I can expand in a fly without affecting the c:\ drive datastore.I am not sure that is the best practice for Compellent FC SAN.

Also How do I achieve the high Availability and vMotion side of things to work once I have created the VM?
I have read that adding the VM to a Host Cluster will achieve the HA,FT and vMotion, but not sure that will achieve all I want by just adding into the host cluster,what else I have to do to achieve that on a FC SAN environment?

any help/suggestions would be appreciated,

thanks in advance
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Carlos IjalbaIT Systems DirectorCommented:
Hi Tempestad,

You don't usually assign LUNS directly to windows drives.
What you do instead is create VMware datastores, and the LUNS map to the datastores.

Each VM (which basically they are hosted on a folder kept on a datastore), is stored in the datastores, and can be moved (migrated) between different datastores.

You can add as many drives as you want to your VM, and they will be stored as different files inside the VM folder.

Said this, if you really want to map LUNs directly to a windows host, you can use what is called RDM drives or Raw Device Mappings. But if you want to use VMware HA capabilities, it's best no to use them.

You can expand a virtual drive whenever you want, it's the OS the one that has the problem to expand, some support it on the fly, and others need a power cycle.

And you can have HA, as long as you have a VMware ESXi cluster, once you move the VM to the cluster, then you can change it's HA priorities to handle different scenarios.

FT or Fault Tolerance is not as simple as HA, so if you need this you will need to look at it more carefully. But for most cases HA is good enough.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Firstly, I would just add a disk, to the VM, Right Click VM, Edit Settings, and add a new Hard Disk (vmdk), format this in Windows.

Clusters, vMotion, HA, and FT, all need to be setup.

VMware HA is enabled on the Cluster, so when the VM is created it's created in the Cluster, so it will be VMware HA protected automatically.

vMotion is a manual process, you right click the VM, and select Migrate (this is dependant upon the criteria, and requirements being met).

FT  (this is dependant upon the criteria, and requirements being met) - Right Click the VM, and select Configure for Fault Tolerence.

Do you need FT ?

Do you know what it does, and all the caveats that go with enabling FT ?

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la-tempestadAuthor Commented:
Hi Carlos,

I don't want to add the volume directly from SAN (RDM), I think you have misunderstood what I have said.
I need to deploy the server 2012 R2 VM from an existing template which gives me a VM with c:\ drive 60GB and a memory of 4GB from a datastore (LUN).

My question is what is the best option when I add a second vDisk from the edit settings for the second vmdk file in the VMFS datastore.Is it best method to use another  datastore (LUN) for the second vDisk or use the same datastore LUN? what are the advantages and disadvantages using the same datastore(LUN) for the two partitions?

Yeah I do all the caveats about the FT,so not need to know on this occasion.

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Do your LUNs on the SAN, have different performance characteristics ?

e.g. the datastores, are they RAID 10 and RAID 5 etc

otherwise if they are all the same, there will be no added benefit or slitting the disks between LUNs.
la-tempestadAuthor Commented:
Yes my LUNs are in a dell compellent SAN and have different storage tiers for different VMs.

No my worry is if I need to extend the D:\ drive on a later stage,I think its good to have the second vmdk file in a separate LUN which does not make any issues with the system files running on c:\ drive which is in a different VMFS datastore.

Am I correct or it doesn't make any difference if have two .vmdk files are stored in the same VMFS datastore(LUN)?

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Okay, so if you have different tiered storage....if this was an SQL DB....

you could have OS on slow storage, and DB and Logs on faster storage that makes good performance sense.

it does not make any difference, as far as increasing the VMDK size, you will want to ensure you have valid free space on all datastores to do this.

Different datastores, different LUNs, for performance makes sense. (if applicable).
la-tempestadAuthor Commented:
anyone installed CallXpress server on a virtualised environment?

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
We installed similar Cisco VOIP based servers as virtual machines.
la-tempestadAuthor Commented:
Are you having your cisco VOIP based servers are on a different VLAN or in the same VLAN of your data service?

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
We use VLANs, and ALL VOIP is on different VLAN, to normal services, this is also so we can prioritize VOIP traffic across WAN links, so we do not lose telephones across sites, so data has a lower priority across the WAN links.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
I think we are off-topic now, from the original question asked.
Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
This question has been classified as abandoned and is closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See the recommendation for more details.
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