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Garry White

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Adding LUN's or datastores in VMware

We are using VMware 5.0 and I have been tasked with trying to add multiple LUN's from our EMC San to the one Redhat 6.5 VM. I have not found any documentation about using multiple LUN's from a SAN to one VM. Is this even possible? Is it possible to add multiple datastores to one VM. Usually we have just one LUN for VM or one large LUN with Multiple VM's, but not the other away around.

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)
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Albert Widjaja
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Is it possible to add multiple datastores to one VM.

Depends what you want to do, present a RAW LUN, e.g. RAW Device Mapped direct LUN to SAN to VM, and format it with native file system.

or present multiple LUNs to ESXi, create datastores, and then create virtual machine disks for your VMs, on different datastores.

RDMs/RAW LUNs, are not often used these days, unless special circumstances exist like Clustering.

VMDKs are easier to manage, and perform just as well now!

see this link


also see this

RDM versus VMDK performance

Conclusion: VMFS and RDM have similar performance. Don’t choose RDM for performance.
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Mr Tortu(r)e
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just to talk about the vocabulary :
- a LUN is a logical disk unit on a San
- a Datastore is logical disk unit on ESX, it can be a whole LUN, or part of it
- a VMDK is a VM's virtual disk, stored on a datastore ; so again it is a logical disk unit, but the last layer one

So you can't "add datastores" to a VM, you add VMDK or RDM to it.
But you can add multiple VMDK to a VM, and these VMDK can belong to different LUN on your San.

RDM is a way to present a LUN directly to your VM, for the VM to "speak" directly to the San as if you presented a LUN to a physical server, so there is no VMDK in this case.
do you require more assistance with this question, to be able to close out.

VMware, a software company founded in 1998, was one of the first commercially successful companies to offer x86 virtualization. The storage company EMC purchased VMware in 1994. Dell Technologies acquired EMC in 2016. VMware’s parent company is now Dell Technologies. VMware has many software products that run on desktops, Microsoft Windows, Linux, and macOS, which allows the virtualizing of the x86 architecture. Its enterprise software hypervisor for servers, VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi), is a bare-metal hypervisor that runs directly on the server hardware and does not require an additional underlying operating system.

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