troubleshooting Question

Esxi and NETAPP SAN storage planning / LUN management

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We have a corporate client with several locations that backup to their main corporate servers.

Approx 27 locations backup nightly to the corporate backup servers and storage.

The customer is moving off basic NAS storage due to expansion needs and IOP issues with the increased load during nightly backups.  The storage using NAS was taxed heavily in peak hours causing random disconnects.   So a NETAPP enterprise grade SAN was purchased.

The main backup server is running in a VM on ESxi 5.5.  It simply runs processing and SQL database , the actual storage or backups can be any target accessible to the SQL server.

The NETAPP e-series SAN is connected with an HBA SAS controller at 12GPS directly to the SAN for a high speed link.
Total storage on the NETAPP is 21TB at this point additional shelves can be added down the road for expansion.

We are going to create 2 large LUNS on the NETAPP  for backup storage and one smaller LUN.    8TB and 8TB and leave a 4TB LUN for other purposes VM backups / VMS etc.

Do we now create 8TB VDMK hard drives inside each 8TB LUN and attach as hard drives to the VM?
Or is there a way to attach a NETAPP LUN in its format to the VM for storage?
I believe the answer is a VDMK will be required inside the NETAPP LUNS for use by the VM?

Thanks in advance
Jason
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