Alright, so I want to start leveraging my SAN a little more than I have been, and at the same time, take advantage of ESXi.
Currently, I've got an array of Dell PowerEdge 1955 blades connected to a single-enclosure EMC AX4-5 FC storage array. I'm essentially using the SAN as DAS. I've got LUNs on the SAN that are pointing at specific physical machines, and those machines utilize the LUNs for whatever (mostly databases and Samba/NFS shares, depending on the target server).
I've got multiple physical file servers, and each one has a samba config setup to serve the appropriate shares. Since I never got RHCS to work, only one of the file servers has the LUNs mounted at a time. In the event that a fileserver dies, I fence it manually (either by unmounting and unpresenting the drive, using the navisphere utility, or by killing the power via DRAC) then use the navisphere utility to bring up the presented LUNs on the next contender (after which, start apache and the other daemons). All by hand, right now.
I feel sort off like Ferris Bueller playing the clarinet. Never had a lesson!
Anyway, I'm trying to improve. What I want to do is install ESXi on the physical hosts, then create LUNs to hold two fileserver images (in case one gets corrupt/fubar), one of which will be the active, the other will be the standby. At least this way, I don't improve the automation (although I'll get around to writing a script to switch the "active" server at some point soon), but I feel like I'm adding flexibility, plus I can use the ESXi hosts to hold other VMs, and the hardware won't be wasted, like it is now.
My questions are:
1) How stupid is my plan?
2) When it comes to the actual implementation, should I create a normal vmdk image on the LUN, or should I give it a "raw" partition (if that's even possible with ESXi?)
3) Is there a "good" way to use non-clustered fileservers?