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I'm interested in using the Mirroring/RAID1 capabilities built into Windows Server 2008 but it's running on top of VMWare ESXi and I wanted to make sure there wasn't a conflict between the virtual drives of VMWare and the Dynamic Drives of Windows Server 2008.

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2 Answers 2

By themselves, Dynamic Disks don't present a problem for ESX. So far as they're concerned they're just another block device, what the OS does with it doesn't matter. Though keep in mind that you can't Extend RAID1 Dynamic Disks in Windows, once the mirror pair is created they will be that size forever more.

That said, we've never gone this route in our ESX cluster because the mirroring is happening at the ESX level, not in the VMs. In my opinion that's a better space for it.

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Yeah, we do this too. RAID is configured on the SAN, not within the VM. I'd struggle to think of a good reason to configure RAID in the guest OS in a production environment. –  ThatGraemeGuy Oct 4 '10 at 6:05
    
I'm fine with the idea of doing the software mirroring at the ESXi level. I didn't realize that was an option. Do you know of any good links for getting this setup? –  EfficionDave Oct 4 '10 at 15:42
    
@EfficionDave We do it in hardware, on the RAID card or in the SAN. If you want to use something like LVM I believe you have to go the NFS route. Otherwise, software (VM or ESX) mirroring doesn't buy anything unless you really, truly, have no other way to get data onto two separate sets of disks. –  sysadmin1138 Oct 4 '10 at 16:02

What are you hoping to accomplish with the RAID1 mirroring at the Windows level? If it's for redundancy, then why not rely on redundancy on your storage backend instead? What is your ESX environment running on?

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We don't have a storage backend. Just the local hard drives on the server. We've got two servers colocated in a data center that we're using as web servers. –  EfficionDave Oct 4 '10 at 15:29

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