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Does anyone here use Openfiler as VM for the iSCSI datastore ? I'd like to know how do you set it as your Virtual Machine and what's the performance so far ?

My primary goal is to present the Openfiler as iSCSI storage larger than 2 TB to my Windows Server for storing large datafiles, so it must be formatted as NTFS.

Thanks.

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In order to do this you'll have to have a VMFS datastore that is larger than 2tb, which would require the use of extents. I believe this goes against VMware best/recommended practices because if you have a problem with 1 extent it will take down the whole VMFS volume. Couldn't you could use open filer to share smaller chucks and use a Dynamic Disk to create a large volume? Or you could just create a bunch of 500gig vmdk files on your datastores and share those directly to the server vm. and you wouldn't need iSCSI. –  Peter Nov 13 '10 at 1:22

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First of all, beware using OpenFiler with ESX: http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1026596

That said, if you wish to go ahead, you could expose multiple <2TB iSCSI LUNs from OpenFiler to ESX and then grow them together as multiple extents of one VMFS filesystem. There shouldn't be an issue of one extent going down since they're all exposed from the same storage. But then you'd have to create multiple VMDKs on top of that because they are also limited to 2TB, and then Windows would have to be responsible for assembling them into a single volume.

So, perhaps it would be easier in this case to skip the VMware storage layer and expose iSCSI directly to the guest VM using the Windows iSCSI initiator? Windows 2003 SP1 and above should be able to handle LUNs larger than 2TB without fancy workarounds. This should also steer you clear of the ESX+OpenFiler problems listed in the KB article above.

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thanks for your response guys, however " for use within a VMware environment" I've just deployed on the VMware ESXi small Openfiler Vm and then expose the disk on top of the VMFS datastore, so far the performance been good as can be seen from: i56.tinypic.com/m8398k.jpg –  Albert Widjaja Nov 17 '10 at 8:59

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