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Is is possible to set up ESXi or more expensive ESX server as a storage target (FCoE, ISCSI or NFS, in that order) for other ESX servers? If so, how?

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ESX is to my knowledge not more pricey. –  3molo Apr 13 '11 at 10:43
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2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

One solution would be to set up a VM guest on the ESX / ESXi server running something like openfiler which is a linux based open source storage server

It can be downloaded from http://www.openfiler.com/ and supports iSCSI and NFS - not sure about FCoE

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FCoE isn't quite there yet, but OpenFiler will get it pretty soon (within 18 months is my guess). –  sysadmin1138 Apr 13 '11 at 11:42
    
Interesting solution. But seems like a lot of overhead. –  Henno Apr 14 '11 at 11:02
    
Would it be possible set up ISCSI target on ESX(i) –  Henno Apr 27 '11 at 12:48
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You can install Openfiler and pass whole physical hard drive (or more) to this virtual machine (VMWare Raw Disk Mapping - RDM). Then you can easily configure Openfiler as FCoE Target or iSCSI target or NFS Server.

RDM usually for iSCSI targets, but you can configure your ESXi manually (RDM for physical hdd).

Example:

vmkfstools -r /vmfs/devices/disks/vml.01000000002020202020205354463630374d473356304a554b486974616368 testdisk_1.vmdk

and then edited the servername.vmx to include the following lines:

scsi0:1.present = TRUE
scsi0:1.fileName = /vmfs/volumes/datastore2/DC1/testdisk_1.vmdk 

Discussion about VMWare Raw Disk Mapping, and similar questions at ServerFault.

Here is complete HOWTO configuration Openfiler as iSCSI target for ESX/ESXi.

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