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I have multiple Windows guests on a single vSphere 5 host using local storage. There's a large set of files that each of them has and currently pull from a single source. I'd like to stop wasting space by having six copies of the same files on the same host when only one guest actually changes them.

Is it possible to drop these into a single virtual disk and share that between multiple guests, where only one has write privileges?

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I don't really see this as a virtualization problem requiring a virtualization solution. What you're trying to accomplish is not really best accomplished at the host level in my opinion. What you should do is to set up a file share on a single file server, to which all of the other servers have access and place your files there. Set the appropriate permissions on the file share and the folders and files it contains so that the appropriate entity has READ/WRITE permission while all of the other entities have READ permission. This would be accomplished at the guest OS level.

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It may not be best accomplished at the host level, but is it possible? –  sh-beta Oct 12 '11 at 12:34

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