I'm about to create a very large file system for Windows Server and client to use (NTFS), by using Openfiler as the iSCSI initiator.[using any other free appliance will also be considered]

Can OpenFiler that is deployed on my VMware ESXi as VM presenting / using the unformatted 2 TB+ datastore as the RDM ? [Because of the VMFS limitations it cannot recognize or use > 2 TB datastore]

My situation is to utilize the unused 6x 500 GB SATAII disks that is on my Dell Power Edge server, all of the VM is on my SAN.

Any kind of help and suggestion in presenting the unformatted LUN greater than 2 TB to the Windows Server would be greatly appreciated.


1 Answer 1


No, you can't use a LUN larger than 2TB (minus 512 bytes) with VMware, VMFS or RDM. http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=3371739

Try looking at the raid controller in your server and see if you can create logical disks. This way you could put all the 6 disks in a RAID5 (giving you 2,5TB unformatted), and then slice it up into 2 logical disks.

Present the two logical disks to VMware and create datastores on them or use RDM, then use software raid on Openfiler (or whatever OS you're going to use for this) to stripe (raid 0) the two logical disks you created earlier.

  • ah, IC so in this case using Openfiler as the VM I can present it to the other host as RDM ? Nov 11, 2010 at 10:17
  • How you deliver the storage to the other VM's depdends on your implementation. IIRC, OpenFiler does SMB, NFS, iSCSI and probably more.
    – pauska
    Nov 11, 2010 at 22:23

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