I want to add a new harddisk to an existing VM and want the best performance possible. The new hard disk will exist on an NFS datastore. Currently I did the following:

  • Created new vmdk on NFS datastore
  • Created new lvm partition using fdisk
  • Create new physical volume, volume group, and logical volume (2TB)
  • Created ext3 partition on logical volume

Is there a better way to do this? Should I be doing some vmware-ish file system instead?

  • That is correct... assuming you still need the features that capturing a disk inside a VMDK provides, snapshot, etc, otherwise you could mount that same NFS datastore from the VM directly as recommended by Kyle Smith below. – SpacemanSpiff Mar 19 '12 at 22:37

I believe the fastest performance would be to cut out the middle-man and mount the NFS volume directly within the Guest VM, rather than emulating a new hard disk in software.

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  • I think our storage might support iscsi too. Would using iscsi directly from the VM be the best solution? Would it be better to create an iscsi datastore within ESXi? – CarpeNoctem Mar 19 '12 at 23:15
  • Both good questions. Depending on your architecture, I would think iSCSI would outperform NFS. Running some tests wouldn't be too difficult, and would be worth knowing the results of. – Kyle Smith Mar 19 '12 at 23:16
  • There's no way to know what will work best without testing with real life loads. Storage system behavior varies widely. I/O profiles vary widely. Don't believe anyone who will tell you "iscsi is faster than nfs" or vice versa. – Max Alginin Mar 20 '12 at 1:25

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