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Calling all vmware-heads, work this one out!

Discussion in 'Virtual and Cloud Computing' started by Mikeyboy, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. Mikeyboy

    Mikeyboy Kilobyte Poster

    Hi All,

    Calling on experienced vmware types to give some thought to see if what I want to achieve, is possible...

    I currently have 2x esxi hosts on dell poweredge 1950s, using an old pc running starwind iscsi software as my virtual san...
    Now this pc also has a few other things on it, namely all my media / software repository and other bits and pieces... The media (films etc) are stored on a 4 disk raid-5, and I have 2x 750gb drives in a mirror which the starwind SAN image files are sat on...

    Now what I was planning on doing was replacing this old pc with something that can run esxi, preferably low-ish power as I leave it on all the time... I wanted to p2v this old pc to maintain the setup, but as I thought more about it, I started to wonder how I can set it up... What I mean is, as the OS on this old pc (the starwind software anyway) takes care of housing the storage which my vms sit on, then it would need to be running to allow the other vms access to the 'san'... But where would I house the vm files for the pc? If I had to house in local storage, that would kind defeat the point, as I couldn't vmotion etc, it would have to stay permanently on this one host...i was hoping to not have much in the way of local storage, well I mean just install esxi on sd / usb, and use all local disks as esxi san storage and file storage, as I was previously...
    Main reason for wanting to do this is I wanted to have a few vms running constantly, the pc isn't really upto running workstation with vms running constantly (only 4gb ram max).
    Any ideas for an alternative set up? I thought about the VSA, but dont know enough about it to know if that would meet my requirements...are there any other virtual appliances that allow me to create a virtual san from local storage?

    Welcome any suggestions!
    Certifications: VCP,MCSA, MCP, MCDST, MCITP, MCTS, A+, N+
  2. SimonD
    Honorary Member

    SimonD Terabyte Poster

    If I were you I would probably use an external drive to copy over the data files to. I would also use something like Acronis to take a backup of the machine (if you still need it).

    Once you have all the data taken off the unit I would then install FreeNAS onto it and configure a couple of shares, one for your normal data and the other as either an NFS or iSCSI share for the VM's.

    The machine should be able to run FreeNAS with ease and performs better than OpenFiler in my testing.
    Certifications: CNA | CNE | CCNA | MCP | MCP+I | MCSE NT4 | MCSA 2003 | Security+ | MCSA:S 2003 | MCSE:S 2003 | MCTS:SCCM 2007 | MCTS:Win 7 | MCITP:EDA7 | MCITP:SA | MCITP:EA | MCTS:Hyper-V | VCP 4 | ITIL v3 Foundation | VCP 5 DCV | VCP 5 Cloud | VCP6 NV | VCP6 DCV | VCAP 5.5 DCA
    WIP: VCP6-CMA, VCAP-DCD and Linux + (and possibly VCIX-NV).
  3. Mikeyboy

    Mikeyboy Kilobyte Poster

    Hi Simon,

    cheers for the reply - I probably didnt explain myself very well when I was writing this - my end goal is to get rid of this old PC, and replace with a newer server (or other piece of hardware). I want this replacement device to run ESXi, and part of this replacement will be p2v the old PC, and moving all files etc over to the new device. My main question was how I could get round converting this old PC, when one of the jobs this old PC does, is host the virtual SAN!

    I guess part of the question is can I use another virtual SAN, so I wont need this old PC running to host the SAN for the other VMs to run? and also itself? in some weird vm hosting other VMs scenario :)

    I had a look at VSAs as this would possibly be what I need, maybe the HP vsa looked good? but dont know enough about how these work etc...
    Certifications: VCP,MCSA, MCP, MCDST, MCITP, MCTS, A+, N+
  4. dales

    dales Terabyte Poster

    Depends on what you want to get out of p2ving the old pc. If its just access to the machine no matter the performance then n40l microserver is the kiddie for you. Personally I would build a fresh desktop vm and migrate your settings and files across. It will take time but it is worth it. Then with the disks you have left create an openfiler/freenas vm and eat up the rest of the space. Either way you still have the original files and setting on the old pc so its not the end of the world if you forget something.
    Certifications: vExpert 2014+2015+2016,VCP-DT,CCE-V, CCE-AD, CCP-AD, CCEE, CCAA XenApp, CCA Netscaler, XenApp 6.5, XenDesktop 5 & Xenserver 6,VCP3+5,VTSP,MCSA MCDST MCP A+ ITIL F
    WIP: Nothing

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