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ESXi 4.0 and Ubuntu LTS VM Raw Drive Mapping/Software Raid

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#1
Ok, so as the title explains. My overall goal is map 4 1.5TB Drives to a Ubuntu LTS 10.04 VM, and create a software based raid 5 array and host that to the network inside an ESXi VM. Any idea if this is possible?
 

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#2
Ok, so as the title explains. My overall goal is map 4 1.5TB Drives to a Ubuntu LTS 10.04 VM, and create a software based raid 5 array and host that to the network inside an ESXi VM. Any idea if this is possible?
you will be able to map those drives to an ubuntu system. from there when you setup your VM software just reference that mount point. i suggest using command line to mount those drives, not the GUI. i am pretty sure there is open source software for software based raid 5 but i have never set that up before. look into cloud software which is what you want to do essentially.
 
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#3
Thinking of checking out Open Filer, instead of Ubuntu...

The main thing is making the drives available for Raw Device Mapping. We'll see how that goes tomorrow...
 

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#4
Thinking of checking out Open Filer, instead of Ubuntu...
there are pre-made operating systems for what you are looking to do. it would probably be easier!
 
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#5

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#6
which version of vmware are you using?
 
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#7
ESXi v4.0 Update 1
 

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#8
ESXi v4.0 Update 1
hahaa. as i posted it i just remembered what you wanted to do. vmware server is also free and is a bit more powerful. you may want to give it a try once you get comfortable with your setup.
 
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#9
I dunno, that sounds alot like ESXi, but it runs over a generic OS...where as ESXi is a stripped down version of ESX that is remotely controlled by vSphere. I am not sure what advantage could be gained from trying VMware Server over ESXi? ESXi 4.0 is also free, with its limitations..of course.
 
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#10
I don't really think of one as more powerful or not, they're just aimed at different situations.

Server: computer -> host OS -> Server -> VMs.

ESXi: computer -> ESXi -> VMs.

If you, for example, wanted to use ICHxR or any other RAID controller not supported under ESXi, you could set up the array, install the host OS, then install VMware Server and create VMs.

But if this way is working for you, then by all means go ESXi. It's "closer" to the hardware, so performance is a little better and there's no issues when rebooting a host OS for updates and whatnot.
 
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#11
I don't really think of one as more powerful or not, they're just aimed at different situations.

Server: computer -> host OS -> Server -> VMs.

ESXi: computer -> ESXi -> VMs.

If you, for example, wanted to use ICHxR or any other RAID controller not supported under ESXi, you could set up the array, install the host OS, then install VMware Server and create VMs.

But if this way is working for you, then by all means go ESXi. It's "closer" to the hardware, so performance is a little better and there's no issues when rebooting a host OS for updates and whatnot.
Great points, certainly something to think about. I could host the soft raid in Win Server 08 or RHEL. It would allow me to make the raid normally, and then just host it over the v Switch to the other drives. Which would be fast enough. I figure since I have this in place, if I ever need to make a switch, I probably would switch to Vmware Server, but since this is in place....yea.
 

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#12
Great points, certainly something to think about. I could host the soft raid in Win Server 08 or RHEL. It would allow me to make the raid normally, and then just host it over the v Switch to the other drives. Which would be fast enough. I figure since I have this in place, if I ever need to make a switch, I probably would switch to Vmware Server, but since this is in place....yea.
ahh, that makes a lot more sense now. do you guys know how much vsphere costs?
 
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#13
It's free, it's the ESXi licence that's limited with key. They limit you to a single CPU, and a certain amount of ram. Which is no biggie for home testing, but limits you in commercial application. Just do what I did and sign up at VMware.com, and pick your brand of fancy, ESX/ESXi/ESX server..They give you a free licence to it and Vsphere, but again its limited.
 

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#14
It's free, it's the ESXi licence that's limited with key. They limit you to a single CPU, and a certain amount of ram. Which is no biggie for home testing, but limits you in commercial application. Just do what I did and sign up at VMware.com, and pick your brand of fancy, ESX/ESXi/ESX server..They give you a free licence to it and Vsphere, but again its limited.
i have been a member with vmware for several years now. i have never tried anything other than vmware server because of how well it runs with ubuntu and that it does not cost me a dime and is not limited. there is a pay version of vsphere which i am curious to know how much it costs.
 
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#15
I was looking at $20K+ to license three 2P servers and with all the 'goodies' a few months ago at my old job.

Wasn't ready to drop that kind of cash and besides, as I was at an SMB, I wanted to wait until desktop solutions matured to really utilize the benefits.
 

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#16
I was looking at $20K+ to license three 2P servers and with all the 'goodies' a few months ago at my old job.

Wasn't ready to drop that kind of cash and besides, as I was at an SMB, I wanted to wait until desktop solutions matured to really utilize the benefits.
yea, it seems most of the benefit of using that stuff comes when you are a multinational enterprise.
 
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#17
I am working on a similar project at home. I am using the free VMWare 2.02. Last night I installed W2K8 Storage Server as a VM and configured it as my iSCSI Target to be used as storage on all VMs. Once you set it up I think all you need is to use the ip of the Storage Server, Folder, login info and you can use as regular windows storage. Or you can use Microsoft Initiator software and run on any 2K3 or 2K8 VMs to connect to the iSCSI targets.

After struggling for last 4 days I finally made progress with this setup. I will see if I can open a separate thread to post my findings.

I initially went with Openfiler in a VM route. I finished setting up the iSCSI targets but couldn't make a proper connection to those targets. I will try out this route one more time tonight and see if I can make it work. This is the simplest and less overhead route.
 
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#18
yea, it seems most of the benefit of using that stuff comes when you are a multinational enterprise.
Yup. It's a little more work using Server/ESXi (you do all the backups, transfers of VM's to other machines) but free is free and I didn't have to manage dozens of servers, just a handful.

The idea was to find out how much it would cost to only have three servers in the building and no desktops (all virtualized) with auto backup and failover for about 50 users. Would have been hella sweet, but there was no way we could swing the licensing and PCoIP monitor costs at that time.
 
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#19
Well the shit hit the fan, I am going back in with Window's Server 08...the drive finished fine, but the permissions for it...won't work at all. Meaning Samba doesn't work at all. Meaning...yea.
 

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#20
Well the shit hit the fan, I am going back in with Window's Server 08...the drive finished fine, but the permissions for it...won't work at all. Meaning Samba doesn't work at all. Meaning...yea.
what samba permissions are you not figuring out? it is pretty easy once you get a hang of it.
 
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#21
Sorry if I didn't clarify, the drive isn't acting properly, it won't let me alter any of the permissions on the drive, there's something inherently wrong with the drive(probably because of the way I am trying to configure it). But trying to access the drive outside of the VM box, isn't working at all. I have spent too much time on this for the results I am getting. And thus going back to 08.

I have setup shares in with Samba before, and never had anything like this happen..
 
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#22
My boss is convinced that we got that far, he can fix the issue with permissions...so it looks like I am going to rebuild the array tomorrow....*holds shotgun to foot*
 

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#23
My boss is convinced that we got that far, he can fix the issue with permissions...so it looks like I am going to rebuild the array tomorrow....*holds shotgun to foot*
:roll: yea you can figure it out.
 
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#24
That and just to show off, he setup exactly what I was trying to do in his VM environment at work in 20 minutes with much smaller disks...So it does work...just yea.
 

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#25
That and just to show off, he setup exactly what I was trying to do in his VM environment at work in 20 minutes with much smaller disks...So it does work...just yea.
well good to know it will work. why does your boss want to go with ubuntu over server 2008? i don't mind server 2008 for small businesses but it gets really bogged down after awhile.