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Operating System - VMware
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VMWare Virtual Disk

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Honored Contributor

VMWare Virtual Disk

Hi Gurus,

Can you somebody help answer this question for me please.

See this post which I started today

Does the term VMWare virtual disk include SAN storage or does it refer to internal disks on ESX host?

Thanks in advance, points awarded.


Uwe Zessin
Honored Contributor

Re: VMWare Virtual Disk

I've answered in the thread you referenced to keep the discussion in one thread.
Steven Clementi
Honored Contributor

Re: VMWare Virtual Disk

I'll answer here simply for the other folks that might search and find this forum thread and never see the other one...

A VMware virtual disk is simply a file, or set of files that reside in a larger filesystem (vmfs datastore, rdm, etc) accessible to a VMware Server.

The "virtual disk" appears to the guest as it's "physical" disk and is where the Operating System and/or Application and Application Data reside.

This location (the vmfs datastore) may be solely used for 1 particular virtual machine or it may be shared across several/many virtual machines.


Virtual Machine 1 - Windows 2003 Server (Name of vm)
Windows 2003 Server.vmdk, size 8GB
Windows 2003 Server_1.vmdk, size 20GB

Windows 2003 Server.vmdk shows up as Disk0 and usually holds the C: partition

Windows 2003 Server_1.vmdk would than show up as Disk1 and probably a D: partition (or any other letter) where applications have been installed.

So, in conclusion... these "virtual disk"'s can reside anywhere. Local Storage (internal disks), SAN/NAS Storage, iSCSI Storage, etc.

Steven Clementi
HP Master ASE, Storage and Clustering
MCSE (NT 4.0, W2K, W2K3)
VCP (ESX2, Vi3, vSphere4, vSphere5)
NPP3 (Nutanix Platform Professional)
Gordon Sjodin
Frequent Advisor

Re: VMWare Virtual Disk

A virtual disk could reside on any disk that is formated with the vmfs file system. A vmware guest can also access a RAW disk.
Honored Contributor

Re: VMWare Virtual Disk

Many Thanks for your help, appreciate your comments.