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Moving ESX *.vmdk files on BL20p from local disks to EVA SAN

Lyndon Handy
Frequent Advisor

Moving ESX *.vmdk files on BL20p from local disks to EVA SAN

We have a series of BL20p blade servers in production running VMware ESX2.5 with Guest O/S's running Windows server 2003.
It came to my attention that the guest O/S *.vmdk files are on the local BL20p mirrored disks and not on the connected EVA storage. Shared RAW devices are mapped to EVA storage no problem but all the Guest O/S's have their C: drives on local disks.

1) How do I easily move the *.vmdk files to the EVA? I gather I need to present a LUN and mount it as VMFS-formatted first?
2) Is there is a best practice about this? Should all *.vmdk's be on the SAN? Can't find anything from VMware on this...Is it supported?

"tried and true instead of new and improved"
Jonathan Cousins
Occasional Visitor

Re: Moving ESX *.vmdk files on BL20p from local disks to EVA SAN

Hi Lyndon,

Best practice is to install the *.vmdk files on a shared LUN on the SAN. Should you wish to utilise vmotion at a later stage, this is the only supported method.

The way to perform the operation is via a "Cold migration" method - basically it's shutting down the virtual disk, moving it to the new LUN (I would recommend a copy first - making sure everything is operating correctly before removing the image from the local storage), then bringing it back up again.

As far as mounting goes - look at using raw luns with pointers from vmdk.

There should be plenty of information and best practice white papers on both the VMWare site and the HP site.

Hope that helps... Good luck with the planning.