Question : Running a Windows 2003/2008 DFS fileserver on Vsphere 4?


I have come to the point where i need to reinstall my dfs fileserver.
It's about 700 users at the most connecting to it, plus shares for various applications.
The fileserver is a Dell Poweredge 2950 server connected to a emc san with a dual 2gbps fibrechannel card.

My question is - can i virtualize the fileserver succesfully with this amout of users and applications connecting to it? Maybe i should go for Windows 2008 r2 instead of 2003 x64?

Btw - I am running vmware vsphere 4.


Answer : Running a Windows 2003/2008 DFS fileserver on Vsphere 4?

What size are your shares/partitions on the Dell? I do recommend using RDMs for your VM storage as Arun suggests, although you don't have any real need to use RDMs except for the fact that it's just an easier transition (again, unless your storage is quite large...approaching 1TB for example). You can P2V your host, then just swap the SAN connection from your Dell to your ESX/i host, rescan your ESX/i HBAs, then (as Arun mentions), add a new hard disk to the VM as a RDM. You don't really gain performance having storage as a RDM on a VM as opposed to just creating a virtual disk, but again it's just an easier transition. Another benefit to using RDM is the P2V will take significantly less time. The more volumes you P2V, the longer the process takes to complete.

BTW...I have a DFS/fileserver that I P2V'd last summer and it works flawlessly. I have 5 volumes, 4 of which are network drives. All of them are RDMs, but I kept them that way because it was easier to virtualize the host (less time). 1 of my volumes is 1.5TB, so regardless, that one I would've kept as a RDM volume.

Hope that helps.

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