Conz Absent Member.
Absent Member.
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OES Cluster on VMWare - vmdk or direct iSCSI ?

I'm busy setting up a cluster just for file-serving on vmware that needs to serve about 300Gb to 150-200 users as a replacement for a single physical machine that is running out of disk space..

These files are mostly tiny word files and the occasional application that gets started from here. Not a lot of traffic other then during the backup.
I'm trying to determine what would be better, a 500gb vmdk that is on an iscsi san connected to vmware or mounting the same iscsi target on the virtual server.

On a side note, there's still a change I might just get 2 el-cheapo servers and use those for a cluster as SLES has more quirks on vmware then on physical hardware.
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mww Contributor.
Contributor.

Re: OES Cluster on VMWare - vmdk or direct iSCSI ?

If your doing an OES cluster on vmware then you'll be using a RDM or you'll load ISCSI in the VM to attach to the lun.

But the overhead is lower if you do it at the vmware layer using an RDM and present it to the VM as an RDM. Since ESXi will already have the iscsi initiator running for the VM's datastore.

Not sure what you mean by sles has quarks on vmware, we havent run a single SLES install on anything but virtual hardware for at least 3 years now. Its more or less the gold standard.

-m
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Knowledge Partner
Knowledge Partner

Re: OES Cluster on VMWare - vmdk or direct iSCSI ?

Well there were and have been a few issues with SLES 10 anyway (depending upon which kernel you used) and vmware in the past year or so. There was one kernel update that basically trashed the networking card but only in vmware. There was another kernel update that caused extremely high CPU utilization but only in vmware and only if you used the VMI-enabled kernel.

That being said, I'm not sure if Novell officially supports NCS in OES2 on Vmware (it may work, but I'm not sure if it's tested/supported by Novell--I will have to dig further). Although I do know many people running it this way, and given the size for the OP, it's probably doable/viable. But not sure about supported.
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Knowledge Partner
Knowledge Partner

Re: OES Cluster on VMWare - vmdk or direct iSCSI ?

So the section 10.3 indicates that NCS is supported in a VM, but section 10.x itself only lists XEN VM, not vmware. In fact, a search for "vmware" in the entire OES2 installation and planning guide docs reveals zero results.

Which is odd/strange.

I'll have to inquire further.
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mww Contributor.
Contributor.

Re: OES Cluster on VMWare - vmdk or direct iSCSI ?

Novell consulting setup a 4 node vmware cluster for one of our customers, not sure if that counts as "official support".

We have never had any issue with engaging novell support on a vmware OES cluster.....but then again, we haven't seen any of the "update" issues you've had either.
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Conz Absent Member.
Absent Member.

Re: OES Cluster on VMWare - vmdk or direct iSCSI ?

Most issues I've had have been with time sync and indeed the kernel acting up with the network driver. The last few kernels seem to be going fine though, still requires a boot parameter for me so the time stops drifting.

But back on the subject, I'll go with a vmdk first and see how it goes.
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