I recently had to connect two 4TB sata disks to a server to provide some raw storage to the network. Going on past experiences I didn’t want to virtualise the disks but rather present them to the virtual machine guest as a raw device mapping (RDM).
You will need a separate datastore that is separate to the ones you are attaching. It will have to be VMFS5 to get around the 2TB limit with VMFS3.
Note: This is not supported by VMware to the best of my knowledge.
- Start a SSH session to the VMware ESX host (or if on the physical server, drop to console)
- Run fdisk to see the disk layout.
- You will need to find the vml identifier, you need to match that to the drive.
ls /dev/disks/ -l
In my example, the two I am interested in are:
- Now browse to the VMFS5 datastore you will be creating the RDM’s
- Best practise would be to create a folder for the RDM’s to sit in
- Create the RDM’s by running the vmkfstools command (use the vml. location that you found in previous steps)
vmkfstools -r /vmfs/devices/disks/vml.01000000002020202020202020202020205a33303346325742535434303030 4TB_Disk1_RDM.vmdk -a lsilogic vmkfstools -r /vmfs/devices/disks/vml.01000000002020202020202020202020205a33303351523246535434303030 4TB_Disk2_RDM.vmdk -a lsilogic
- Verify you have the files created
- Attach to virtual machine