In today’s article we will go over how to configure a local DataStore on ESXi 5. Remember if you have a local DataStore this is only visible to the ESXi 5 host that it is attached to. Since this is not shared storage, if you are in a clustered ESXi environment, it is not recommended to store your VMs here. You will not be able to take advantage of many of the advanced features of ESXi in a cluster if the VMs are stored here.
This is a good place to upload ISO files, to build VMs or install software with. It is also a good place to keep templates. If you are in a solo environment which is what this currently is, there is less of a big deal storing VMs here.
To start off we will log into our vSphere client and point it directly to the ESXi host, since we do not currently have a vCenter server built. Type in the IP address or DNS name of the ESXi 5 host that you would like to attach to. Then type in the username and password. Hit Login.
This will open up directly on the Configuration tab. This is due to the fact that we currently do not have any persistent storage. This is clearly illustrated at the top of the screen. Click on the "Click here to create a datastore.."
This will open up the Add Storage Type Interface. From this screen we will want to keep the radio button selected to Disk/LUN which is the default and click on Next.
The next screen is the Select Disk/LUN screen. In this screen there is a ton of useful information about this disk. The most important of which are the Identifier, which is also the Canonical Name. This ID stays the same reboot after reboot even as storage is added. There is also the Path ID or Run time name, next to it. This does not stay persistent reboot to reboot. Tip. This was a Cert Question.
We will be interested in noting the LUN ID, since we will be using that in our Naming convention. Highlight the disk that you want to use by left mouse clicking on it and click next.
Next we will see the File System Version screen. We will keep the default of VMFS-5. There really is no need to use the older VMFS versions unless you are doing it for backwards compatibility. Click Next.
This will bring us to the Current Disk Layout screen. You can review the layout and then Click Next.
This will take us to the Properties screen. Here is where you enter a name for your DataStore. It is very important to have naming standards. This is the cornerstone of any good infrastructure. It makes things clear for those who will take over your role after you have moved on.
We will be using the following convention Device-Raid Level -LUN ID. So in this case the device is locally attached storage so we will say PIL-ESXi1-RAID5-LUN0. Once this is filled in click next.
This will bring you to the capacity screen. We will keep the default of Maximum available space. Some people like to keep some in reserve. This really depends upon how you manage your data and what is shown to the business. Click Next.
Then you will get a Ready to Complete screen. Review all of your settings and when you are satisfied click on Finished.
You will then see a task in the Recent Tasks section that will have a name of Create VMFS datastore. This may take a couple of minutes to complete depending upon how big of a data store you will have.
That is all there is to it. The most important thing to take away from this is that naming conventions will save you. It allows for a good visible label about the capacity of the storage that you are using.