I was just rebuilding my “ESX in a box” setup. I wanted to install an iSCSI Virtual San Appliance but why should I? Your answer probably is: well because you need shared storage to do a VMotion / HA / DRS etc. Yes you are completely right I do need shared storage to have these capabilities, but there’s no need for an iSCSI VSA or NFS appliance for that matter.
A while ago Bouke G. of Jume wrote a nice blog on how to set up shared storage without a SAN appliance. In short you just create an additional disk(scsi id 1:0) on the first ESX VM. Close down VMware Workstation and edit your .vmx file. I would suggest a copy and paste of the following lines and remove the duplicate lines. (scsi1:0.filename etc)
scsi1.present = “TRUE”
scsi1.virtualDev = “lsilogic”
scsi1.sharedBus = “VIRTUAL”
scsi1:0.present = “TRUE”
scsi1:0.fileName = “D:\Virtual Machines\shared_disk.vmdk”
scsi1:0.mode = “independent-persistent”
scsi1:0.redo = “”
disk.locking = “FALSE”
diskLib.dataCacheMaxSize = “0”
diskLib.dataCacheMaxReadAheadSize = “0”
diskLib.dataCacheMinReadAheadSize = “0”
diskLib.dataCachePageSize = “4096”
diskLib.maxUnsyncedWrites = “0”
Now copy the correct .vmx entries to the second ESX VM’s .vmx file and just boot them up. It’s as simple as that. Yes I know setting up iSCSI isn’t difficult but this will save you precious memory, especially when running this as a demo kit on your laptop!