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VMDK or iSCSI NTFS for SQL volume greater than 2TB?

Question asked by Jacob Wolf on Oct 17, 2013
Latest reply on Nov 4, 2013 by hduong

I have some SQL 2012 data volumes that will be growing over 2TB in space, and some may grow up to 40TB in space in the coming months. My question is what is the best way to build these volumes? Right now we are using one 2TB VMDK formatted in vmfs5, but i will need to start expanding the drive size quickly.


We do not want to have to manually break up the data files in SQL, so one volume presented to the OS is ideal. Right now I see my options as such:


  • Build a 40TB volume as and present it through VMware as a physical RDM and format NTFS
  • Build separate 2TB VMFS volumes as vmdk disks and expand the volume in Windows by 2TB each time I need to add space
  • Build 40TB volume and present it to Windows using the Server 2k8 iSCSI drivers and format NTFS


Performance is the number one priority for these volumes, with management coming in next priority-wise. Do any of these options provide substantial performance increases over the others? All being equal, my preference is the second option to just expand by 2TB when i need to add space. My intuition tells me to prefer the third option over the RDM.