VMWare Test Environment Best Practices
We are considering replacing our bank of test lab computers with VMWare for each of our testers. Is anyone using a network storage area as a repository of VMWare images? As each image is fairly large we would like to keep these images in a central location such as a network file share.
Hmm.. how many test environments do you plan to have? Lesse, a typical 80 GB drive is more than 50 environments at 1.5 GB each. Really? That many? I can't imagine that this has scaled to the need for a SAN.
Brad Wilson (dotnetguy.techieswithcats.com)
You probably shouldn't try to architect this system the way you would a disk-less lan. Multiple images for VMWare test centers, a few images for diskless lans. In both diskless lans and VMWare environments you can have read only images. But you'll need temporary storage somewhere (local drives preferably) to store what changed if you don't want to lose it. If you have 100Mbps networks and you don't mind spending 5 to 10 minutes booting up each test environment it's all good.
VMware has an option for a read-only filesystem, where all writes then go to a temp file. To the user it appears as though the system has full read write access.
Happy to be working
Fog Creek Home