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Is there a way to mount one VHD (or other disk image alike) between multiple Virtual Machines. I don't mean OS Image, just like a shared disk drive. I know I can have a file-server smb like share. But I am looking for something decentralized.

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You want to mount the same VHD to multiple Virtual Machines at the same time? That won't be possible. If you want to mount the same VHD and have indivual seperate virtual machines running, and they all when booted, mount the same VHD that is of course possible. –  Ramhound May 8 '13 at 17:35
    
I'm unsure as to the distinction you are drawing... I just meant 1 vhd mounted to multiple vms. –  maxfridbe May 8 '13 at 17:38
    
Are all the Virtual Machines going to be running at once or an indivual Virutal Machinge will be running at once. You can mount the same virtual hdd to any number of virtual machines you want. They all just can't mount the same virtual hdd at once. –  Ramhound May 8 '13 at 17:51
    
yes i did mean at once, Is there a image format which will allow for this much in the same way smb works. –  maxfridbe May 8 '13 at 17:54
    
The problem really doesn't have anything to do with the VM software. The problem is that most file systems simply can't handle two computers accessing the device at once. The few file systems that are able to support this are designed for specialized tasks. So even if you could attach a VHD to multiple VMs at the exact same time, there really isn't much useful you could actually do with it. –  Zoredache May 8 '13 at 19:03

3 Answers 3

NTFS is not cluster aware so if you mount the same VHD on several VMs the file system will become corrupted.

Windows Server 2012 have support for VHDX files that should support clusters of servers accessing the same data-disk. I believe the cluster awareness is done by wrapping the NTFS somehow. VHDX will down the line become available in Windows Azure also (if you are using that).

Beside that there are several cluster aware file systems like MelioFS that support what you are asking (but then you need to format the drive using that (replace NTFS)): http://sanbolic.com/melio-platform/technology/melio-fs/

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I don't believe Microsoft has made any such announcement of vhdx support in Azure. –  David Makogon Oct 30 '13 at 10:47

I run Several hundred physical PC's from the same VHD file. I do have to have different coppies for different departments and to support radicaly different hardware but for the most part it is a one to many between vhd and PC! I use CCBoot! It was made in China for CyberCafe's but works very well in an enterprise!

www.youngzsoft.com

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A few months ago the Microsoft Azure team released Azure File Service which seems exactly what you are looking for - ability to mount the same underlying drive from multiple VMs. The back-end is blob storage (also accessible by separate REST API), but abstracted as a read-write SMB drive for each VM that mounts it.

Here's the announcement: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/windowsazurestorage/archive/2014/05/12/introducing-microsoft-azure-file-service.aspx

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