Microsoft Windows operating systems support a format called “VHDX” or the virtual hard disk v2. This allows you to create disk images that can be stored in another storage device, have full read/write access and user and group level control on them. For more details on this disk format, see this Microsoft article. For info on the CONS3RT Storage Service, you can see this article.
A common usage within CONS3RT is creating a custom share for your organization and managing the user permissions on the share. You can create a VHDX file that lives on your CONS3RT shared storage mounted on a Windows Server OS you deploy within your cloud space. This Windows Server OS is used as the file server storage for your organization, where you will create a share based on the VHDX disk mounted to your system. Since you are creating the share yourself, you can set custom user and group permissions that exist within your infrastructure you created within your cloud space. If the Windows files server you created is part of your domain, you can then add those Active Directory users and group permissions on this share.
To create this VHDx file:
- Mount the shared CONS3RT storage within the deployed Windows Server OS using the credentials the CONS3RT team supplied you, make sure the mount is set to reconnect on reboot
- NOTE: If you reboot your Windows share server, you will need to log back in to make sure it remounts the share back to your CONS3RT storage share
- Once you have the shared mounted, start Computer Management in Windows Administrative Tools
- Go to the Disk Management section under Storage
- From the Action menu, choose “Create VHD”
- For the Location, browse to your mounted CONS3RT Storage Service share you already mounted
- Set the size of the Virtual Hard Disk you want to create. The size of this file is limited by the total storage you are allotted on your storage share account.
- Select “VHDX” for the Virtual Hard Disk Format
- Select “Dynamically expanding” for the Virtual Hard disk type
- Click ok
Once this has completed, it should show up as a new Unknown disk that is not initialized within Disk Management. At this point you can format the disk, and attach it locally as if it’s a normal disk on the system. You can now create Windows share on this system and share to your organization within your cloud space, and set the custom user and group permissions your require.
- How is this different then creating a share off my local disk on the virtual machine I just deployed?
Since you are creating the VHDX on the remote disk, if your file share server deployment run is released, the VHDX file still exists on the remote storage service, and can be reattached once redeployed
- Is my data backed up?
The CONS3RT team backs up the shares for the storage service, however because this is a VHDX that shows up on the storage share as a single file, we cannot restore individual files within it, but would have to restore your entire VHDX file.