VMWare ESXi 3.5 Installation and Deployment best practice

Hi All,

I'm about to implement a virtualization technology on my company
I've got these hardware resources to be used by VMWare ESXi 3.5

Dell PowerEDGE 2950-III
32 GB DDR-II 667 MHz
internal 4x 500 GB SATA 7200 rpm HDD (RAID 5) - I know it is slow for hosting the VMDKs
Internal USB slot on the motherboard (but no USB flashdisk ???)

Dell PowerVault MD3000
10x 300 GB SAS 15k rpm
2x Dual port Gigabit Ethernet NIC (4x in total)

iSCSI - 2x Gigabit Ethernet to the switch (dumb switch not VLAN)

and I'm wondering where should i install the VMWare ESXi ?

any comments would be greatly appreciated.

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dobbshelpConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Install the ESX software on the server, you could probably do a mirror raid on there so it's faster, yet you have some protection. Put the VMDK on the SAN

What RAID are you doing your SAN in? 5? 10? Other? How many virtual servers will you be running on here?
jjozAuthor Commented:
one thing that i know is that the VMDKs should be installed on the SAN :-)
jjozAuthor Commented:
Hi Dobbs,

It will be used for hosting Solaris Infrastructure OS running
  1. SAMBA file server (homes and projects)
  2. CVS source code repository
and also around 10 VMs of build server which runs on Windows Server 2003 each will be using Apache Tomcat with no DB instance running on this ESXi

I'm planning for making the SAN RAID-10.

thanks for your fast reply during this Easter break :-)
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dobbshelpConnect With a Mentor Commented:
RAID 10  would be your best, good choice, you should be good with everything else also. Nothing appears out of the norm. Enjoy your weekend!
jjozAuthor Commented:

and if i put the small install of VMWare ESXi on the Internal HDD with this setting

4x 500 GB RAID10 SATA-II 7200 rpm = 1 TB only theoretically available.

shall i make small partition for the ESXi installation and then make the rest available for a backup area ?
dobbshelpConnect With a Mentor Commented:
You could, your VMDKs should  definitely be on the SAN, if you don't have a tape backup I might do snapshots or backups to that 1TB. Tape is better however.
jjozAuthor Commented:
Alright so what I'd like to do is to make that spare partition available to dump the VMDK copy from the current VM.

this will become D2D to tape but don't know how to implement the proper backup solution for this server. (I'll start another thread).

thanks for your suggestion Dobbs !
jjozAuthor Commented:
This is my plan for implementing the ESXi with iSCSI,
it will be running with 2xGigabit Ethernet "teaming" per server.

jjozAuthor Commented:
thanks for the help !
Thank you and good computing to you ;)
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