Prepare RAID / Array for VMware ESX

I've got new DL380G6 Server with P410i Smart Array controller and 3 SAS 146 GB drives and 36GB RAM. No external storage for time being. I plan to install VMware ESX 4 on it and store VMs locally.

Is it OK to create single logical volume for ESX and VMs or is it better to create separate logical volume for ESX and searate for VMs store? If separate then what size for ESX volume?

Shold I accept default partitions?

If it really doen't matter, I would create single volume to make things simple.

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During ESX installation, if you have configured your drives as a RAID5, it would obviously see only "1" drive of 292GB (slightly less). ESX then creates partitions it needs for the OS install and the remaining disk space is used for datastore (VM) storage. I recommend, if possible, to get 2 smaller sized disks (30GB?) and install ESX on that (create a RAID1 from those 2 disks); then, create a RAID5 from your 3 146GB disks and use that as your datastore storage for your VMs. That way you have failure recovery for both your OS and your VM storage.

Hope that helps.

BTW...sorry, I didn't answer your questions explicitly -
If you are just testing ESX/VMware, or your host/VMs are not critical to keep up and running in case of a disk failure, by all means you can create just a single RAID5 volume and install ESX by accepting all defaults to where the ESX OS and the datastore is all on 1 logical volume. It most certainly won't hurt anything at all. For small shops that's certainly fine. If you have mission critical servers (email, DB, web, etc.), I recommend beefing up RAM on this host and getting more storage and, at a minimum, configuring your drives per my suggestion in my 1st post/comment above.


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It really doesn't matter as your datastore is most likely going to be below 256gb (otherwise you would need to change the block size).  I would just take the default.  

Ofcourse I agree with coolsport that a raid1/raid5 config is ideal for disaster recovery.  Not to say I haven't done a server with just raid5.
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