Still celebrating National IT Professionals Day with 3 months of free Premium Membership. Use Code ITDAY17

x
?
Solved

Any Major Reason NOT to install ESXi 4.1 on USB drive?

Posted on 2010-11-30
5
Medium Priority
?
1,093 Views
Last Modified: 2013-11-11
I've done quite a bit of research and haven't been able to find a good reason NOT to install ESXi 4.1 on a usb stick.  I'm doing some consulting at a company with a Dell r710 which has a internal USB slot.  For some reason the guy that was here before decided they needed a $8000 dual quad core, 12GB ram server to share some files.  Anyway, back to the topic at hand.  The only major issue I found is that you have no redundancy. Although, USB Stick failures are fairly rare what would actually happen if it did fail?

My questions are:

1. Obviously it shouldn't affect any of the VM's data but is it as easy as just reinstalling ESXi over top of the existing or new stick, reconfigure all settings, and then reimporting all of the vm's?

2. Is there an easy way to backup the USB stick/ESXi settings on a regular basis without removing the USB stick?

Note: Guess I could just remove it monthly or quarterly and DD it or make an image of the stick.Once configured the config shouldn't really change much.  

3. Has anyone had a USB drive with ESXi on it fail and what did you do to fix it?

4. Any other input for or against installing on a USB stick is welcomed.

Thanks in advance
0
Comment
Question by:bevege
[X]
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
5 Comments
 
LVL 24

Accepted Solution

by:
Luciano Patrão earned 668 total points
ID: 34242455
Hi

Honestly I dont like to install ESX or ESXi on a USB key, But thats me :)

But yes you can do that, but of course you don't have the redundancy.

But even for physical disks, or USB keys, a VMware host can be reinstalled in 10/15m.

On USB fail, the best is just reinstall again.

That is my opinion

Jail
0
 
LVL 40

Assisted Solution

by:coolsport00
coolsport00 earned 668 total points
ID: 34242560
1. It won't affect VM data because the VMFS is on different storage (it should be)
2. You can't (now) b/u ESXi (or ESX...vSphere version) without having Ent Plus licensing. The install is in the form of a VMDK file now (instead of a few config type files), and the only way to b/u ESX is via host profiles. ESXi can be backed up via Cmd Line (vCLI - see: http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere4/r41/vsp4_41_vcli_inst_script.pdf, pg. 28)
3. No; but really...the only way to 'fix' it is have a 2nd USB stick configured and ready to go
4. You will hear pros/cons on this...but I have yet to hear anything bad about USB, except of course what you already noted...lack of redundancy

Regards,
~coolsport00
0
 
LVL 123

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 664 total points
ID: 34242717
I've had two server installs fail with ESXi 4.1, but simple to fix, restore the dd/win image and restore the configuration which you can backup using vcli and job done.

The servers only actually failed on redraft, so were in maintenance mode and all other vas were on other servers. all the installs we've done in last 12 months have been on USB certified hp flash drives and ad cards for hp servers

Quick to deploy for clients
Standard config

One caveat VMware Tools tends to be slow and temporally suspend the guest os. so we use vmware tools on an iso mount or nfs/cifs share instead

we do USB/sd cards all the time
0
 

Author Comment

by:bevege
ID: 34243211
First of all thank you all for you expert advise, I absolutely love this site. Worth every penny.  

I've used ESXi 3.5 quite a bit and 4.1 not as much.  I haven't done a lot of the command line stuff besides some of the networking tools.  It's next on my list of things to learn so thank you for the information.  I also didn't think about just having a spare usb key around just in case, they are cheap so it makes perfect sense.  Does anyone know if Dell has certified usb keys like the HP ones that hanccocka referenced?

Thanks again.  Splitting points!
0
 

Author Closing Comment

by:bevege
ID: 34243222
Great advice!
0

Featured Post

Supports up to 4K resolution!

The VS192 2-Port 4K DisplayPort Splitter is perfect for anyone who needs to send one source of DisplayPort high definition video to two or four DisplayPort displays. The VS192 can split and also expand DisplayPort audio/video signal on two or four DisplayPort monitors.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

HOW TO: Install and Configure VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.5 (ESXi 6.5), Step by Step Tutorial with screenshots. From Download, Checking Media, to Completed Installation.
HOW TO: Upload an ISO image to a VMware datastore for use with VMware vSphere Hypervisor 6.5 (ESXi 6.5) using the vSphere Host Client, and checking its MD5 checksum signature is correct.  It's a good idea to compare checksums, because many installat…
Teach the user how to convert virtaul disk file formats and how to rename virtual machine files on datastores. Open vSphere Web Client: Review VM disk settings: Migrate VM to new datastore with a thick provisioned (lazy zeroed) disk format: Rename a…
This video shows you how easy it is to boot from ISO images for virtual machines with the ISO images stored on a local datastore on the ESXi host.

722 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question