Hard-drives or USB key in a new VMWare host server?

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We are about to install a new host server in our VMWare environmen (probably an IBM x series).  This is to provide a backup to our current VMWare server.  We are deciding whether to use built-in hard-drives or just use a USB key instead.  Does anyone have any experience on this and advise which is best practice?
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I now prefer the USB method these days as opposed to physical disk, but please read the support documentation as your installation may not be supported if you are not careful to use the appropriate USB storage devices.  This saves a great deal on physical hardware, as well as faster boot times.


Top Expert 2014

I'd prefer an SD card to a USB stick. Less chance of it falling out and I've had a lot of problems booting HPs from USB stick although admittedly not that much experience on the IBM side.

Very important to get the vendor to guarantee it will boot repeatedly without problems since SD cards and USB sticks are cheap consumer items so there's the likelyhood of the salesperson saying "yes, it'll work" without spending his whole $5 profit on making sure that's true. If the USB stick/SD card costs $150 and comes with an "IBM certifies this to boot and run VMware" logo then go for it since it's a waste of good disks just to boot a hypervisor.
consider a built in cardreader, and use some tape to secure the card or USB key!  I've seen embarrasing failures just from a bad connection (usb key/card wriggled loose)


Thank you everyone for the advice

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