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ESXI installation on local Storage

Posted on 2013-05-22
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Last Modified: 2013-06-09
Hello Experts,

I have few question regarding ESXI installation on local storage. Basically we have R710 with Below configuration

1. Two 300 GB with RAID 1 configured (For ESxi + OS)
2. Two 1 TB with RAID 0 configuired (For Data , File and Print server)

The server is empty and we need to install ESXI 5.0 and Configure the VM on it.

I have below questions

1. Can I use 300 GB RAID1 to host both my ESXi and windows OS installation? what are the advantanges and disadvantages of doing that?

2. where ESXi OS related files are stored on local disk post the installation of ESXi?

Thanks,

-Prashant Girennavar.
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Question by:Prashant Girennavar
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 500 total points
ID: 39186769
1. Yes, you can install ESXi onto a 300GB RAID1 Array, ESXi only uses approx 1GB, and the rest will be available as a VMFS datastore for use with VMs.

Disadvantages

Possibly Slow - Two Disks and RAID 1.

Advantages

RAID 1 support for your OS.

But why not, and I would recommend installing ESXi on a USB Flash Drive or SD Card, both are supported on the Dell R710. There is an internal USB connector for this purpose, to install an embedded version, or you can use the optional SD card reader (not fitted by default).

Here is the VMware KB on installing 4.1 on USB/SD:
http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1020655

Here is the VMware KB on installing 5.0 on USB/SD:
http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2004784
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Expert Comment

by:Busbar
ID: 39186780
my understanding is that you want to configure your server for dual boot, which will not because ESXi uses different file system than windows, to do that configure USB boot. the rest as was instructed by Hanccocka
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LVL 119
ID: 39186785
1. If you want to dual BOOT, between OS - not possible.

2. ESXi installation creates, four partitions, not compatible with Windows Partition.

You could use a USB flash drive, and insert when needed, to boot ESXi, but you will have to create a VMFS partition to support ESXi VMs, and make sure you do not delete the NTFS partition.

Why not create a Virtual Windows Server VM Hosted on ESXi or use Windows 2012 with Hyper-V?
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by:Prashant Girennavar
ID: 39186809
Thanks for the response.

I am not talking about Dual boot option here.

I want to host ESxi on local storage - 300 GB  RAID1 , Once I have that in my local storage , I will create VM (windows servers 2008 R2) , in remaining space (i.e on 300 GB RAID 1).

The main goal is to make this 300 GB RAID 1 As Operating system drive ( which holds all windows server OS , ESXi related files ) and other 2 TB as a data drive.

Is this possible?

Thanks,

-Prashant Girennavar.
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Expert Comment

by:Busbar
ID: 39186813
you can create 2 VHDs on different data stores and map them inside the VM, of course it is doable.
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LVL 119
ID: 39186821
Yes, you create two VMFS datastores, and create virtual machine disks (vmdks) on different datastores, very easily. At VM creation you can select which datastores to place the  virtual machine disks (vmdks).

I would still recommend you have a look at creating ESXi installation on USB, and you can then dedicate 300GB to datastore1, and 1TB to datastore2.

You will get much better performance, if datastores, have more disks, in RAID 10, RAID 6, RAID 5 etc

more spindles = more disks = more performance = more IOPS for the VMs.

see my EE Articles, step by step Tutorial with screenshots, and you will see the process of creating datastores

HOW TO: Install and Configure VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1)

HOW TO: Connect to the VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1) using the vSphere Client
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