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VMWare Server Hardware

Posted on 2013-05-22
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Is there a benefit to using the SD Modules versus the normal SCSI hard drives for the VMWare hosts?
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Question by:Jack_son_
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
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ID: 39187472
Yes, it saves your local SCSI disks, for use as a datastore. We have been installing ESXi on usb and sd cards since 2004.

It isolates the installation of ESXi (which only requires 1GB) from your virtual machines, which aids quicker recovery.

Easier to backup and restore an ESXi installation, in case of failure.

see my EE Articles

How to Backup an ESXi installation on an USB Flash Drive or SD card, for security or redundancy.

It's supported by VMware

I would install ESXi onto a USB flash drive or SD card.

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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by:Jack_son_
ID: 39187736
Great, thanks.  Will using SD cards effect performance in any way?  I have always used SCSI drives which may be overkill for a small deployment.
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by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 500 total points
ID: 39187753
The SD card or USB flash drive is only ever used to BOOT the server, and mount VMware Tools. ESXi OS Configuration changes (e.g. writes are instant).

So boot time is marginally slower. But how often do you restart the server.
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by:Jack_son_
ID: 39187761
Almost never, it is a much better cost too
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 500 total points
ID: 39187789
yes, much cheaper, just make sure you use good quality SD cards or USB flash drives, HP, Sandisk etc
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by:Jack_son_
ID: 39187804
great, thanks
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ID: 39187853
No problems.
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