RAID/Disk config on standalone ESXi 5.1 host - whats best?

Hi all,

I have a DR box that will be configured with ESXi 5.1 and 2TB of local disk. Asked how it would be configured I wasn't sure the best working or even recommended configuration for this scenario.

Anyone have recommended or preferred?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)Connect With a Mentor VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
ESXi 5.1 does not have a datastore limitation of 2TB-512bytes, as ESXi 4.x. Datastores can be 64TB now using VMFS-5.

1GB USB flash drive, they do not go wrong, the device is only used to boot the OS, once the OS is booted, it does not read from he device again.

The HP G6 has an integrated USB flash drive slot inside the server for this very purpose.

Keeping the ESXi OS separate from the datastore has it's advantages in the future, if you need to re-size the datastore. It's recommended to keep the ESXi OS separate from the datastore disks.

We've been installing ESXi on USB flash drives since 2004, without issue!
How do you intend to run ESXi?

1. Autodeploy
2. embedded USB
3. On the local 2TB disk

In any case though having a RAID on the disks used for ESXi or their datastores is best, depending on the number of disks present I'd say raid 5,1 or 1+0.
MJB2011Author Commented:
I was going to install on the local disks.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
I would install ESXi on USB flash drive or SD Card.

Here is the VMware KB on installing 5.0 on USB/SD:

and leave the local disks, for all your datastore and storage of VMs.

Create a RAID 10, RAID 1 or RAID 5 array.
MJB2011Author Commented:
What is the advantage of this? When you say flash drive do you mean having a small USB memory card plugged into the USB port? is this not prone to going wrong?

Thsi si slightly older HP G6 hardware so it doesn't have the advantage on on board flash drives.
I would go for the USB in this case, it means you have the whole of the local disk for use as a datastore you should be able to get 2TB minus 512b.
Yes there is no datastore limitation of 2TB, but since the poster has stated the disk size is 2TB.

I do not see how to achieve a 64TB datastore on a 2TB disk(s).

"I have a DR box that will be configured with ESXi 5.1 and 2TB of local disk"
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