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Would ESXi host bootup from 5.5 TB without problem?

MichaelBalack
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
This is about setting up VMware ESXi 5.5 on DELL PowerEdge R510 server. There are 5 pcs of 2TB SAS hdd. My manager want us to create a RAID 5 volume + hot spare, so as yielding a 5.5 TB volume. Just wondering any problem to recognise the volume if system is booting up by ESXi 5.5 CD? After setting up ESXi 5.5 footprint on this volume, would it be any problem to boot up ESXi 5.5 from here? Should I change to use GPT in CMOS?

 

Please enlighten, thanks
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Zephyr ICTCloud Architect

Commented:
Why not use a usb stick to install ESXi 5.5 to? This way you can use all the 5.5TB as datastore.

I have several customers working like this, it's also a quick fix if the usb stick should fail, you can make a few beforehand as a backup.
MichaelBalackSenior System Engineer

Author

Commented:
Hi Spravtek,

My boss doesn't buy the idea. He prefers everything put in into this 5.5 Tb volume.

Commented:
Well, the other issue is backups and restores.  How are you backing up that 5.5TB datastore?  I typically like to keep datastores to no more than 2TB.  Also, if that one volume craps out, you've lost up to 5.5TB of data, vs. say 2.
MichaelBalackSenior System Engineer

Author

Commented:
Hi amac81,

The idea of having a datastore of 5.5 tb is to meet the requirement of setting up VSA. Only one datastore is allowed to join the VSA cluster.
Zephyr ICTCloud Architect

Commented:
Interesting :)

Ok, there should be no issues to install on the 5.5TB disk ... Vmware will run in memory and only write changes and logs to disk.
MichaelBalackSenior System Engineer

Author

Commented:
Hi spravtek,

No changes on DELL Bios - changing to use GPT?
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Zephyr ICTCloud Architect

Commented:
I don't think changes in BIOS will be necessary... Since VMFS5 ESXi uses GPT
MichaelBalackSenior System Engineer

Author

Commented:
Sorry, my mistake. Actually, as what Poweredge tech stated, I am actually referring to the UEFI - so have to ENABLED, right? no other settings needed?


thanks everyone
Zephyr ICTCloud Architect

Commented:
Yep UEFI BIOS mode = GPT
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
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Commented:
Advise your Boss, you will have issues in the future with

1. disk failure
2. re-sizing of the datastrore
3. easier to repair a failed ESXi OS on flash media

mechanical disks fail faster than flash media.

You can link him to this post if you like....

We've been installing ESXi on USB flash drives and SD cards since 2004!

Here is the VMware KB on installing 5.x on USB/SD:
http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2004784

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

I would also advise a 5.5TB datastore is a very large volume/datastore should it get corrupted, that's a lot of VMs to fail, and performance could be poor.
MichaelBalackSenior System Engineer

Author

Commented:
Hi Andrew,

Appreciate you help on installing footprint on USB. However, this ESXi Host is setup for VSA, and VSA only accept ONE
datastore. So, ESXi has to be setup on thie 5.5 TB datastore.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
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Commented:
ESXi 5.5 can still be installed on USB or SD card!

and then use all your disks for the datastore, just do not mix the OS and Datastore on the same disks!
Zephyr ICTCloud Architect

Commented:
Yeah, as I stated previously, I'd opt for the USB (or SD) as well and keep one big Datastore of 5.5TB. But if your boss is set on not using USB...
MichaelBalackSenior System Engineer

Author

Commented:
Thanks.

Setup esxi on 5.5 tb is the direction of management, and not subject for any changes. However, alternative way may adopt for the future project.

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