ESXi 6 and Self-Encrypting SDCards

compdigit44
compdigit44 used Ask the Experts™
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We just got some new blades that are coming with self-encrypting SDcards...

The SDcards are mirrored. During the install ESXI detect the Sdcard store as mpx...... which is usually the CD-Rom drive. The install did complete. When I connect to the host directly I do not see a datastore that was automatically created but when I go to add storage it sees the extra space on the SDcard.

Is this normal? I have never used this type of SDcard before in ESXi.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
Completely normal.

We don't usually bother creating a datastore on the space capacity, it confuses Admins!

Author

Commented:
Very interesting!!!!!

Why do SD cards detect as mpx...... Also since not local datastore is created what will happen to the scratch partition? Why does VMware see the extra fee space on the sdcard for use to create a small datastore?

Thanks Again Hancock!!!!
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
It depends on how the SD card is presented as device with the hardware.

There is no scratch partition, you will need to define one, or redirect logs to a shard LUN etc

Persistance locations, syslog and all that....

It detects the space because it's not allocated and a VMFS partition can be created.

We actually use a shared LUN, which we send all or syslog and logs to, this is LUN is our Log LUN, for All hosts, we just use a different folder/directory for each Hosts logs.
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Author

Commented:
Thanks!!!  I am jus to confused because the ESXI install is around 4GB and my sdcard is 30GB yet when I click on add storage I do not see the added space on the sdcard listed
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
You mean you cannot use the free space ?

Author

Commented:
correct that would let me create the local datastore is I wanted...

I am trying to understand if I am doing something wrong since this is the first time I am using sd
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
No, you are using them as supplied, 32GB is a little large, as 8GB or 16GB are fine.

But if thats as supplied I would not worry. What's important is that they are good quality, and not Walmart.

They are mirrored, so you've got resilience, you may want to test this, by failing one (e.g. removing!)

Author

Commented:
ok so it sounds like for what you are saying when using SD it will not see the extra space after the OS install.... If this it the case and am still confused as to why..

Thanks you for the great help as always
VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017
Commented:
ESXi deployed on a Flash or SD device, including a USB key. Scratch partitions are not created on Flash or SD storage devices even if connected during install, due to the potentially limited read/write cycles available.

So you will find the scratch partition is missing on a SD card or USB flash drive install. You may have also seen this in BOOT from SAN mode, there is no scratch partition created, because it could be a shared LUN!

and following the exact same reasoning, the installation does not create a VMFS datastore, or it's not available, for the very same reason

limited read/write cycles available.

So, following that reason, it does not make sense purchasing very large SD cards, or USB flash drives, when only 1GB is used!

But try and find a 1GB SD card or USB flash drive today for installation! So it makes sense just purchase what you can or is recommended for your servers, and don't worry about the size!

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