My hardware and drives/vm questions

Discussion in 'Virtualized Computing' started by TeleFragger, May 25, 2018.

  1. TeleFragger

    TeleFragger Gawd

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    Ok so I posted a pic in the ESXI lab section of my setup. It is a no brainer.. simple single professional workstation.
    Lenovo D30 with 128gb ram, dual xeon E5-2620 0 @ 2.00GHz and 2x1tb wd black drives.

    This is just a test lab and full works GREAT!!!!!

    so I picked up 2x 500gb SSD drives and want to get my esxi 6.7 lab up and running in the most efficient way possible.

    originally I just had individual drives so currently datastore1 and datastore2. I balanced the vms between them. At work I do the same and balance them between datastore1-datastore5.

    Would I benefit from the onboard Raid? This machine will do raid 5 so I figured...

    I could do this - and this is where I need your help.. is this the "best for what I got way" or is there a better way you would do it?


    there are 5 blue sata connectors I believe will do the raid and I have 2x1tb sata and 2x500gb ssd in them.
    there are 2 red sata connections that have the 2 dvd drives in the machine attached.
    there are 2 orange sata connectors.. no clue what for...


    so I am thinking this...
    place 5x1tb sata into the 5 blue connectors and do raid 5 for one large datastore
    place each ssd on the red connectors, unplugging the dvd drives as I don't need them, and just have 2 faster ssd drives.
    Reinstall VMware onto one of the SSD for performance.

    I figure I can put my sql db and management server (Altiris) onto an ssd as I will be doing more performance based tasks with those and I can place my DHCP/DNS/AD server and all client machines on the raid 5 datastore...

    sound good????


    ***********edited
    after looking at what drives I have available... I have 3x 2tb wd black drives I could do in raid 5 and both ssd as stand alone datastores...

    the 5x 1tb are also wd black... so I figured 5 drives in raid 5 is only 4tb but more heads for read/write...


    20180525_105645.jpg 20180525_105746.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2018
  2. TeleFragger

    TeleFragger Gawd

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    heading down to get our beach pass for the jeep and go have lunch with the wife on the beach.. ill be back later... appreciate any suggestions...thx
     
  3. Eickst

    Eickst [H]ard|Gawd

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    Personally I wouldn't install esxi on the SSD, it's sort of a waste.

    What I would do, depending on how much resiliency you want, 3 disk raid 5 with the 2tb drives, 2 disk ssd in raid 1, using the blue connectors. Plug one of the 1tb drives in the normal sata ports and install esxi on that.

    If you don't care about the SSD dying and losing data or whatever, you could just install them as individual drives.

    You're going to be limited to whatever the onboard raid controller can do, some don't allow to passthrough individual disks without doing raid on them. You either have intel rste or lsi megaraid on that box
     
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  4. Spartacus09

    Spartacus09 [H]Lite

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    +1 however for speed aspect, instead of a regular hdd that motherboard has a SD Media Card Reader slot and a standard internal USB port I believe.
    You can easily install esxi on a 16-32gb flash drive/sd card (you'd have to change the logs to a persistent storage though)

    It still keeps the data and OS separate, you get the quick boot and low latency operations for the OS cheaply though (about 30$ or less, you may even have one lying around), and even if the USB/SD drive fails it should be no trouble to reinstall esxi on a new drive and re-mount the datastores.
    Those SSD could be used as a individual datastore in raid 1 as Eickst mentioned or as a fast read cache depending on your use-case (make sure these SSD drives are on the Sata III ports so they dont get bottlenecked).

    The 5x1TB raid 5 array will give you the best speed for the cost, however be wary of using the WD blacks they're not intended to be run in raid 5 especially since its software raid on the mobo, not hardware (assuming yours doesn't have the LSI adapter).
    Generally the arrays run fine until you have a drive failure, then they often stress the remaining drives trying to rebuild the array and kill a second drive (thereby losing all your data).

    If you truly want to do raid 5 I'd recommend selling some of those WD black and picking up some WD red or equivalent nas type drive designed for it, they aren't cheap though.
    5x1tb will be about 300$, and 3x2tb will be about 250$ (assuming list price)
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2018
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  5. TeleFragger

    TeleFragger Gawd

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    Had to take a look and you are right!!!!! There is an internal USB so I will put a thumb drive in there and install to that!

    no SD Media Card Reader... at work we have P700 and P710's and they do have them...


    How does one set it up for read cache? I will google it when I get to that point. I need to understand what would go to that and what is being read as I have no clue. thought of just putting my sql server on one and my Altiris server on the other but will read up on it.. thanks!!!!

    I didn't realize drive prices have come down that far! my wd 2tb blacks are new @ $108 so not sure what I could get.. $75? maybe.. ill have to gather up all of my stuff and sell it... but yes I agree.. I could definitely use red drives.



    I was going to move my vms over but I need to redo everything anyway so may just sit back and format everything....
     
  6. Eickst

    Eickst [H]ard|Gawd

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    Using the SSD as vflash cache requires enterprise plus license for vsphere.
     
  7. TeleFragger

    TeleFragger Gawd

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    so I tried setting it up and had many issues..

    tried a 1gb, 2gb, 8gb thumb drive in the internal port and it did see it, did use it but fails to install too it. It did partition so I got tired of that and moved on.


    it is the intel onboard so CTL-I

    put 3x2tb wd black (for now) drives in and CTL-I and setup a raid 5.... but every time I go in to install to the raid 5, esxi only sees it as 3x internal 1.8tb drives....so if I choose 1, then reboot.. it will boot but the built in raid when you go back in says failed... and the 1 drive is pulled out... frustrating again..

    I know im trying to do this with non server grade hardware so I get that...

    guess ill pull the 3 drives apart and not worry about raid 5 for now...

    thx for all of the help. it runs fast as is the way it was but thought id give a better try.. you know … the recommended way.. hah...
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2018
  8. Spartacus09

    Spartacus09 [H]Lite

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    Ah yeah forgot about that, I have VMUG advantage so I have it :)

    No worries, sorry you're having so much trouble with it.
    I can relate I'm trying to get a LSI card in a old ass ivy bridge system that only has esxi 5 drivers to work on 6.7.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2018
  9. TeleFragger

    TeleFragger Gawd

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  10. Grimlaking

    Grimlaking [H]ard|Gawd

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    I see you found your answer... EDGE USER! ;)
     
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  11. TeleFragger

    TeleFragger Gawd

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    yeah trying to "Embrace" it... but it works at work on enterprise 10 1607 so go figure... hah