VMware Cloud Community
Robuea
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

ESXi Embeded better for USB/SD after all?

Hi All,

I've been using ESXi 3.5, 4.0 and 4.1 on HP BL490c G6's, and so far have been dd'ing the embedded or installing the installable pretty much interchangeably on seperate clusters. Installs have been onto internal 2GB SD cards.

However after reading http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1026500 - I'm not so sure thats the right thing. The KB states that the embedded version does not have persistent logging enabled, and that VMware recommends using a remote syslog server with embedded installations.

That potentially means that I have installations on SD cards that are potentially either filling up with logs, or no crash resitant logging?

Cheers,

Rob.

Reply
0 Kudos
7 Replies
Dave_Mishchenko
Immortal
Immortal

Welcome to the VMware Communities forums. Starting with ESXi 4.1, ESXi Installable will enable the syslog daemon to store log files on the scratch partition. With ESXi Embedded the scratch partition does not automatically exist so the log files are not automatically archived as they are with Installable. With Embedded you can set the paramater Syslog.Local.Datastorepath to point to a datastore and that will enable persistent logging as is the case with Installable. With either version you can also configure a remote syslog receiver if you wish to centralize log gathering, or you can use visyslogger from the vCLI (vpshere command line interface) vMA appliance to gather log file from your ESXi and vCenter hosts.




Dave

VMware Communities User Moderator

Now available - vSphere Quick Start Guide

Do you have a system or PCI card working with VMDirectPath? Submit your specs to the Unofficial VMDirectPath HCL.

jamesbowling
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

The easiest way to see this is to actually look. Persistent logging is the ability to maintain logs, so you may not actually have logged data in case you need to troubleshoot. As stated, the best practice would be to push logging to a remote syslog server.

If you found this at all helpful please award points by using the correct or helpful buttons! Thanks!

James B. | Blog: http://www.vSential.com | Twitter: @vSential --- If you found this helpful then please awards helpful or correct points accordingly. Thanks!
Reply
0 Kudos
Robuea
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

The thing is, you say that on ESXi installable, the scratch partition automatically exists. When I install installable to a 2GB SD, there is no scratch partition created, what I see is:

Filesystem Size Used Available Use% Mounted on

visorfs 1.4G 406.3M 1.0G 28% /

vfat 249.7M 124.0M 125.7M 50% /vmfs/volumes/xxx

vfat 249.7M 124.0M 125.7M 50% /vmfs/volumes/xxx

vfat 285.9M 135.6M 150.3M 47% /vmfs/volumes/xxx

I know that I can add scratch locations, but these blades have no local hard-disk storage, only internal USB or SD card. HP only certify 2GB SD cards too (despite them being able to use SDHC), so that limits the total local storage.

is installling ESXi installable onto a 2GB SD just a bad idea? Do VMware even support ESXi installable on 2GB SD cards?

I've got SnS, so I'm guessing I'm probably best off formally asking.

Reply
0 Kudos
jamesbowling
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

The scratch partition is actually a symbolic link pointing to a folder somewhere under /vmfs/volumes not really a partition created. See this screenshot:



If you found this at all helpful please award points by using the correct or helpful buttons! Thanks!

James B. | Blog: http://www.vSential.com | Twitter: @vSential --- If you found this helpful then please awards helpful or correct points accordingly. Thanks!
Reply
0 Kudos
Dave_Mishchenko
Immortal
Immortal

It's not listed as a supported target in this document, but it would still be worth checking with support as the installer did change to allow installs to flash devices - http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere4/r41/vsp_41_esxi_i_vc_setup_guide.pdf.

If you don't have 5 GB + then scratch is linked to the RAM disk - /tmp/scratch and any contents are gone when you reboot the host.




Dave

VMware Communities User Moderator

Now available - vSphere Quick Start Guide

Do you have a system or PCI card working with VMDirectPath? Submit your specs to the Unofficial VMDirectPath HCL.

Robuea
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

looks like it could be a support loop...

1. ESXi installable is supportable in SD/USB flash in these circumstances: http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1010574

so ESXi embedded wont be supported as is has to be OEM installed.. Therefore it has to be ESXi Installable, and it is stated that "Installing ESXi 4.0 onto a USB drive or SD flash card has the same minimum requirements as any other ESXi installation": http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1020655

2. The space requirement for ESXi installable is "approximately 6GB of space without a defined VMFS partition or datastore": http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1010574

however, HP only supply 4GB (or 2GB) SD cards, depending on where you look: link 1 or link 2

HP provide VMware support via their own OEM support, however, our support is through VMware SnS and is therefore subject to VMwares Terms.

Looks like a headache. I'll contact VMware, see what they say, and report back. Thanks for your help so far.

Reply
0 Kudos
Robuea
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Q: to VMware support:

"If we install ESXi 4.1 Installable onto internal 2GB SD cards, is this a VMware supported configuration?"

A: from VMware support:

"Yes it will be supported by VMWare, if SD flash device is approved by the server vendor for the particular server model on which you want to install ESXi 4.x."

Thanks again for your help.

Reply
0 Kudos