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bsippl
Contributor
Contributor

USB drive size for ESXi 5

I migrated our servers from Hyper-V to ESXi5 last week. I installed ESXi on 32GB Kingston Datatraveler 3 drives which I initially intended to use for Hyper-V. As most of the drive space is wasted and the drives don't appear to be fast either I was wondering if I should/can replace them with smaller drives, maybe 4gb ones?

Thanks.

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eeg3
Commander
Commander

If you have smaller ones and you want to use the 32GB ones for something else, then sure. The USB drive's size shouldn't matter that much. I believe the minimum size is 1GB.

Blog: http://blog.eeg3.net
Troy_Clavell
Immortal
Immortal

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golddiggie
Champion
Champion

I've been using 8GB USB flash drives in IBM x3650 M3 and x3550 M3 hosts. I went with the 8GB size so that there would be a scratch partition on the flash drive. Otherwise, you need to carve out the scratch partition on your shared storage array. IF your connection to that storage goes down (we're actually having fiber HBA card issues in some hosts currently) then the scratch partition will be gone with it. With the larger size (larger than 1-2GB) you also have a place for the vmware support scripts to write to before compressing the results. With 1-2GB drives, there's simply not enough room there to do this, making said scripts fail. I ran into that issue when EMC wanted the files created by said script(s) in order to troubleshoot some SAN issues. Suffice to say, we don't have either issue with the 8GB flash drives.

BTW, you need more than 4GB of free space on the media in order to have the scratch partition created. So a 4GB flash drive won't be large enough. Unfortunately, they don't make 5GB or 6GB flash drives.

Cyberfed27
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

We use 1 GB SD cards to install ESXi on our hosts. Plenty of space leftover.

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bsippl
Contributor
Contributor

Thank you very much for the information. I set up the last host yesterday and used it for some tests (I have 3 independent hosts without any SAN/central storage). I will go ahead and replace the 32GB flash drives with 8GB ones and the add the existing vm's to the host.

Thanks again.

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