aaronf16
Contributor
Contributor

VMWare ESXi disk advice

Hi,

 

I'm new to VMWare ESXi but basically I have a server that I want to use ESXi on and I have 1 1TB SSD (OS drive for VMs) and then I have 6 2TB hard drives and 2 8TB hard drives. I am wanting to setup a software raid on WS2022 Standard for these drives. How do I give the VM running WS2022 access to all the drives?

 

 

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6 Replies
a_p_
Leadership
Leadership

I'm usually using hardware RAID on the host itself, rather than anything on the guest OS.

Anyway, you can present the drives to your guest as RDM (Raw Device Mapping) instead of formatting them as VMFS datastores. For the purpose you mentioned, I think it might be best to configure physical mode RDMs.

André

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aaronf16
Contributor
Contributor

My thinking behind software RAID is if the physical RAID controller on the server fails I've pretty much lost my data.

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a_p_
Leadership
Leadership

I've very rarely seen a hardware RAID controller failing in the past decades that I work in IT, it's rather the HDDs which fail.
Even if it fails, it should be possible to replace it with an identical model, or restore the data from your backup.

André

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aaronf16
Contributor
Contributor

Right ok. If I went down the hardware raid route what would happen to the data store would VMWare just be able to mount the data store off the other working raid1 drive?

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a_p_
Leadership
Leadership

A hardware RAID controller (please note that software RAID controllers are not supported) transparently presents the storage to the operating system as a logical drive, and takes care of drive failures in a given RAID set. The operating system - in this case ESXi - will not be affected as long as the RAID controller is able to present the logical drive, i.e. no hardware failures that the selected RAID level cannot handle.

An addition note: Make sure that you are going to use a hardware RAID controller with write-cache that allows for write-back operation! This makes a huge difference compared to write-trough operation.

André

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aaronf16
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks for the info Andre. Apologies it’s my first time with ESXi and I’m wanting to learn more hence why I’m installing it in my home lab. If the drive failed I would have a drive for my OS raid 1 and another 2 raid 1 again storing network drives how would I access the drives if one of them failed?

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