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tstellar
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esxi 4.1 configuration help?

I am wondering what is the best configuration for my current setup with ESXi 4.1.  The vsphere client has frequent lockups now and I'm not even doing anything with it.  I am trying to create a good test lab.

Motherboard : ASUS P6T WS Pro

CPU               : Intel i7 950

Memory          : 12 GB Corsair Dominator

Disks              : 1x640GB, 3x1TB 7200 SATA (3 are WD Black, 1 TB is Samsung)

I also have a video card in it which isn't really gonna be used (I was thinking maybe some GPU transcoding with it in Passthrough mode, but that's a different topic).

I think my RAM and CPU and more than enough to run 10 VMs, and I am guessing my Drive I/O will be the bottleneck.  What is the best way to setup the drives for maximum performance (unless someone sees something else I'm missing).

I was thinking of putting 2-3 VMs on every drive to balance the load (kinda like faking RAID 0).  I am also considering using Openfiler SAN within ESXi and giving it a piece (partition, vmfs chunk) of each drive so it can handle shared storage space, will that hurt my I/O too much?

I have been testing and kicking around ideas for a while looking for the best performance and not really finding any acceptable performance.  Any ideas? What am I doing wrong?

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Lawrie201110141
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Well for storage on a single server you will loose some of the functionality vMotion etc. but HP make an excellent virtual appliance for handling it, have a look and see if it meets your needs.

http://h18006.www1.hp.com/storage/highlights/lefthandsans.html

Also on this Blog you can find a great example of a small cost effective LAB have a look, your system seems part there already.

http://letusgovirtual.com/?p=78#more-78

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tstellar
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Thanks Lawrie,

From looking at the links it seems you are recommending using a SAN to handle esxi storage. I am thinking of using a SAN VM image like Openfiler or the HP appliance you mentioned.

Is it better to pass the San vm RDM volumes and then store all vms on the iscsi San volume?? Rather than using esxi to store a vm or 2 on each of the 4 vmfs? Will performance be any better since the 4 disks still have to do the IO in either case?

Thanks very much for the advise

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tstellar
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Any ideas anyone??

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