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    Storage Configuration for Dell Poweredge 2900 with ESXi 4.1

    StephenMoll Enthusiast

      I have been asked to configure a couple of Dell Poweredge servers with ESXi 4.1. They had been used to run ESX 4.0 before, but have been wiped, and now need re-instating.

       

      Each machine has eight 1TB SATA drives with SAS adapters, connected to a PERC6 RAID controller.

       

      I tried initially to format the whole array as RAID6 using all eight drives, resulting in a virtual disk of 5.7TB.

      ESXi 4.1 installed fine, but when I examine the server using vSphere client, the storage volume is only 1.47TB.

       

      Is there a limitation I am hitting here?

       

      Are there any recommendations on how this should be setup, i.e. manual partitioning of the drive, or changing the configuration at the controller?

       

      In other systems I've looked at it was possible to create multiple virtual disks on a set of physical disks, i.e. I can divide the entire eight disk set into arbitrary virtual disk volume sizes. With the Dell however it would appear that a virtual disk can only be setup with a whole number of physical drives. In this case, I could create one virtual disk using a single 1TB drive for installing ESXi, and the remaining 7 drives to create a second virtual drive for the storage. Obviously this is a awful waste of space, and means I cannot take advantage of any drive redundancy for the boot virtual disk itself.

       

      If it was one of the machines from my own department, I would simply put in a flash drive to install ESXi to, but I have been told this is not an option.

       

      No one is able to tell me how the original ESX 4.0 storage was configured, only that it roughly 7TB, which suggests that all 8 drives were configured as RAID5 into a single storage volume.

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