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ESXi on HP Gen8


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Hi all,


I'm very new to virtualisation, so sorry if these are silly questions.


I have a HP Gen8 Microserver and need to reinstall the OS, so was wondering about using ESXi instead.

The machine has 2 on-board NICs and an additonal Intel dual gigabit LAN card.

An SSD is used for the main OS drive and RAID6 4 disk array for storage, using AHCI, not the onboard fake RAID card.


What I need to do is run 3 FreeBSD VM's (or can recompile to Linux if needed), each of which is bound to a LAN port.

Two of them are a fairly simple workload and are like LAN servers.

The third is a software RAID backup server, so will need to access the RAID hard disks. As it is a backup server, it only gets data overnight, so the disks are spun down when not needed.


So my question is: can ESXi work with the HP Gen8 when in AHCI mode (i.e. not using onboard fake raid controller) and spindown the drives when not needed?

I know there is an arguement for not spinning down, but given the cost of electricity here in the UK, its a waste having them spinning 24/7 when they are only actually used for 2 hours a night.

I'm assuming binding a VM to a LAN card won't be a problem...


Any other wisdom greatly appreciated :)


Many thanks.

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I use Hyper-V myself so I'm not much help with ESXi but a couple of things did jump out at me.


RAID 6 with just four disks? Would you not be better off with two mirrored pairs, writing should be quite a bit faster. Yes you will have to juggle where the data is.


Secondly if you were to spin down the disks when the backup server wasn't doing anything, what about the other VMs, will they not need to access the storage? If they do and you only have a single disk array, then won't they keep the disks running anyway?



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I agree with jem101 -- RAID 6 on 4 disks doesn't make a lot of sense. It's really designed for larger arrays; you know, with 10, 12, 15 disks, etc.

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