I'm in the process of building a dedicated home ESXi server. More details here... I've used VMWare Fusion a lot but never used ESXi.
Current config has 2x 2TB WD Black drives in, which I was going to configure in RAID 0 and just cross my fingers that one of them didn't die.
I'm wondering though if it would be worth adding one or more SSD in to the mix to get maximum performance from the VMs.
So what I'm wondering is, when configuring the VMs in Vsphere Client, can you configure the VMDK to use the SSD for the guest OS stuff (e.g., W2k8R2 server program files) but use the HDD for actually storing the data etc.? I'm thinking in a situation where I have a Windows based file server - I probably want the OS itself running off the SSD but the files it is storing to be on the HDD.
Assuming ESXi will support the disk controllers on your board then:-
Yes putting the the OS vmdk on the SSD will certainly help.
To do what you are asking in regards to OS/DATA location - what you will have to do is create another vmdk for the data drive which you then host on the WD RAID 0 datastore. You can create/attach this to the VM in the settings dialog for that particular VM, when the OS is installed it will just see it as another locally attached hard drive.
Edit:- I am sure you are already aware but there is no redundancy in this setup
OK, thanks. I'll see if I can stretch to an SSD or 2.
Yep, aware of the lack of redundancy at this point. I guess it depends how much stuff total I want to store. If it's a lot less than 2TB then I could RAID1 the 2 drives which is probably a reasonable idea.
But my vague plan otherwise was to periodically backup the drives to an external drive I have available. I figure that provided the VM images are intact/backed up somewhere then it's relatively easy to bring the system back up if a drive fails by just getting a new drive... or something along those lines!