ESXi

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  • 1.  how to solve disadvantages of installing esxi on sd card?

    Posted Aug 13, 2020 08:57 AM

    according to statements from KB and blog, there are disadvantages(primarily about logging and partition) if you choose SD card as boot device for ESXi, as shown in figure below.

    I would like to know:

    is choosing top level of SD card(such as V90 speed and more than 32GB capacity) a total solution to get rid of the disadvantages(described above)?

    or maybe ESXi(6.7 or 7.0 for example) requires high IO throughput boot device which is what SD card cannot offer yet?



  • 2.  RE: how to solve disadvantages of installing esxi on sd card?

    Posted Aug 14, 2020 02:04 AM

    Hi there! You can use a high-quality SD card, but for log traces and core dumps I would suggest you configure a Syslog Server like Log Insight (Great syslog and better for VMware products) or SexiLog (It´s free and good enough). Also, set the scratch log and core dumps location to a shared datastore.

    It's not that space consuming and you won't spend that much in a bootable disk



  • 3.  RE: how to solve disadvantages of installing esxi on sd card?

    Posted Aug 14, 2020 05:23 AM

    Because of using diskless ESXi Server we use the Dual SD Card for years now with great success. After addings the first datastore you have to configure the scratch partition und syslog to it.

    The vSAN Clusters use Dell Boss (Dual M.2 SSD) because its not supportet to store scratch on a vSAN Datastore.

    I think that it will changed in the near feature because of the new ESXi 7.0 partition layout and the 130GB OS_DATA.  It might be the reason that Dell dont offer ESXi 7.0 preinstalled on SD.

    Regards,
    Joerg



  • 4.  RE: how to solve disadvantages of installing esxi on sd card?

    Posted Aug 14, 2020 11:26 AM

    The SD card you are choosing is fine, but that does not eliminate the need for a scratch partition and a syslog server.
    Those requirements are for two things:
    1. To give logs persistance in case of a hardware failure
    2. To perserve your SSD card, (no matter how good it is, having a log writing constantly will tear it apart)


    Hope this works



  • 5.  RE: how to solve disadvantages of installing esxi on sd card?

    Posted Aug 15, 2020 06:25 AM

    nachogonzalez​ looks like your answer is closer.:smileyhappy:

    according to my experiences, I usually choose m.2 SSD or SATADOM devices for ESXi installation and never select additional place for scratch partition/syslog server.

    I'm curious about which kind of boot device for ESXi is the most popular in nowadays? does anyone know the statistic?



  • 6.  RE: how to solve disadvantages of installing esxi on sd card?

    Posted Aug 16, 2020 06:40 PM

    I don't have an official statistic.
    But for many years it has been local disks. With the verge of HCI SD boot has increased a lot.



  • 7.  RE: how to solve disadvantages of installing esxi on sd card?

    Posted Aug 17, 2020 01:30 AM

    okay~!

    it seemed that SD card and USB drives couldn't survive long being an ESXi boot disk due to current technological limitations.

    i was thinking about using SATADOM as boot device could be a compromise between life span, performance, management and the simplicity of preserving logs.(comparing to others)

    final question, does anyone know how frequent is the ESXi write logs to the partition?



  • 8.  RE: how to solve disadvantages of installing esxi on sd card?
    Best Answer

    Posted Aug 17, 2020 04:56 PM

    Regarding SATADOM, keep in mind that some HCI vendors (Nutanix for example) use them for operating system (hypervisor) installation.

    I'm not sure i got your "final question, does anyone know how frequent is the ESXi write logs to the partition?"

    By default some logs are writing almost everything that happens on the system like vmkernel.log some others will trigger in case of warnings (vmkwarning.log)
    or authentications. One important thing is that the logging information varies on many different things (number of VMs, storage, network, hardware, firmware, drivers, etc) so it's not possible to say exactly how many log lines will be generated.

    Maybe you can check on your system how many logs are being generated every day and get some metrics

    But once again I strongly suggest using a syslog colector such as sexilog(free tool) or Log Insight


    Hope this wqorks