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Best Practise? - RAID 5 on VMWare

dark alex

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Hi together,


I would like to know what you would do in my situation:

I have XPE running on a HP MicroSerer N40L running VMWare ESXi 5.0

The reason why vmware is that I have to run another small machine on it.


Now my question is how would you set up the data storage if you were me?

I have three Hard Disks dedicated for NAS data storage, 2TB, 2TB, 3TB

A fourth HDD of 1 TB is used as vmware datastore for placing the system containers on.

I could now use three ways to create a storage:


Option 1: Semi-HW-RAID

Use the onboard RAID Controller (HP) and create a RAID5 over all three disks and give the resulting logical disc as a raw device over to XPE

which will then detect one data-disc connected.

Advantages: RAID is done before any OS sees the drive. So vmware only has to deal with one drive.

Disatvantages: a) If my board crashes I probably might not find a replace... oh! It's HP :wink: You know what I mean...

b) If I decide to move to another device anytime I will need to backup and restore all data.


Option 2: SW-RAID5

Pass all three discs to XPE and let the DSM create a software raid

Adv: I can pull the discs out and put them into a DiskStation any time without forcefully having to backup and restore.

Dadv: vmware has to deal with three discs


Option 3: Container

Create SEMI-HW-RAID but do not pass the RAW "device" to XPE but use it as ESX datastore. Then create a big vHD for XPE.

Additional to Advs and Diss of Option 1 there is the positive point that I could also use the storage for vHDs.

Another negative point is that I have one more layer between the software and effectively writing the block...


What way would you use?

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