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What is the I/O load on the local disk system for the host OS in XenServer? I can't find this info anywhere. As we have a SAN for the VMs themselves, can we get away with cheap controller / SATA disk in RAID-1 for the hypervisor? We won't boot from the SAN as it seems prone to problems.

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I have never used XenServer as such, but in general, the host OS is not having to deal with disk IO much - some log writing, standard OS stuff, nothing else. The main load is on the SAN LUNs, where the working VMs are.

I have a few hosts with KVM (under RHEV) with very old 60Gb SATA drives, but a lot of CPU cores and RAM. I haven't checked exactly, but the local drives definitely do not seem to be a bottleneck, unless you're going into swap (and you never want to swap with several VMs operating)

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You can get away with the smallest oldest disc you can get your hands on. I would suggest a 16 / 32 gb SSD for maintenance reasons. Low power and makes no differnce to be cheap here.

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