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We have a Dell 2950 II with 4 76GB drives in a RAID 10 configuration, running ESXi and 5 virtual machines. The RAID controller is Perc5/i. There is a low transaction rate, so this gives us minimal hardware and lots of performance for our needs. We have a second identical 2950II for a cold backup - if we have a problem we move the disks and push power. This has been tested.

In each virtual machine there is a service/daemon which nightly backs up any changed files to the cloud. If we have a disk loss we can restore everything down... but it will be slow.

Someone had the idea of putting a 2TB SATA HDD (SATAu with interposer card) into the frame (there are two empty HDD bays), and then we can snapshot the VMDK files locally for fast restore. We don't care about RAIDing this drive - it is backup.

Question: How do I get this single drive to be recognized by ESXi? The drive is in the server, ESXi displays it in the hardware health status - but we need to get at the drive, format it, etc. Will ESXi recognize it as 2TB of available space, do I need to make the single PD into a RAID 0 VD, ......

I'm sure we can eventually stumble into a successful answer, just wondering if anybody else has been here already.

If required, we could get another 2TB drive and interposer, and RAID1 them, if that's what it takes to keep the Perc5/i card happy.

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1. You should run a scan for new datastores. 2. Wouldn't a better idea be to pass a USB drive through to a VM and then backup your VM's to that? That way your backups are portable and aren't tucked away in the server? 3. There are much better ways to do DR then the way you're doing it. –  joeqwerty Jan 4 at 1:22
    
Agree - external USB or even a small NAS (Qnap, Synology, etc) for an external data store via NFS or iSCSI. –  Jeff Hengesbach Jan 5 at 14:20
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