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I have 2 Dell servers: PowerEdge R710, Dell PowerConnect Switch 6224 and an array: Dell EqualLogic PS4100.

I need to install ESXi on my 2 servers. (Im just learning about VMWare, SANs, I have only basic experience with computer networks).

Connections between my network components:

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I need to install ESXi on both my Dell Servers. Then, I need to install some virtual machines on my Dell Array (Storage). My question is that how can I install ESXi? Locally, on server's HDD? Or in a shared storage? I think that the best solution would be to install ESXi on local, not remote (array) hdd (on DPE R710, not in DELPS4100). Is that right?

Will it be then possible to use shared storage from both servers? I mean, will my both servers see Dell Equal Logic array? Should I do some partitions on Dell EqualLogic? And how to do this? Please don't laught at me, but saw this array and I don't even know how to connect to it to do some management - create partitions, etc (do I really need that?).

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A nice, easily replaceable SD card or USB stick? –  Michael Hampton Feb 1 at 14:57

1 Answer 1

While there are some iSCSI boot-from-SAN options, your cleanest approach to installing ESXi onto your host servers is to either use local hard disk (single or mirrored pair) or leverage the internal USB or SDHC slots on the server.

VMware ESXi installs differently, depending on the media you use. In reality, ESXi only consumes 900 Megabytes of space, so the most efficient installation option for environments where you have shared storage is to use high-end USB or SDHC cards.

Also see: What happens when the USB key or SD card I've installed VMware ESXi on fails?

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Ok, I booted from my CD with ESXi 5.5 I downloaded from VMware, and had some doubts where should I install the ESXi. I had two options to choose: 1) Local: Single Flash Reader (972 MiB) 2) Remote: Dell Virtual Disk (136.12 GiB) and I wasnt sure where to install ESXi. What is Remote Dell Virtual Disk? Server isnt even connected to my Array so remote here is very confusing ... I guess I should chose Single Flash Reader? –  yak Feb 1 at 15:15
    
@yak Are you sure you aren't already connected to the SAN? –  Michael Hampton Feb 1 at 15:20
    
I will check it on monday (servers are at work). But as I remember there were no cables from server to the switch –  yak Feb 1 at 15:28
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"Remote Dell Virtual Disk" is probably one or two 146GB hard disks inside the server. The Local/Remote terminology is confusing, but this means you already have a virtual disk configured on the PERC array controller. –  ewwhite Feb 1 at 15:29
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You can do either. Read the links in my answer to understand the benefits/drawbacks of either approach. –  ewwhite Feb 1 at 15:35

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