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I currently have a Dell R710, which has slowly evolved into a pretty loaded up VMware host. Due to the way I have upgraded, I currently have 2x RAID5 arrays. Running ESXi 6.5, I have updated both VMFS to V6, and I split the load across the arrays - File server on one array, and Exchange Server on the other.

I have the opportunity now to wipe it and configure a large Raid6 instead, using 6x 2TB SATA 6Gb/s drives.

Better to keep them separated due to the differing workload between Exchange and a heavily used DC, or to make it one big array and just partition off the drives?

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Make a large array and leverage the larger number of disks.

PERC controllers can have multiple Virtual Disks per array, so make a small one for VMware ESXi and make a larger one for your VMFS datastore(s).

  • Any particular reason why? My ESXi install is actually booting off of a separate thumb drive. – ChristopherDill Apr 17 '17 at 13:49
  • If you're not using shared storage (SAN or NAS) for your VM storage, booting VMware off of USB or SDHC card isn't a great idea. They're failure prone, and it's a bit of a pain to recover. – ewwhite Apr 17 '17 at 13:52
  • Alright, I can certainly adjust. With a standalone host, what is the best way to transfer the ESXi install to a disk? When I moved from internal disk to USB I had to basically just wipe everything and start fresh. I am assuming I would have to do it again, rebuild networking, and reimport the VMs? – ChristopherDill Apr 17 '17 at 18:15

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