ESXi Host Server - HDD Configuration

  • I bought a brand new server with 12 HDD at 10k RPM and 900 GB each. The plan is to create an ESXi embedded server (with ESXi on the SD Card). Might people weigh in with their thoughts on the best HDD config? I could go RAID 10 or RAID 6. I suppose I could go other. I have the server still wrapped in foam, so I can make the final decision BEFORE I fire it up, configure it, sigh and then rebuild it. I would prefer to get as much HDD space after formatting as possible. I don't really have any VMs that would require 15k RPM drives (no High Performance SQL server, no Exchange Server, etc.), so I look for the balance between speed and reliability since apparently RAID 5 is the sin of sins.

    So much to learn since I started this job.

    I'd offer HP and BA, but I don't Mango Lassi is into that sort of thing. You can get a hearty handshake or a good swift kick in the @$$. I'll deliver either personally.

    Thanks in advance.


    Paul Luciano, MCSE

  • Go RAID10

  • RAID10. Better redundancy and performance over RAID6.

  • you're in the wrong boat if you want anything other than 10 here. not real sure who you're kickin...but good luck

  • RAID 6 will deliver a lot more capacity, RAID 10 a lot more performance and some additional reliability. With those expensive 10K SAS drives, I'd guess that you'd not want to give up too much performance to parity overhead, especially if 15K drives were being kicked around as an idea. But, as a general sense, RAID 6 will work fine but typically (but not always) if going for RAID 6 it would also make sense to use NL-SAS drives which cost less. RAID 6 would never be used with 15K drives for practical reasons. It can make monetary sense with 10K but is not the most obvious choice. With NL-SAS, RAID 6 can really hit its stride for reliable large capacity, affordable systems.

  • IOPS are the biggest concern really. But without anything like a database which really needs them, RAID 6 might be more than enough. Exchange wouldn't be a big concern as it is not IOPS heavy. RAID 10 is far better tuned for heavy writes, but if reads are the vast majority, RAID 6 will keep right up.