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 Benefits of booting from USB? 
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Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:39 pm
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Post Benefits of booting from USB?
Hey guys, we are now going virtualization route at work, and i've been reading up and trying to prep things before the server from dell (R510) comes in (30th). I see that there are serveral setups where people are installing the Esxi hypervisor to a usb or sd card then booting of it. Can someone explain the benefits of doing this? Thank you for your time.


Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:43 pm
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Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:13 pm
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Post Re: Benefits of booting from USB?
From the start ESXi was designed to be small and the original intent was to put it into ROM. It ended up being a bit too large for that so flash devices were an alternative.

ESXi is also pretty low on I/O once it boots so going with a flash device pushes one in the direction of a diskless server. Less moving parts equals less chance of a failure of the host (and some newer host enable mirroring of flash devices to eliminate the flash device as a single point of failure).

ESXi is moving in a stateless direction. With the Autodeploy functionality (it's available on vmwarelabs ) you can boot a host without any local storage, it will boot and then join vCenter.

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Dave Mishchenko
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Now available - VMware ESXi: Planning, Implementation, and Security
Also available - vSphere Quick Start Guide


Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:31 pm
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Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:39 pm
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Post Re: Benefits of booting from USB?
Thanks.


Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:00 am
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Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:10 am
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Post Re: Benefits of booting from USB?
Dave.Mishchenko wrote:
(and some newer host enable mirroring of flash devices to eliminate the flash device as a single point of failure).

Hi Dave,

Please, can you explain more? I'm very interested in mirror my USB Flash boot device...

Thank you!


Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:23 am
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Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:13 pm
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Post Re: Benefits of booting from USB?
Dell has this option

http://www.dell.com/downloads/global/pr ... per-en.pdf

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Dave Mishchenko
VMware vExpert 2009-2013
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Now available - VMware ESXi: Planning, Implementation, and Security
Also available - vSphere Quick Start Guide


Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:54 am
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Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 6:10 am
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Post Re: Benefits of booting from USB?
Hi Dave,

Interesting... but expensive!

My Poorsman version:

* 2 units of CF card-reader to SATA adapter
* 1 unit of USB 2.0 external enclosure with hardware RAID in MIRROR mode
* 2 highspeed CompactFlash cards (1GB each)

I hope this works! :lol:


Tue Mar 08, 2011 5:01 am
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:42 am
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Location: Australia
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Post Re: Benefits of booting from USB?
The main benefit that I have found from installing ESXi onto USB is that you save having to waste hard drive space as you only need 1GB of space and the host boot time is not effected terribly. The difference in boot time between my whitebox with a 4GB usb stick and the blades at work with raid 10 146GB 15k SAS drives is 10 - 15 seconds.


Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:15 am
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