Running ESXi from SD cards

Benefits of running ESXi from SD Cards

ESXi 5.1 got a very small footprint, less than 150 MB. This  in the combination that ESXi does not write very much to disk makes it a great OS to boot from SD cards. The benefits of running ESXi from SD cards is that you don’t need to spend money on expensive hard drives, does not generate as much heat as hard drives do and they are completely silent.

HP BL460c Blades does have a SD card slot on the top of the blade. On the right, two BL460c blades running ESXi from SD cards, no HDDs.

 Possible errors to run into when running ESXi from SD cards.

Logs on non-persistent storage

“system logs on host are stored on non-persistent storage”

This means that the system logs for the servers will be stored on a RAM-disk and therefore they will be deleted if the server looses its power. This may or may not be a problem.

If you don’t care that the logs are whiped when the server looses power, you can ignore the warning.

How to create persistent storage with PowerCli:

The solution is to store the logs on a datastore which is connected to the host.

  1.  Connect to the host with PowerCli:
    Connect-VIServer <host ip or dns>
  2. Get a list of the datastores available to the host
    Get-Datastore
  3. Create a psdrive to access the datastore you chose to use
    New-PSDrive -Name "DS" -Root \ -PSProvider VimDatastore -Datastore (Get-Datastore "<DATASTORE_NAME>")
  4. Browe into the mounted datastore
    Set-Location DS:\
  5. Create a directory for the persistent storage. PS: Do not use the same directory for more than one host.
    New-Item ".locker-hostname" -ItemType directory
  6. Configure the host to use the new directory for persistent storage
    Set-VMHostAdvancedConfiguration -Name "ScratchConfig.ConfiguredScratchLocation" -Value "/vmfs/volumes/DATASTORE_NAME/.locker-hostname"
  7. Set the host to maintenance mode and reboot it
    Set-VMHost -State "Maintenance"
    Restart-VMHost

 

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