Question : Make best use of my HDDs with ESXi

Evening everyone,

I am lucky enough to own a Dell PowerEdge T610 for use as essentially a home lab computer and storage system for my data.  I have outlined the specs below.  I currently run 1 x Server 2008 R2 installation which has SQL 2008 R2 on it.  It acts as a file server and a database server.  No active directory at this time.


Intel Xeon E5520 Processor (Quad core @ 2.26GHz)
PERC H700 RAID controller with 512MB cache
2 x 146GB SAS 15K HDD
6 x 250GB SATA 7.2K HDD
Internal 1GB SD Module for ESXi

I want to run the following VMs on the server:

DC (with DHCP and DNS and also running as the file server)

In terms of data to be stored I have a significant quantity that I want to store on the file server.  This data includes critical work information that I want protected using RAID.  The VMs themselves, whilst important, are not overly crucial so I'm not necessarily worried about protecting them with RAID so long as my data is safe.  

My thoughts on the best setup for speed of the VMs and reliability of my data is as follows:

2 x 146GB SAS 15K drives in a RAID 0 setup for maximum speed.  All three VMs go on this array.
6 x 250GB SATA drives in a RAID 5 setup for the best mix of redundancy and speed.  All data goes on this array with the exception of SQL databases which will go on the RAID 0 array 'at risk' but I will back-up the databases across the network to another machine.

I would be grateful for your thoughts on whether my idea above is the best bet for a combination of speed and reliability and, most of all, security for my data.

Thanks in advance,


Answer : Make best use of my HDDs with ESXi

That sounds like a pretty good plan to me. I use a similar setup in my home lab with a R710 16GB.

Good luck with your new system.
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