A VMware ESXi Test Box

Storage I

I decided to split the primary storage into a fast boot device and a pair of large (ish) drives to hold the main VM storage.  I reused a Crucial 128GB SSD from another project and a pair of Western Digital WD1002FAEX Caviar Black 1TB drives which I have always found to offer good performance while proving to be reliable under heavy use.  If I was not using a second pool of storage I would probably have selected the larger 2TB drives

Storage II

As I need to use Oracle Grid Infrastructure with ASM frequently, I required a fairly compact storage solution with reasonable throughput.  Budget constraints ruled out SAS for now, but it would be a future optionworth considering so I settled on the following:

  1. Icy Dock MB994SP-4S 4 Bay Hot Swap SATA/SAS SSD/HDD in 1 X 5.25 inch Bay
  2. Western Digital 2.5 inch Scorpio Black 750GB 7200rpm SATA
  3. Adaptec ASR 3405 128MB RWestern Digital 2.5 inch Scorpio Black 750GB 7200rpm SATAAID controller SAS SATA 4x PCIe

The dock and Adaptec card give the option of moving to SAS later if required.  I would have preferred amore capable RAID card but I managed to source a good deal on eBay.


Reading other users experiences with VMware, the use of a second network card to generate two physical connections seems to be recommended.  One for the management network and one for the VM’s.  The addition of an Intel Gigabit CT Desktop Adaptor added the second network port.  It would have been nice if ASUS had supplied a second LAN connection on the motherboard but this seems to be a rare feature at present.


Just a cheap card I had lying around.  Nothing fancy required as I wasn’t planning on looking at the console very often.  All management is being done remotely via VMware vSphere Client.