Minimum partition size requirements for ESX ESXi 4.1




I thought I’d whip up a quick table to show the minimum recommended partition sizes for ESX/i 4.1 and just a brief overview of what each is about.

/Boot Ext3 1100MB
/ Ext3 5GB
None Swap 600MB
None VMFS-3 Variable
None VMFS-3 1.2GB
/Var/Log Ext3 2GB

the /Boot location is where all the files are stored in order for it to (your way ahead of me here)…. boot. The / location is where the root of the service console file system resides.  The next few enteries do not have a mount point per se and the first one in the list is the swap file (what the MS world calls virtual memory these days), This swap file is for the use of the service console (by the way you will see service console written as “SC” in quite a few places round the net). I shall skip the next entry and move onwards to the 1.2GB VMFS-3 entry. This is where the service console actually runs and resides, the SC it is safe to assume is the first VM you will ever have on an esx server as it resides in a VMFS formatted mount point and is encapsulated within a VMDK file.

The next entry in is the VMKcore which with a bit of luck you will not have to worry or investigate about very often. This location is where ESX/i dumps any crash data to when a fatal error has occured on the host such as vmwares copycat feature of the BSOD which is closly titled the PSOD (or purple screen of death for those who have not already guessed).

Now backtracking to the entry I missed the simple reason is this figure is wildly variable due to it being the location of the storage for your VM’s so whilst you are labbing away from you next VCP it might be a modest 10GB connected to an openfiler instance or it may well be multi-terrabyte mount point in a high flying exciting world of production IT equipment.

Depending on which version of ESX/i you are installing all this might be very easy to spot or possibly you may never see it at all. ESX as part of its installation routine will allow you to fiddle with the partition setup before installation actually occurs. ESXi however does not, with ESXi all you pretty much do is insert the cd into the shiny new host and click install, 10 minutes later you have a host with ESXi installed on it awaiting basic config details such as hostname and IP information. Now considering ESX is going end of life and vSphere 5 will be the first suite to have no ESX version available any new installs might as well be ESXi (you might as well get used to it now), this is truely another step towards automated meaningless servers which can be replaced at the drop of a hat without hardly any worry about backing up the host etc etc or replicating complicated and critical configs. Host profiles allows this completely but I shall not delve into those too much as I fear I am straying from the point of my original post somewhat.


In am exam environment these figures are what you need to memorise in order to answer question on minimum mount point sizes for installation of ESX/I.



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