Hardware Raid Datastore

Quick question. I am still new to ESXI and I am trying to setup a datastore that is giving me trouble, and now I’m questioning whether it is even possible.

What I am looking to do is run ESXI 6.7 (free) on my R720. I am using an H710p RAID card and looking to do the following.

* 6x 3tb SAS in RAID 10 (already built and contains data) to be passed through to existing 2012R2 VM
* 2x 250gb SATA SSD in RAID 0 as Datastore to hold said VM and others

Am I only able to pass-through the whole controller as opposed to use the different VDs and use them separately?


Thanks in advance for any advice.

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  1. You cannot pass through a partial controller. It needs to be the whole controller or nothing. You need to get a hybrid or a another raid card. You then need to make sure that the SSD’s are not running on the pass through controller, either by dividing the enclosure in two (two SAS cables running to the backplane) or some other way having the SSD’s and power to them.

  2. RDM (Raw Disk Mapping) is your friend here. No need for two RAID cards, or re-formatting. Keep the VMFS SSD volume and build the VM on that. Don’t format the second volume, leave it as NTFS (or whatever it is). Then add the second volume as an RDM to your VM. Simple!

  3. If it was me, I wouldn’t use a RAID 0 to hold the VMs. SSDs will be plenty fast, I’d be more worried about data loss just by losing 1 drive. Use a RAID 1 instead

  4. Why would you pass through? Have the two virtual disks configured on the RAID controller and put VMFS volumes on each. Configure a datastore on each volume and install the VM’s appropriately on each. You shouldn’t be passing through the local controller for straight up disk.

  5. If I remember it correctly R720 has two onboard SATA ports. One was used for the optical drive unit for sure. This might be a great option for you to connect 2 x 250 GB SSDs and use them as separate datastores in ESXi. I don’t think there are RAID options present on those onboard SATA ports but It’s even better compared to RAID0 since if one drive fails you will still have the data on a second one.

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