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Date:      Mon, 2 Dec 2013 16:59:26 -0800
From:      Drew Tomlinson <>
To:        Michael Sierchio <>
Cc:        FreeBSD Questions <>
Subject:   Re: FreeBSD 9 On ESXi 5.5?
Message-ID:  <BLU0-SMTP278DF0B4A8A580B5C11366DB3D50@phx.gbl>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <BLU0-SMTP3715B7F52FF0ACE69A856B7B3D50@phx.gbl> <>

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On 12/2/2013 4:31 PM, Michael Sierchio wrote:
> On Mon, Dec 2, 2013 at 4:15 PM, Drew Tomlinson <> wrote:
>> I recently purchased an HP Proliant ML310 to replace an old server that
>> happily ran FBSD for 13 years before it died last month.
>> Now because the hardware will support it, I'd like to learn about vSphere or
>> ESXi or whatever they are calling it these days as we are beginning to
>> migrate that way at work.  Thus I would like to rebuild my FBSD box as a
>> guest.
>> My new server has 4, 1TB drives.  The onboard RAID controller will only do
>> mirroring or striping without parity.  It will not do what I know of as
>> RAID5 where parity info is spread across the disks.
> Are you sure?  I.e., are you sure it isn't just a driver issue?  Do
> you have the HP-specific distro for ESXi?  The one you get from VMware
> won't have the right driver for that RAID controller, for sure.
Yes, I am sure.  I do have the HP distro for ESXi.  It seems I have to 
buy a Flash Back Write Cache (FWBC) module to get RAID5.

>> I used to use ZFS and like the redundancy it provides.  However I've googled
>> and there seems to be a lot of posts about ZFS not working well in a virtual
>> machine.
>> Does anyone have any insight on this?  Good idea?  Bad idea that will bite
>> me later?  It is most important to me to have a machine that is reliable and
>> just runs like my old one did than to do anything fancy.  I like a raid1z
>> pool because I could lose a disk and not lose data.  However I do not want
>> to cause problems by using it in a vm since they are so easy to restore from
>> backups.
> The only way to use ZFS pools in any reasonable fashion with ESXi is
> to present iSCSI targets to the ESXi server from the host that has the
> pools.  Just my $0.02 ($0.11 adjusted for inflation).
Thank for your thoughts.  However I don't have a server with pools. It 
was my (probably bad) idea to create 4 virtual drives (one on each 
physical drive) in the ESXi software for the FBSD guest.  Then create 
the ZFS pool in that FBSD guest.



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