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Date:      Mon, 2 Dec 2013 16:31:00 -0800
From:      Michael Sierchio <>
To:        Drew Tomlinson <>
Cc:        FreeBSD Questions <>
Subject:   Re: FreeBSD 9 On ESXi 5.5?
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <BLU0-SMTP3715B7F52FF0ACE69A856B7B3D50@phx.gbl>
References:  <BLU0-SMTP3715B7F52FF0ACE69A856B7B3D50@phx.gbl>

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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.

> 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).

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