Wednesday, April 27, 2011

New Best Practice for Creating an ESXi Default Scratch Partition?

Some interesting blog posts came about yesterday with the start of this article on ESXi Scratch Partition Best Practices on the VMware ESXi Chronicles Blog.  This VMware KB article includes more technical detail as well as a resolution.  In the KB article, it states that many SAS and Boot From SAN(BFS) installations will NOT create a default scratch partition at install due to the possible shared nature of both the SAS and BFS architectures.

Both Scott Lowe and Forbes Guthrie followed up with articles based on previous ESXi installation experience.  Their great articles started me thinking one step further.  Since I tend to think of servers in terms of Cisco UCS these days, doesn't this mean that ALL Cisco UCS (and most other vendor servers as well) will not have a default scratch space because most installations are now either SAS or BFS??  If this is the case, shouldn't this KB article represent a new best practice for ALL installations of ESXi in the future as well as all installations in the past??

UPDATE:  Jeremy Waldrop shared with me that many of his UCS BFS installs include the scratch space by default and Scott Lowe shared on his blog that sometimes his didn't.  Looks like we have a "feature" on our hands where sometimes the scratch partition is created and sometimes it isn't.  My recommendation to everyone is to make sure you check for the partition post installation until we gather more information on the subject.

Does this need to be a best practice?  I'm sure the answer here will be "it depends."  It depends on how much of a difference not having the scratch space is to you.  Read the KB article carefully and understand what you are losing by not having a default scratch partition.  From reading the article, it seems worth it to me.  What are your thoughts?


Anonymous said...

I'd like to leave a comment!

Aaron Delp said...

And so you did..??