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Reducing array size and moving to virtualization...


Talsit

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I've been following the threads concerning running Unraid in a VM and I think I'm going to take the plunge.

 

Right now I have a desktop computer running an AMD Phenom II x4 1055 and 8GB of RAM.  It's my light gaming rig and boots Win 7 Pro off an Intel 80GB SSD.  The data drive is a 1TB WD 7200 Caviar Blue. This resides in an Antec 900 case.

 

In an Antec 300 case I installed the motherboard from an old HP Pavilion (A1640N with a dual core AMD processor and 1GB of RAM) a 4 port HBA and 3-2TB Hitachi green drives, 4-1TB Seagate green drives and an old laptop 320GB drive for cache. I have about 3TB of data on the six data drives.

 

I'm running 4.7 Pro.

 

If I understand correctly, to move this to my Antec 900 case and have the HBA available for passthrough in ESXi I need to reduce my array from 8 drives to 4.  

 

How do I reduce the array size without losing data?  In looking through the forums I'm thinking I will need to manually move the data from the six data drives to three drives, calculate parity, remove spare drives, restore.

 

At this point I would move this four disk array (1 parity and 3 data) to its new home in the 900 case, install ESXi, set the data store on the SSD, install Unraid VM, install Win 7 VM (gaming and work), install any other VM I want...

 

After the system is up and I have PCI passthrough set up for the HBA and USB passthrough for my thumbdrive can I assign a cache drive from the motherboard SATA ports?  

 

Thanks in advance for the help.

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Before you do anything to your unRAID.

 

you need to check your motherboard.

Make sure AMD I/O Virtualization Technology (AMD IOMMU) is available in order to Enable Passthrough (That is AMD's version of VT-d)

 

Without VMDirectPath, you're dead in the water before you even start.

 

IF that is available, I would first test on that box without ANY hard drives installed (before killing your unraid).

See if you can passthrough any other devices (anything, USB for example) before you get to worked up.

 

Most consumer motherboards don't work with ESX as expected.

The HCL for ESX is very small.

 

this page might help identify your motherboards compatibility http://www.vm-help.com/index.html

 

Also, you don't need to use an SSD. any HDD will do fine. it will just be a bit laggy if your running several guests at the same time off it. remember, unraid runs in memory.

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John's,

 

I have turned on the virtualization.

 

That web page was outstanding. My hardware isn't listed but I'll give the install a shot this weekend. I'm making room on a drive for ESXi.

 

Thanks for the post.

 

Jay

 

 

 

Just install ESXI on usb drive

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John's,

 

I have turned on the virtualization.

 

That web page was outstanding. My hardware isn't listed but I'll give the install a shot this weekend. I'm making room on a drive for ESXi.

 

Thanks for the post.

 

Jay

 

 

 

Just install ESXI on usb drive

What he said above.  Just burn ESXi to a CD and install to a USB stick

 

Unless the board has VT-d you will not be able to pass through the controller like you want to.  I found this in a google search but it is talking about Hyper-V and not ESXi.

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Thanks for the help and links.  Got ESXi up and running but pass through didn't work like I wanted.  After further reading I think it was because all of my devices are on the same PCI bus.

 

Think I'll be keeping an eye out for a good deal on a real server motherboard (and Norco 4224) and try again then.  The technology will do what I want once I have the hardware to support it!

 

Thank again for all the help.

 

Jay

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