Since my last post, there have been some developments. Booting from USB went from being inconsistent to being a non-starter. So, back to the old faithful hard drive boot. I have four internal 300GB SAS drives in a RAID-5 configuration. Since I have my VMs on the Synology NAS using iSCSI, the internal drive array was never used for much. Sometimes I would have a specific VM that wanted to make sure would be up in the event that the NAS went down such as the UniFi controller. I realised that isn’t a real worry. Along with having backups on both NASes I have an offline backup where the configurations of pfSense, Unifi and ESXi are kept.
ESXi backups are important as noted in previous posts. For quick reference (maybe mine!) the instructions are provided by VMware in the KB article How to back up ESXi host configuration. More steps are needed than pfSense of UniFi but it is something I do on at least a monthly basis or before and after I make any major configuration changes.
I’m not sure if booting ESXi from USB is an issue with my DL360p Gen8 server, the USB thumb drive (and I tried several) or ESXi 7.x. I do know that booting from the internal drive array does work and I’ll stick with that.
I also updated to the most current patch level of ESXi after the change to booting from the internal drive array. The update to ESXi 7.0.2 (build number 17867351) went flawlessly – although as slow as always. A great resource (especially if you do not use vSphere) is VMware Front Experience‘s VMware ESXi Patch Tracker. Great resource – including step-by-step instructions in a pop-up.