Disk partition layout for ESXi in vSphere 7

In continuation with other post on ESXi partition layout in vSphere 6.x. This post addresses the changes to partition layout in latest version of ESXi. i.e. vSphere 7.

As per old versions we used to have partition layout as below with minimum required space of 5.2 GB standard. There was also possibility of installing ESXi only with 1 GB minimum space considering scratch and diagnostic partition is configured on network

Image 1

However, in current release, there are bunch of changes. We do not have similar layout.

The new layout seems to be more compact. Though we still have boot banks, however, there are changes to the sizing of boot banks. Now both boot bank partitions are of 500 MB each.

Image 2

Run below commands to list the partition information.

Image 3
Image 4

100 MB space (in Image 4) for mpx.vmhba0:C0:T0:L0:1 is Boot-loader information. This one also has more space now compared to previous version of vSphere.

Image 5

ESXi 7.0 requires a boot disk of at least 8 GB for USB or SD devices. Although an 8 GB USB or SD device is sufficient for a minimal installation, you should use a larger device. The additional space is used for an expanded core dump file. In the screenshots above, we have used ESXi instance from this device type only.

At least 32 GB space for other device types such as HDD, SSD, or NVMe. When booting from a local disk, SAN or iSCSI LUN, a 32 GB disk is required to allow for the creation of system storage volumes, which include a boot partition, boot banks, and a VMFS-L based ESX-OSData volume.

The ESX-OSData volume takes on the role of the scratch partition, VM-tools, and core dump destination.

The recommended ESXi 7.0 install options for space requirement are as:

  • 8 GB USB or SD for ESXi boot partitions and an additional 32 GB local disk for ESX-OSData volume.
  • A local disk with a minimum of 32 GB. The disk contains the boot partitions and ESX-OSData volume.
  • A local disk larger than 128 GB. The disk contains the boot partitions, ESX-OSData volume, and VMFS datastore. This is for use case where you are planning to share boot disk with VMFS.

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