RAMDISK Setup & Config - ESXi 5.5 ENT+

  • Looking for a basic config and tutorial to set up a 2.1-RELEASE VM in RAMDISK.

    It's a lab environment, Dell Hardware:

    Dell T5500 Precision Workstation
    2x Xeon x5680 CPUs
    96GB RAM ddr3, ecc
    32GB ESXi Host Cache SSD
    96GB VM Client Cache SSD
    2x 960GB (RAID1) VM datastore SSD
    LSI 8708EM2 RAID6 7.2TB (6x 2TB drives)

    11 NICs:
    1x Intel Pro 1000 MT quad card 64-bit PCIx
    1x Intel Pro 1000 MT dual card, running in the small PCI slot (I get gig speeds but I assume not running at 64-bit)
    2x Intel Pro 1000 PT Dual PCIe cards
    1x Dell Motherboard NIC, Broadcom

    It's a little ghetto, SSD's are loose inside and I had to buy (ebay) SATA Y power splitters… but it's a lab box so it works for the time being and I tear the thing apart every other day so it's fine)

    So question is or goal is: I'm trying to keep the VM images on the 960GB SSD repository and use the local 7.2TB RAID6 array as a mapped network datastore running either FreeNAS or Server 2012r2 as a file server. Trying to minimize writes to the SSD's as well as the RAID6 array. I'd like to run pfSense in RAMDISK if at all possible. The machine has 96GB of RAM and does not overbook so it can easily support/spare up to 8-10GB of RAM to run pfSense.

    So what basic settings do I need to configure the VM (at the ESXi level) and then how do I turn on RAMDISK in pfSense so that it boots to RAMDISK but pushes syslog files out to another network location?

    Currently I've been using 4GB of RAM and 2-cores, persistent storage. What exactly do I need to do?? Or can someone give me a baseline of the virtual hardware specs I need? How many cores, gigs of RAM and size/type of virtual disk (lazy or eager zero, etc.).


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