Sharing esata disk (Windows LAN)

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I currently use Windows 10 running several VMs in Workstation, CPU is i7-3930K, i.e. no VT-d. It also has 24TB Raid5 external array (Areca), connected to the PC via esata, and shared as r/w folder in Windows, so that other PCs can use it as file server. I read that switching to Esxi allows better memory management and therefore – better performance for VMs. I have following questions:

1. Will performance difference be noticeable, especially if I increase number of VMs to 10+?
2. Will it be possible to share the esata disk in one of the VMs, or by means of the Esxi, so that it is visible to other Windows machines as shared folder?

3. Since the PC is pretty old (SaberTooth X79), should I use older versions of Esxi for drivers compatibility, or 7.0 will work just fine?

 

thx!

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