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ESXi 4.1 Raid 5 showing indivdual drives

Posted on 2010-09-06
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Last Modified: 2016-12-08
Hey all thanks for reading.

Im getting strange errors and stranges going on with my test esxi box.

I got a P5D Deluxe motherboard I just brought, I got 4 drives that are 250 gigs Sata, in the raid controller, Intel Matrix I think its called, the raid seems fine and shows up at around 700gigs, but when im in ESX, add datastore, it just adds the indivitual drives and not as a whole logical drive.

Cant seem to see much online, so hope you all can help or pass some ideas my way

thanks again
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Question by:thechase22
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siht earned 167 total points
ID: 33615227
ICHx RAID controllers which come with most consumer level Motherboards are what is called fake raid.
ESXi will not recognise this type of RAID and will just show individual drives as you are seeing.

Your best bet is to get a cheap supported RAID card from either the VMware HCL or a whitebox HCL and run your RAID from that.

http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/search.php?source=web&cd=1&ved=0CBcQFjAA&url=http://www.vmware.com/go/hcl&rct=j&q=vmware%20hcl&ei=j9aFTJ6eCYyevgPr-9z1BA&usg=AFQjCNEXuH3H1BNILfm7AMoBNO0jQXhT-g

http://www.vm-help.com/esx40i/esx40_whitebox_HCL.php
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by:kareejb
kareejb earned 167 total points
ID: 33615283
The Intel Matrix Raid is technically software RAID (no dedicated hardware to handle RAID functions) with enough BIOS support to allow you to boot into an OS where you can then load proper drivers. All RAID functions (parity for RAID5, duplicating writes to individual drives in RAID1, etc) are handled by the CPU instead of a dedicated piece of hardware. ESXi will likely never have support for this kind of setup. If you want to use the builtin motherboard RAID with VM's you will have to use VMWare Server or Workstation under Linux or Windows. To use these drives in ESXi you need to get a proper RAID controller on the VMWare Hardware compatibility list (http://www.vmware.com/resources/guides.html) or you can simple create a large VMFS volume with 4 extents giving you ~1TB of space without any form of reduncancy or the performance increase RAID striping would provide. In this config if you lost a drive then you lose access your VM's stored on those extents.

http://communities.vmware.com/thread/244352
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by:thechase22
ID: 33615957
This is turning out to be a nightmare, I think ill just forget raid, I only have 1 pci slot on that board which I just brought, was an intel nic, as the 2 onboard wont work.

Also, the raid cards I did look at,they had only 2 sata ports, is there a way I can connect as many as 5 sata drives into a raid, not unless I get 2 raid cards if they are joinable? Also maybe I can use a PCI-E slot instead? as theyre a few of them on this board.
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Assisted Solution

by:vmwarun - Arun
vmwarun - Arun earned 166 total points
ID: 33616915
VMware has some strict requirements when it comes to hardware compatibility.
The below mentioned URL is an unofficial VMware Whitebox HCL
http://www.vm-help.com//esx40i/esx40_whitebox_HCL.php
Your best bet is to check this URL and buy parts accordingly.
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by:thechase22
ID: 33680468
Good feedback thanks for replying
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