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How does ESXi 4.1 access the builtin SAN on an HP Proliant ML 330 G6

Posted on 2010-09-16
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hi everyone,

I am building a test environment on brand new Proliant ML 330 G6 with 4 hard drives configured on a raid 10.
The current situation is as follows:

I have successfully created the raid 10 using the array controller (also checked it using the HP Tools Media).

Successfully installed ESXi on a USB stick as I was unable to install it on the SAN. All ESXi was able to see was the 4 hard drives despite them being configured as described above.

Also, whilst running the console on my workstation, I was able to connect to machine and yet again saw the 4 hard drives as 4 independent datastores rather than a single logical drive.

If this question has been answered previously please accept my appologies and if possible redirect me to the solution, otherwise if anyone can help it would be great.

Thanks in advance

m03dinhas
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Question by:-m03dinhas-
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Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 33697604
What model RAID controller is in your HP server?
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Author Comment

by:-m03dinhas-
ID: 33697620
I am not in the office at the moment, I am not entirely sure, I will have to come back to you on that one

Should have noted that down, accept my apologies :( I shall reply tomorrow morning first thing

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Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 33697665
No problem - some of the "lower end" controllers aren't on the HCL and expect the OS driver to do the bulk of the RAID work. I would bet that is what you have here. In those cases the vendor provides more mainstream OS like Windows or Linux a driver that is needed to get the full RAID capabilities of the device. You can also look at HP's support site and see if they have a VMware specific driver for your particular RAID card. From the symptoms you describe I would probably take an even money bet that this is the case. If so the only solution for fault tolerance is often to upgrade your internal RAID controller.

Good Luck
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by:-m03dinhas-
ID: 33697696
Thanks for you help, I shall see where that line of thought leads me :) at least now I have a starting point

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Expert Comment

by:bgoering
ID: 33697709
no problem - keep me posted
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Author Comment

by:-m03dinhas-
ID: 33699795
Hi,

as promissed the raid controller on the server is:

HP Smart Array B110i SATA RAID Controller

Cheers
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Expert Comment

by:TiMMay333
ID: 33699990
hi,

From what i understand, your RAID card is actually a re-branded intel ICH10R Raid card, which is a software based RAID card.

ESX does not support software RAID, and the symptoms are exactly as you describe, all the hard drives are presented as individual drives, not a raid set.

Here is a link from the vmware community forum about your raid card:

http://communities.vmware.com/message/1342212

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Accepted Solution

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bgoering earned 500 total points
ID: 33701672
Yes it is I suspected - you need the OS specific driver in order to enjoy the RAID functionality of that card (software raid). According to the doc (http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bc/docs/support/SupportManual/c01706551/c01706551.pdf) only Windows and Linux drivers are avaialble.

You may want to search the hardware compatibility list (http://www.vmware.com/go/hcl) and find a RAID controller card to add to your system. Also, when searching I would hold out for one that has battery backed write caching, otherwise your write I/O performance will likely be quite unsatisfactory.

Good Luck
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Author Comment

by:-m03dinhas-
ID: 33701904
Thanks for you help with this guys, you did point e in the right direction, I will have to get the E200 controller in order to get this done properly

thanks
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