Unable to detect any hard drive to setup RAID in MegaRAID controller

free5945 used Ask the Experts™
I am in the process of setting up VMware ESXi 4.1 on 2 VM hosts with SAN.  Please see below system specs I have.

Hosts:  2 x IBM system x 3650 M3
SAN: IBM system storage DS3512
SAN connection: 4 x IBM 6Gb SAS Host Bus Adapter & SAS cable
SAN hard drive:  6 x IBM 600GB SAS hard drive ( for RAID 5)

While trying to setup RAID 5 on SAN from my host using WebBIOS of MegaRAID controller utility, I am unable to detect any SAS hard drive attached to SAN.  I have all 6 new SAS hard drives installed and  I can see the controller in BIOS,  but no hard drive is available for RAID configuration.  Wondering if anyone have done the similar setup can help me to figure out what did I miss or what could go wrong?  Thank you in advance.
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Top Expert 2010

The BIOS sees nothing at all?  If it is all hooked up properly and cabled, then the typical reason for this problem is a bad controller.  

But you do have a lot of devices in the mix, so I would get the right cabling to directly attach at least one disk to the controller directly to take the DS3512 out of the equation.  If the controller still doesn't see any disk(s), then contact your source and ask them to send you a replacement controller.


Thank you for your comment, dlethe.  I am pretty sure the cabling is correct.  Unfortunately, I can not remove DS3512 out of the equation because I have no hard drive on the host servers.  The only SAS storage and interface I have are on the SAN.  I use embedded hypervisor to boot ESXi. Since it is probably not likely all brand new 4 controllers, 6 hard drives and 4 SAS cable be DOA at the same time, I will take down the box and swap the components one by one just to see if I can rule out the hardware issue.  I will post the update after the test.  Meanwhile, does anyone had same kind of trouble with IBM 6 Gb SAS Host Bus Adapter not able to find SAN hard drive?  Thanks again.
Top Expert 2014
>While trying to setup RAID 5 on SAN from my host using WebBIOS of MegaRAID controller

That makes no sense, IBM system storage DS3512 does not connect to a MegaRAID controller, even if it is SAS host connect it has to connect via a dumb HBA.

With ESXi you can't manage the DS in-band so you will have to have a windows PC/server connected to it to run DS Storage Management. You may also manage it through serial CLI, probably says in http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/redpieces/pdfs/sg247914.pdf but I can't open it at the moment.

Serial port CLI is really just for troubleshooting, http://jeff.nieusma.com/docs/stk/_common_shell_troubleshooting_commands.html har rather a stark warning about being able to crash the controllers with it. Hang on a bit, Santricity storage manager runs through the ethernet management port so you can manage it from your desktop PC. Once you've created LUNs then ESXi will see them so long as host presentation is setup properly.


Spot on my friend.  Using DS storage manager with out-of-band management is probably the only way to get to the drive for my setup.  Works great and I am in business again.  
Thanks andyalder.

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