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KitKat7

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Suggestions for hardware monitoring - virtual server

Hardware: Dell PowerEdge 2950 Server
OS: Windows Server 2008
Host OS: VmWare ESXi 4.0

We are currently having hardware problems with one of our servers.  I recently came on board in a small business environment and on this particular server they are running all virtual servers - of which I have very little experience with.  I'm really at a loss on how to run diagnostic tests on a machine that I can't "get into".  You cannot remote desktop into the machine - from what I understand, the only way the current IT staff (one programmer) has been accessing it is by vSphere Client 4.0.  When you enter the server IP in a web browser, it takes you to the VMWare ESXi welcome page!  I installed the vSphere Client 4.0 and I can view the Hardware "Health status" but I can't run any diagnostic tests to confirm that the drive needs replaced:

Storage (Alert)
Drive 1 in enclosure 32 on controller 0 Fw: HS09 - UNCONFIGURED BAD
RAID 5 Logical Volume 0 on controller 0, Drives - DEGRADED

All of the other drives: In Critical Array - Assert

I'm used to running hardware diagnostic tests and monitoring the physical server with a GUI.  This is going to drive me crazy if there is truly no way to view the actual machine!  I suppose there are third party utilities out there, at a cost?  If anyone could elaborate on how they manage the hardware monitoring and diagnostics on their virtual servers, I would appreciate any and all suggestions!  I tried to search through documentation on the VMWare site and became overwhelmed by the sea of information rather quickly.  If there is a VMWare "bible" out there, please point me in that direction! Thanks!
Avatar of Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)
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Unfortunately you will need to use Dell Open Manage to connect to the ESXi 4.0 server, there are NO functions within the vSphere Client, which will help you diagnose the RAID issue.

or at server POST/BOOT, select the function to enter the RAID BIOS, accessing the Storage Controller/RAID BIOS at POST, will allow you to find which disk has failed in the array.
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teomcam

If you have chance to restrat the physical server, do it and run the RAID Utility which will exactly tell you which HDD having problem.
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mpbeavjr
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ASKER

The warranty on the server expired about a month ago!  Since I can physically see the drive with issues (has fast blinking amber light/slower blinking green light below it), are you saying that I can hot swap the problem drive without taking it offline and it will rebuild itself with no intervention/configuration on my part?
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ASKER

Okay, thank you all for the responses!  We are going to try to install Dell Open Manage which looks like a huge chore.  If nothing else, we can order a replacement drive for now.  Thanks again!