ZFS for ESXi on HP Microserver, pass through not possible?

janhoedt
janhoedt used Ask the Experts™
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Hi,

So, I have my 16GB Microserver, LSI-card, sharkoon 6 SSD's seen by server.

The all-in-one guide for ZFS/napp-it says to use pass-through (http://www.napp-it.org/doc/downloads/all-in-one.pdf):

passthrough
... but my microserver does not support it?
passthrough2
Anything that can be done about it? Or should I map again (raw mapping) each ssd? Hoped not to need to do this but go directly via lsi.

Please advise.
J.
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VMware and Virtualization Consultant
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Commented:
Correct, the HP ProLiant Server is not even on the HCL for ESXi (it's not supposed to run ESXi really!).

VM Direct Path I/O is certainly not going to work on a budget server, VM Direct Path I/O only works on a few select servers on the HCL, so it's no surprise it does not work on a Microserver, that's expecting too much!

Check the VMware HCL (Hardware Compatability Lists) here

http://www.vmware.com/go/hcl

The HCL lists servers that do support VM Direct Path I/O.

Anyway for your purposes, see my EE Article

HOW TO: Add Local Storage (e.g. a SATA disk) as a Raw Disk Mapping (RDM) or Mapped RAW LUN to a virtual machine hosted on ESXi

which in a way does much the same thing, direct access to the disk, which is what you need for performance.
DavidPresident
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
It is a great server, but the controller/backplane isn't for ZFS.  Get a LSI JBOD SAS2/SATA controller and use external storage.  Heck, these are SSDs so if you don't want to spend any extra money, you can duct tape them, for all that matters, to the top of enclosure.  But that controller just isn't going to fly.

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