HP Smart Array E200 Firmware with VMWare

I have a Proliant ML115 G5 server with the HP Smart Array E200 in it.

Current Specs
HP Smart Array E200
128mb
fw: v1.86

Proliant ML115 G5
ID:018
BIOS: 7/6/2009
Memory: 4GB

I want to run VMWare ESXi V5.5 (free version) on it as a small office / home server / development machine. I have 3 HDDs. 1 small drive to install vmware on connected directly to the mobo and 2 1TB HDDs in array for data.

I want to know if the E200 will be OK? Is there any firmware upgrades I should do to make esxi work efficiently etc?

Any advice would be great!

Many Thanks

Steve
Steve TinsleyAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)Connect With a Mentor VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
I would recommend installing ESXi 5.5 on a USB flash drive or SD card, rather than wasting storage on a disk drive.

Here is the VMware KB on installing 5.x on USB/SD:
http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2004784

Also the ML115 does not appear in the Hardware Compatability Lists for ESXi.

But the ML115 has been successfully used in Lab Whitebox Builds. I would ensure that ALL firmware is up to date, by using the DVD Firmware disk available from HP. You will find the E200 Smart Array controller does not function in RAID mode, on ESXi. So you will have no RAID just 2/3 disks, you can create datastores.

see here

http://techhead.co/will-the-hp-proliant-ml110-g5-ml115-g5-work-with-vmware-vsphere-5/

However you do not have much memory in the server? Only 4GB, I would recommend at least a minimum of 8GB, and you may find ESXi 5.5 is not compatible with your processor, as requirements have changed in the processor for ESXi, so you may want to try ESXi 5.1 or ESXi 5.5.

Check the VMware Hardware Compatability Lists HCL here

The VMware Hardware Compatibility List is the detailed lists showing actual vendor devices that are either physically tested or are similar to the devices tested by VMware or VMware partners. Items on the list are tested with VMware products and are known to operate correctly.Devices which are not on the list may function, but will not be supported by VMware.

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

Whitebox HCL


The Whitebox Hardware Compatability Lists is a list put together by the community that have had success with whitebox servers, e.g. unbranded or homebrew, DIY servers, which have been found to work with VMware Products.

http://www.vm-help.com//esx40i/esx40_whitebox_HCL.php

VMware Communities

This list is maintained and put together by members of the VMware community forum, that have had success in building whitebox servers.

http://communities.vmware.com/cshwsw.jspa

see my EE Article, Step by Step Tutorial Instructions with Screenshots

Part 1: HOW TO: Install and Configure VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1)

Part 2: HOW TO: Connect to the VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1) using the vSphere Client
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andyalderCommented:
E200 is rather fussy about which drives it will work with and HP don't seem to release a definitive list, but if it works then all well and good.
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Steve TinsleyAuthor Commented:
PERFECT!! Installed on a USB and working well!
Thanks
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