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New Dell R530 with DELL PERC H330 running ESXi 5.5 U3 runs extremely slow

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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
So I purchased a new Dell Poweredge R530 with a RAID PERC H330 and 4 2TB NEAR LINE SAS DRIVES with
ESXi running from Flash cards

Created a RAID 10 Virtual Disk to load my datastore and everything was working great.

After installing esxi on the flash cards, my RAID controller was not detected. Loaded drivers and now   storage was detected and I was able to create data store.

This is where I started having issues.


1st thing I noticed was when installing my first VM the installation took extremely long.  Close to 2 hours to install a Win 2012 VM
2nd. I then tried to copy some files from my workstation to the esxi datastore, and took almost 3 hours to copy a 3 gb iso.

Than gave me a red flag. Something was not working ok.

Called Dell support and they tell me everything is ok but I still see a very slow performance on my vm.

Is the H330 PERC card a good controller to have a RAID 10 disk?

Is there any options I could do maybe upgrading the RAID controller to an H730?
Can this be done without loosing any data?

Thanks in advanve
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Top Expert 2015

Commented:
You can check the performance statistics in vSphere and it should give you an idea where it is slowing.  It it because the hard drive is constantly in use?  or memory/cpu are maxed out?  etc.  We need more info.
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Commented:
Did you use the DELL branded version of ESXi? I suggest using the DELL version rather than the Vanilla VMWare version. The Dell branded version comes with the necessary drivers and modules that support the hardware properly, including those modules that allow you to manage and check the server's hardware state.
Carlos MIT manager

Author

Commented:
Rindi,

I tried ordering with the server with ESXi preloaded but they shipped it with a windows os installed on the disk array rather than the vmware version. It did have the 2 flash cards but nothing installed.

I did load the Dell drivers for the PERC H330 drivers after insalling a new version of vmware.
This was the only way that allowed me to detect the Virtual Disk on the RAID controller.

Before that no storage was even detected.
Carlos
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Carlos MIT manager

Author

Commented:
I  have installed close to 30 esxi hosts on dell hardware and I have never used Dell's VMware version. I always use the latest version from VMWARE site. I have never seen this poor performance.
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Top Expert 2015

Commented:
I once ran into a problem trying to install the normal VMWare ESXi on a DELL machine.  I can't remember what the problems were specifically but using the custom DELL ESXi went fine.
Carlos MIT manager

Author

Commented:
OK If I would install Dell's VMWARE version on top of the existing one will I loose my data? I spend almost 2 weeks migrating my SQL server into the new hardware and I can't afford to loose anything during an upgrade.

Can I do an inplace upgrade?
Carlos MIT manager

Author

Commented:
Currently running Vsphere 5.5 u3
If I would update I would need to go to Vsphere 6.0
David Johnson, CDSimple Geek from the '70s
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Commented:
4 2TB NEAR LINE SAS These are relatively SLOW drives,  More smaller drives 10k or 15K SAS not Near-Line will give you better performance. Near-Line drives are for storage of files that rarely change.
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Top Expert 2015

Commented:
I have upgrade 5.1 to 5.5 in the past without losing anything.  Can't confirm for 6.0 but assume it will be just as straightforward.  You can check with DELL to ensure that you won't loose data.

Here is more info if you need:  http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2109711
Carlos MIT manager

Author

Commented:
Wayne,

Have you upgraded from standard ESXi to Dell's Version? that is what I am kind of worried.

David,

I have installed other Small Business Host servers with even Sata drives and never had this issue. also I am just running one VM at the moment, nothing big and performance has never been this bad.

I was even thinking of upgrading the RAID controller to a H730 to see if performance improved but Don't know if that is what is causing the problem.

C
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Top Expert 2015

Commented:
Hi Carlos,

No, my upgrade was using DELL's version of ESXI 5.1 to 5.5.  Sorry can't confirm your question.

Wayne
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
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Commented:
Do NOT UPGRADE!!!! Re-install a new ESXi OEM OS!

The H330 PERC RAID Storage Controller is poor, does it have any Battery Backed Write Cache, configured as 75% Write, and 25% Read.

The H730 is a far better storage controller with 1GB flash cache, we actually have 4 on order or our vSAN for VMware vSphere!

Yes, if you did a re-install it's likely to overwrite, you should *ALWAYS* use the DELL OEM version of ESXi 5.5.

download here

http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/virtualization/w/wiki/11399.downloading-dell-customized-vmware-esxi-6-0-iso

Also make sure the firmware has been updated on your server.

How much memory does the Host Server have?

How many CPUs ? and what type ?

What have you set the VM to be 4GB and 1vCPU ?
Carlos MIT manager

Author

Commented:
Andrew Thanks.

Yes that is what I am finding out now, don't know why Dell even offers that H330 raid controller to be used by an ESxi.

Server has 32 GB ram
2 Xeon E5-2603 Cpus

I do not see any bottlenecks on the CPUs

VM has 16 assigned to it with 2 vcpus with 2 cores each.
I updated the firmware on Dell server before doing any installation.
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Carlos MIT manager

Author

Commented:
Yes, personally I have done between 30-50 hosts on dell hardware and never had this issue.
this is the first time we order a host with the H330 Raid controller.

Yes Os usually installs in less than 15 minutes

since it was the first time using the perc adapter, I was not aware that VMware iso did not include the dell drivers so I had to manually install them.

I could try installing the Dell VMware EOM version but my concern is loosing any configuration on my host doing an inplace upgrade.

If I do not see any improvement I guess my next option is to upgrade the raid controller to the H730.

Also I hope this can be done

I am going to have to contact dell and ask them if there would be a problem installing the OEM version on top of my existing esxi.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
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Commented:
I would not recommend, installing OEM over existing ESXi OS, you'll end up with a hybrid OS.

Start again, backup the VMs, if you need to, and do it correctly.

So you've never used an OEM DELL version of the 30-50 hosts before ?

I would then check, the performance again.

Does the H330 have any cache ?

I'm surprised Dell support, did not tell you to use the OEM version, if they could not find anything wrong with the server.

see here

http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/b/techcenter/archive/2011/12/19/dell-s-customization-of-vmware-esxi-and-its-advantages
Carlos MIT manager

Author

Commented:
I will try to backup and see if I can do it from scratch again.

I have never used the Dell version of ESXi with previous installs and never had any problems. Always used my VMware version directly from their site.

I belive H330 does not have any cache. H730 has. I wonder if I can upgrade that but that would have an extra cost. and don't even know if that would work.

Yes dell never told me about using their oem version. They did ask me to change some setting son the bios but that did not improve performance.

I will defently look into redoing the host. It will take me time since the vm is already in production but I rather fix this now.

thanks I will keep you guys posted to see what Dell support tells me after I give them another call.

Carlos
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Top Expert 2015

Commented:
Good luck Carlos!

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