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ESX and Hardware RAID management from host

Alexandre Takacs
Alexandre Takacs used Ask the Experts™
on
Probably a fairly "classic" issue but I have surprisingly not found definitive info about it online.

What is the best practice managing hardware RAID controllers on ESX Hosts ? Ideally, we would like to be able to "reach out" to the controller from a Windows guest VM but if not possible at the very least have some management capability (expand RAID, check array consistency) from ESXCLI.

How should we go about it ? In our specific and immediate case ESX6.5 with Intel RMS25CB080 controller.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
If you have a Vendor server eg HPE, Dell, Fujitsu etc they have developed tools to do it most of the servers are on the HCL

So is your server on the HCL and a vendor server or you will have to look at the tools and drivers for your storage controller which are often third party

Author

Commented:
Well, our server (Intel S2600WT2R) and RAID controller (Intel RMS25CB080) are definitely on the HCL.

Not sure where to go from there... In particular, I don't see what software I should install on my host (if any) and guest machine ? Any pointer most welcome.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
If your server vendor is Intel and Storage Controller is Intel then check the Intel Website for ESXi support.

Personally I’ve not heard of any management for those servers or controllers.

But we don’t use them as there are many debates as to whether the server is on the HCL

Because Intel do not make servers like Dell!

Intel make components and in some circles Intel
+ Intel does not equal a certified HCL server


But Intel Support will be able to advise on what software can manage RAID on host ESXi server

Eg MegaRAID controllers can be managed via GUI and bash shell on ESXi if you have the correct drivers installed
Distinguished Expert 2017
Commented:
See, https://downloadcenter.intel.com/product/60283/Intel-Integrated-RAID-Module-RMS25CB080

ESX 5 is the last version they have.

THE megaraid that is included in vmware can interact/support the controller.

https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/28693/StorCLI-Standalone-Utility?product=60283

Author

Commented:
I managed to sort out my issues with StorCLI - not super user-friendly but good enough