14 Replies Latest reply on Oct 7, 2009 1:11 PM by msalmon@ikon.com

    ESXi with Hardware not in HCL

    fritzdimmel Novice


      I'm new here and this is my first post.


      I've a question about ESXi running on hardware that is not explicitly specified in the HCL.

      We're about to buy a mobile system:

      It's a Shuttle (SG45H7)

      Chipset: Intel G45 Express + ICH10

      CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 S775 (4x2.66 GHz)

      RAM: 4x4 GB DDR2 FB800

      HDD: 2x WD 1.0TB


      I don't event find Intel's Core 2 Quad in the compatibility list, but I've found some threads where people wrote, they are running ESXi on these CPUs.


      Is there a problem with the hardware above or should it just work fine?


      Thanks a lot for your answers!




        • 1. Re: ESXi with Hardware not in HCL
          Josh26 Master


          If there's going to be a problem with hardware, it's generally going to involve the HDD interface. You don't mention a RAID controller - is this actually going to be a server? If you're running a production server on two unmirrored drives the HCL should be the least of your concern.



          If "mobile system" refers to some kind of laptop then ESXi is probably not for you. It was designed to sit in server rooms - you're not going to be sitting at a laptop console running ESXi.



          In general, for every person who posts about hardware not being on the HCL and working, there's someone who posts about being upset that their hardware doesn't work. Even if someone tells you "I have that exact system and it worked fine", you may install with a later patchset than they tried and find it didn't work. What are you going to do at that point, nothing said here can be taken as a support statement.



          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: ESXi with Hardware not in HCL
            fritzdimmel Novice


            thanks for your answer.


            First of all, we already have an up-and-running ESXi instance on two servers (19'' FSC, with 2 Quad-Core Xeons).

            The purpose of our new system (something like that: http://eu.shuttle.com/en/DesktopDefault.aspx/tabid-238/ ) is, to be used "on the road", e.g. at customer presentations. These are mini-servers which can be packed into a special suitcase. These are not laptops, they are more desktop-class computers.

            This will be used as a presentation server. Our production server's are of course in-house.

            We also could install Windows Server 64bit and VMware Server with the images, but it would be much easier, to not have to convert the images every time we change the originals, but to copy them from ESXi to ESXi.


            What do you suggest:

            Should we try ESXi or should be just go with Windows Server + VMware Server?




            • 3. Shuttle SX38P2 and SG45H7.
              Erik Bussink Expert


              Hiya Fritz,



              I've been running ESXi 3.5 and now ESX/ESXi 4.0.0 on multiple Shuttle SX38P2. I'm using Xeon 3350 and Xeon 3370 cpus, but the Q9550 should work identical. My distribution is delivering a SG45H7 to me this afternoon, and I will prep it for running ESX 4.0.0.






              • 4. Re: Shuttle SX38P2 and SG45H7.
                fritzdimmel Novice

                Hi Erik,



                thanks for your reply. Please let me know, if the system works on the SG45H7 and if there are troubles!






                • 5. SG45H7 running VMware ESX 4.0.0 Build 164009
                  Erik Bussink Expert


                  I have successfully installed VMware ESX 4.0.0 Build 164009 on a Shuttle SG45H7.



                  My Shuttle SG45H7 is configured with a Xeon 3350 (@2.66Ghz), 8GB (4x2GB Kingston) and a SuperMicro AOC-SG-i4 4xGigabit PCIexpress card (4x Intel 82576). The SATA is configured as AHCI.



                  I installed VMware ESX 4.0.0 using the Text installer.



                  FYI: I have not tried the Shuttle SG45H7 with 4x4GB memory sticks, and some people are reporting issues with 16GB on the US Shuttle forum.



                  • 6. Re: SG45H7 running VMware ESX 4.0.0 Build 164009
                    fritzdimmel Novice


                    Hi Erik



                    gratulations, you did it. Our system is on its way to my office. I hope it'll arrive this week.



                    Could you point me out, where you've seen these issues in the US Shuttle Forum? I couldn't find that.



                    Thanks a lot,






                    • 7. Re: SG45H7 and memory issue
                      Erik Bussink Expert

                      On http://us.shuttle.com/scgforum/tm.aspx?m=1741 PDub wrote:


                      I recently purchased 12 Shuttle SG45H7's for use as training machines.

                                     My hope was to run 16GB of RAM in each machine but I have not been able

                                     to find any compatible RAM. Has anyone here been successful running

                                     16GB of RAM in a SG45H7 or SP45H7? I am running the latest BIOS version



                                     So far I have tried the following 4x4GB kits.


                                     OCZ2G80016GQ - OCZ DDR2 PC2-6400 Gold 16GB Quad Kit



                                     OCZ2VU80016GQ - OCZ DDR2 PC2-6400 "P45 Special" Vista Upgrade 16GB Quad Kit



                                     The systems work fine with 8GB (2x4GB) installed and also with 10GB

                                     (2x4GB + 1x2GB). Anything more than this results in a significant slow

                                     down for any RAM addressed over 8GB. See testing results below.


                                     Memory Slots


                                     1      2      3      4


                                     4GB     x     x     x     Works

                                     4GB     x     4GB     x     Works

                                     4GB      2GB      4GB      x      Works

                                     4GB     4GB     4GB     x     Fails above 8192MB

                                     4GB     4GB     4GB     4GB     Fails above 8192MB

                                     4GB  2GB 4GB  2GB Fails above 8192MB


                                     I am certain this is a BIOS issue but would appreciate any help or feedback.




                      • 8. Re: SG45H7 and memory issue
                        fritzdimmel Novice


                        it seems the problem has been resolved via BIOS update!



                        Thanks for your hints!



                        • 9. Re: ESXi with Hardware not in HCL
                          jishen Lurker

                          I saw in the screenshot you have 4 NICs?  What NIC card are you using?  I'm pretty sure the onboard NICs aren't on the HCL and there aren't 4 ports.

                          • 10. Re: SG45H7 running VMware ESX 4.0.0 Build 164009
                            kelbers Novice








                            Have you experienced any bluescreens inside VMs with ESX 4 on the SG45H7 ?

                            I do get bluescreens on Win 2003 and 2008 VMs since I upgraded to ESX 4(i).



                            It is random and does happen with and without the VM Tools installed. ESX 3.5 runs just fine.



                            • 11. Re: ESXi with Hardware not in HCL - Shuttle SG45H7
                              jcostom Novice

                              I'm considering doing a build of a Shuttle SG45H7, as others have..


                              I take it the rest of you found it attractive for the onboard video and 2 slots, right?  Further, I take it you're running single drives (i.e. no raid), correct?  This is going to be for my home systems, so I wouldn't need a ton of ethernet ports.  From what I gather, there is no support for the onboard port here, so I'll definitely need an add-on NIC.


                              Since I store a lot of stuff on the server, RAID is important to me.  So, I'd like to go with a single port PCI NIC, and a SAS card in the PCIe slot, like say an LSI SAS 8344ELP.


                              So, 2 questions..  I don't see any "officially" compatible PCI NICs for ESXi 4.0, anyone have a suggestion there?  And can you use a RAID controller in the PCIe slot on the SG45H7, or is it somehow wired internally to be "video cards only"?  In other words, by inserting something into the PCIe slot, does the onboard video fly south?

                              • 12. Re: SG45H7 running VMware ESX 4.0.0 Build 164009
                                kelbers Novice

                                memtestx86 revealed a faulty dimm. all is fine now on the sg45h7 with esx 4.0

                                • 13. Re: ESXi with Hardware not in HCL - Shuttle SG45H7
                                  My4wdAU Lurker

                                  Any of the Intel E1000 gigabit adapters seem OK. I have had a prod system running on the 2port server Gigabit PCI NICS and a test sytem using the Intel Pro 1000GT Desktop Adapter. Both work fine.  Just ensure you have the card in at install time or it won't install.

                                  • 14. Re: ESXi with Hardware not in HCL - Shuttle SG45H7
                                    msalmon@ikon.com Enthusiast

                                    What about Fault Tolerance and vmotion,,has anyone tested these features with esx 3.5 or 4.0 running on the shuttle SG45H7?