1 2 Previous Next 17 Replies Latest reply on Aug 8, 2009 2:10 AM by yannara

    ESXi 4.0 & RAID

    yannara Enthusiast





      I have ASUS M2N-E mainboard, and 2 Samsung 160gb SATA-disks. I setup raid to 1-mode (mirror), and I try to install it. Installation goes without any error, but first boot gives error that "INSERT BOOT DISK..", same error would appear if there is no MBR in hard drive.



      I did already installed on the same computer ESXi 4.0 witout RAID, and it works beatifully <3



      So, my question is, is the RAID possible in ESXi? Thank you!



        • 1. Re: ESXi 4.0 & RAID
          schepp Virtuoso
          User ModeratorsvExpert


          Did you use the onboard Raid Controller?



          Look into your bios if the Raid Array is in the list of boot devices. Sometimes you have to set it up manually.



          • 2. Re: ESXi 4.0 & RAID
            abeggled Enthusiast


            IMHO the onboard Controller is software based (for RAÌD functionallity in Windows you need a software driver) which is not supported in ESX.

            If a driver is loaded during setuup and you can install ESX then ESX can see the two harddisks as single drives but not as RAID 1.



            Try to disable RAID functionality and install ESXi on the single drive. Then you can use the second drive for additional VMFS Store ...




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            • 3. Re: ESXi 4.0 & RAID
              microkid Hot Shot

              Onboard raid like the ICH9R and ICH10R are not supported. ESXi will only see a bunch of separate disks. If you require raid you need to use a raid controller that's on the HCL, like the Dell Perc 5/i or HP P400 or so.

              • 4. Re: ESXi 4.0 & RAID
                yannara Enthusiast

                Hehee, it seems that none of you were right. Boot sequence is set up as it should be, it had no effect on this. But, I managed to startup the ESXi with mirrored RAID, after I did a rebuild in RAID setup. Now it's working!

                • 5. Re: ESXi 4.0 & RAID
                  dm001 Lurker

                  are you sure that the raid is actually working - i.e remove one disk and see if your VMFS is still intact.. then try the other disk..

                  • 6. Re: ESXi 4.0 & RAID
                    yannara Enthusiast

                    Damn, you got it. Another disk has no MBR, or it is empty. So it is not possible to get mirror raid working? Raid is built-in in motherboard, no sepparate card in computer.

                    • 7. Re: ESXi 4.0 & RAID
                      microkid Hot Shot

                      As I said, most "consumer motherboard" onboard software-raid controllers are not supported. Use a hardware-raid controller that is on the HCL.

                      • 8. Re: ESXi 4.0 & RAID
                        yannara Enthusiast


                        Damn it, now when I try to attach another disk, that I would have 2 different datastore, the system won't start. Again, "BOOT FAILURE, INSERT DISKETTE....". Only with one disk, it will start up. Same problem I had, when I tried to install ESXi with 2 hard disks inserted, witout raid. Even if system installation was complited as succsesful, it didn't boot. In bios, I have no option to choose, which sata disk would be the bootable one.



                        • 9. Re: ESXi 4.0 & RAID
                          LucasAlbers Expert


                          i have had nothing but lockups when trying white box raid on an esxi 4.0 system.



                          I would only use whitebox raid for a backend nfs server, and only after stress testing the crap out of it with iometer for a few days.



                          • 10. Re: ESXi 4.0 & RAID
                            Argyle Hot Shot

                            I would recommend buying a Dell PERC 5/i raid card with an included cache battery on ebay. They are cheap and ESXi support disk status monitoring out of the box for this card (It's based on LSI).

                            • 11. Re: ESXi 4.0 & RAID
                              TheWazda Lurker

                              Hi there...


                              I face it problem too... But I think I found a workaround...


                              I got success 3 times with my own servers (DL360G5, DL180G5 and DL350G5).


                              1) Create an ARRAY (check if the array is OK);

                              2) Remove Second Disk;

                              3) Install ESXi 4;

                              4) Reboot and check if everything is OK with MBR and ESXi;

                              5) Turn Off the server;

                              6) Reinsert the second Disk;

                              7) Turn on the server and go to RAID Setup;

                              8) Rebuild the Array.


                              Done!!! (you can remove the first disk or second disk  to check/test the RAID)


                              I will do it on my private server (ASUS M4A78 onboard raid) and will tell you if it can be done too...

                              If you have success (like me) with it workaround, please, tell us...





                              • 12. Re: ESXi 4.0 & RAID
                                J1mbo Virtuoso

                                Even if it does work, the on-board presumably has no BBWC so write performance will be horrid.  Another vote for a Perc/5i here.

                                • 13. Re: ESXi 4.0 & RAID
                                  TheWazda Lurker

                                  I think... the point is: Is possible or not to install ESXi 4 under onboard or offboard system?

                                  I found a workaround to get ESXi 4 running on my HP servers... now everyone can do that...


                                  Performance is another thread...


                                  Best wishes,



                                  • 14. Re: ESXi 4.0 & RAID
                                    J1mbo Virtuoso

                                    I would suspect that the method creates only a point-in-time copy.  Create some machines, remove the first disk and probably they will be gone.

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