1 2 Previous Next 18 Replies Latest reply on Nov 16, 2011 1:38 PM by SergeySP

    ESXi 4 - RAID Issues - ASUS RS700-E6/RS4

    cipacs Novice

      I've dabbled with virtualization for a few years now, but must admit up front that I am new to the world of ESXi.

       

      Our company is wanting to replace 4 aging servers with a new beefier setup running Windows Server 2008 Enterprise x64.  After doing some research and referencing the ESXi 4 HCL listing, we deciding to pick up the following server off the HCL:

       

      ASUS RS700-E6/RS4

      2 x Intel Xeon E5520 Nehalem 2.26GHz LGA 1366

      8 x CORSAIR 2GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 ECC

      3 x Western Digital RE3 WD1002FBYS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s

       

      The server hardware isn't bad.  I know it's not the greatest, but it's more than enough to meet our needs.

       

      So here's the issue:  I can't seem to get the ESXi software to detect the RAID array that has been setup.  I've tried using RAID 5/10 configurations, and for the life of me, cannot get the software to detect the hard drives as one singular disk.  When the installer runs, it asks which one of the physical disks to install to, rather than install to the array.  This is quite annoying, as we need this setup for redundancy (in the event of a tragic failure.  The server uses the following controller tech:

       

      SATA Controller:

      Intel® ICH10R:

      6 SATA2 300MB/s ports

      Intel Matrix Storage (for Windows only)

      (Support software RAID 0, 1, 10 & 5)

      LSI® MegaRAID (for Linux/Windows)

      (Support software RAID 0, 1, 10)

       

      SAS Controller:

      Optional:

      ASUS PIKE 1064E 4-port SAS RAID card

      Asus PIKE 1078 8-port SAS HW RAID card

       

      Currently, I am using the built in software initiated RAID (onboard).  Is it necessary to use Hardware RAID for proper detection?

       

      Does anyone have experience with this?

        • 1. Re: ESXi 4 - RAID Issues - ASUS RS700-E6/RS4
          weinstein5 Guru
          User ModeratorsvExpert

          Welcome to the Forums - Yes you will need to use the hardware RAID - ESXi can not use a software RAID -

           

           

           

           

          If you find this or any other answer useful please consider awarding points by marking the answer correct or helpful

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: ESXi 4 - RAID Issues - ASUS RS700-E6/RS4
            cipacs Novice

            I have looked through all of the documentation from VMWare that I could locate, but I couldn't find any specific requirements stating that hardware RAID was required.  There appears to be a ASUS PIKE Raid card available for purchase but given it's price tag, I would like to confirm that it will indeed correct the issue before making the purchase.

             

            Not that I wouldn't wish to take your word on this, but is there a document out there that confirms that Hardware level raid is required?

            • 3. Re: ESXi 4 - RAID Issues - ASUS RS700-E6/RS4
              wila Guru
              User ModeratorsCommunity WarriorsvExpert
              cipacs wrote:

              {quote

              Not that I wouldn't wish to take your word on this, but is there a document out there that confirms that Hardware level raid is required?

              Not that i know, but everyone down here can confirm that there is NO software RAID support in ESX, it never has been supported.

              It is already fortunate that you can even use your onboard ICH10 chipset controller.

               

              Hardware RAID is expensive for a reason, it has an extra processor that offloads CPU. Software RAID uses your hosts CPU, a CPU you normally don't want to tax extra as you already need it for your virtual machines.

               

              As for your Pike RAID card, it doesn't appear to be on the HCL, so I would say it is not supported.

              Or wait, it looks like the Pike RAID card is a rebranded LSI controller with a 1064/1078 chipset which should work. However in your case I would make sure and get a confirmation from ASUS that it works with vSphere before ordering.

              While you are at it, do get a Battery Backed Unit (BBU) with the controller as it makes a huge difference in performance as you can then enable the write back cache.



              --

              Wil

              _____________________________________________________

              VI-Toolkit & scripts wiki at http://www.vi-toolkit.com

               

              edit: added note about LSI

              | Author of Vimalin. The VMware Fusion Backup app |
              | More info at http://www.vimalin.com |
              | Twitter @wilva |
              | Wiki at http://www.vi-toolkit.com |
              | http://www.vimalin.com/why-is-time-machine-not-a-good-backup-for-virtual-machines/ |
              • 4. Re: ESXi 4 - RAID Issues - ASUS RS700-E6/RS4
                cipacs Novice

                I was really hoping that VMWare would have documented this as a requirement for using RAID before throwing $400 bucks at the Hardware RAID controller. Oh well.

                 

                 

                 

                 

                 

                Anyway, thank you everyone for the responses.

                • 5. Re: ESXi 4 - RAID Issues - ASUS RS700-E6/RS4
                  Charadeur Enthusiast

                  In all fairness they don't tell you what does not work.  That list would never be complete.  They tell you what does work on the HCL.  Buy products listed there and you can't go wrong.

                  • 6. Re: ESXi 4 - RAID Issues - ASUS RS700-E6/RS4
                    DenisJones Novice

                     

                    Otherway you can use Starwind`s iSCSI decision, it also offers RAID functionality. In my opinion it`s very robust and powerful tool.

                     

                     

                    Regards, Denis.

                     

                     

                    • 7. Re: ESXi 4 - RAID Issues - ASUS RS700-E6/RS4
                      cipacs Novice

                       

                      The case design is a cable-less setup, and so using the Asus PIKE 1078 (which uses the "LSISAS1078" MegaRAID 1078 SAS Controller) is my best option.  Because of the internal design, it would be difficult to run the cables and not interupt the airflow design.

                       

                       

                       

                       

                       

                      I appreciate the feedback though.

                       

                       

                       

                       

                       

                      I will be trying the Asus PIKE 1078 solution first, and if everything works accordingly, I'll do my best to update this thread, should someone else find it useful later on.

                       

                       

                      • 8. Re: ESXi 4 - RAID Issues - ASUS RS700-E6/RS4
                        wila Guru
                        vExpertCommunity WarriorsUser Moderators

                        Hmmm... interesting DenisJones as you say the same thing in all your posts ... 11 posts and 11 about starwind iscsi... are you working for them?

                        If so, then it would be decent to add that bit of info to your reply as well.

                         

                        PS: Not to rain on your parade (your input can be valuable to know)

                        The post was about local storage and your storage suggestion is about storage in the LAN which isn't the same thing as you would need an extra box for it.

                        It is also not starwind that supports the RAID drives, but the host operating system unless i'm not mistaken.



                        --

                        Wil

                        _____________________________________________________

                        VI-Toolkit & scripts wiki at http://www.vi-toolkit.com

                        | Author of Vimalin. The VMware Fusion Backup app |
                        | More info at http://www.vimalin.com |
                        | Twitter @wilva |
                        | Wiki at http://www.vi-toolkit.com |
                        | http://www.vimalin.com/why-is-time-machine-not-a-good-backup-for-virtual-machines/ |
                        • 9. Re: ESXi 4 - RAID Issues - ASUS RS700-E6/RS4
                          DenisJones Novice

                          You know, if I would for it I wouldn`t scream in every post use Starwind! It`s cool! And it`s even is free, cause you needed only 11 posts to think that I`m a spam-bot )

                           

                           

                          And also: it`s of supported in ESX 4.0 storage controllers. I don`t know really why it`s so much shorter than for 3.5.

                          • 10. Re: ESXi 4 - RAID Issues - ASUS RS700-E6/RS4
                            wila Guru
                            Community WarriorsUser ModeratorsvExpert

                            Heheh,  no worries, it stood out to me as i remembered reading your other replies, which probably says more about me as it does about you

                             

                            There's no harm done even if you would work for them, there are more vendor employees replying in these forums, but they normally add that bit of information.

                            In your case you are just an enthousiastic user and there's nothing wrong with that.



                            --

                            Wil

                            _____________________________________________________

                            VI-Toolkit & scripts wiki at http://www.vi-toolkit.com

                            | Author of Vimalin. The VMware Fusion Backup app |
                            | More info at http://www.vimalin.com |
                            | Twitter @wilva |
                            | Wiki at http://www.vi-toolkit.com |
                            | http://www.vimalin.com/why-is-time-machine-not-a-good-backup-for-virtual-machines/ |
                            • 11. Re: ESXi 4 - RAID Issues - ASUS RS700-E6/RS4
                              DenisJones Novice

                               

                              Ye, I like this tool. I found it accidentally, tried and found that this stuff just works! And if you are interested I work for one of hosting companies.

                               

                               

                              Oh, about employes of Starwind: as I know their evangelist is reading all communities all the time - just in case of any troubles with their software.

                               

                               

                              • 12. Re: ESXi 4 - RAID Issues - ASUS RS700-E6/RS4
                                cipacs Novice

                                 

                                I just wanted to update this request.

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                I purchased the "Asus PIKE 1078 8-port SAS HW RAID card" off of Newegg (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816110043), and it did the trick.  The card is specifically designed as a Hardware RAID solution for the RS700-E6/RS4 Server, and after creating an array using the RAID GUI, ESXi detects the arrays themselves (and not just the individual drives).

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                 

                                Anyway, I thought others might find this useful in the future, and thank you everyone for your assistance.

                                 

                                 

                                • 13. Re: ESXi 4 - RAID Issues - ASUS RS700-E6/RS4
                                  cbschuld Lurker

                                  cipacs:

                                   

                                  Are you able to view the status and health statistics of the array?

                                   

                                  Thanks!

                                  • 14. Re: ESXi 4 - RAID Issues - ASUS RS700-E6/RS4
                                    matos Novice

                                    Do you use it with SAS hard disks ?

                                     

                                    It works properly under ESX 4.0 (no IO errors) ?

                                     

                                     

                                    Best regards

                                     

                                    José Matos

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