Wow I just read though the thread about making the USB NIC driver. That really shapped up fast. What USB NIC are you using. I only saw the chipset mentioned. How do you add the driver to ESXi? Sorry I have only been playing with ESXi since I got my mini last month.
Technically, as long as it's this chipset the driver should work. Lots of vendor's slap their name over top of someone else's hardware. I got mine from NewEgg for $20, but now they're $32. Still alot cheaper than alot of other, "supported" hardware. They can be found here:
The quickness of the driver development, just goes to show the amazing things that can be accomplished when we all pull together for the greater good.
You add the driver to esx by simply uploading the files to the driverstore. I created a folder called "tweak" in mine to house these drivers. (We haven't created the .vib file yet)
The devloper had to modify the existing usbnet driver included in ESX so that's why there's two modules in the forum.
First load the custom usbnet driver with:
vmkload_mod /<path to driver>/usbnetvz024
Then load the ASIX USB3 Ethernet adapter driver with:
vmkload_mod /<path to driver>/ax88179vz024
Then, if it's not already attached to vSwitch0 or you want to attach it to another vSwitch you can issue:
esxcli network vswitch standard uplink add -u vusb0 -v vSwitch1
or whatever your nic and switch numbers are...
You can't attach it to a vSwitch via the GUI right now since we believe the code looks for devices begining with vmnet* and these adapters get the vusb* name.
And never apologize for asking questions. At least not to me... I didn't know any of this 2 weeks ago either and only know now from a very helpful community at vm-help.com/forum
Hope this helps. have a wonderful day!
Is anyone interested in trying to get the Dobo 5d / Drobo Mini boxes to be used as Thunderbolt RAID devices to host ESXi datastores? These provide the best bang (bandwidth) for the buck and are cheaper than getting a second Mac Mini (and a vCenter license) to run VSAs on two Mac Minis to provide data storage redundancy. I can't imagine nobody is thinking about it.
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Aren't those drobo's just hard drive enclosures?
If it's thunderbolt attached then there's no need for a driver since it's just an extension of the exsisiting PCie bus, however what you may need a driver for is the raid device/drive controller.
So you would need to find out what storage controller it's using to control the drives. You'd also need access to the controller driver's source code. If you can get that information, then I will look in to driver development.
I personally don't see any of that information. Without the source code, it will never happen. And even if you get all that, you will have to purchase one to develop a driver with, since there will be debugging to perform.
Let me know and I'll see what I can do about getting people and resources together to move a project forward.
That's what it means to be a community, helping one another.
History and experince have told me, you most likey won't find third party driver help here. You should really register and post your request at http://www.vm-help.com/forum
Great community there, with people ready and willing to help.
Hope this helps....
Thanks for this info.
Drobo is a RAID device, and is shipped with a Drobo dashboard, which is the interface that controls the creation of the volumes on the Drobo RAID (and perhaps the initializing of the volumes) and also serves as the driver for OS X. I don't know the details because I do not own one of those. I have participated in a few online presentation for the Drobo devices and have seen demos of how the Drobo dashboard functions. On the Drobo devices without Ethernet interfaces (such as Drobo 5D / Drobo Mini), the communication with the Drobo is done via another port (USB and perhaps Thunderbolt) for the purposes of configuring the Drobo device. Drobo dashboard exists as a Windows and Mac application. On the Drobo devices that can serve as an iSCSI target, the Drobo dashboard also includes an iSCSI initiator for OS X, but this does not apply to Drobo 5D / Drobo Mini.
So, you are probably correct that there must be a driver in ESXi to be able to communicate with the Drobo RAID controller. On the other hand, I believe that the volume initialization and management can be done with a Windows or OS X client, so that piece of the Drobo dashboard functionality does not have to be present in the ESXi driver. So, the volume could be initialized with a Windows or OS X laptop/desktop, and once it's created, the Drobo should be able to be connected to the ESXi 5.x running on the Mac Mini and ESXi should be able to see the volume created earlier and format it with its own file system. The problem, as you correctly pointed out, is the fact that ESXi has no driver that can communicate with the Drobo RAID controller in order to see the volume that's created on the Drobo 5D / Drobo Mini.
I can try to contact someone within Drobo to see if they would be interested in the open source community creating a driver for their Thunderbolt devices to be used with ESXi. I don't know if I will get anywhere with it.
Provided that the creation of such a driver could be possible, Drobo 5D / Drobo Mini would provide the best solution for redundant datastore with ESXi running on Mac Mini. No one would be able to beat the storage capacity, expandability, storage bandwidth with any other (non-Thunderbolt) device for the price of Drobo Mini or Drobo 5D. Drobo Mini is also extremely quiet, so you could set it side by side with the Mac Mini right on your desk and not be bothered by excessive fan noise, so this is a perfect solution for a home lab. With most NAS devices, you really have to put the NAS in a closet or another room so that the noise does not bother you. And because most closets are not air-conditioned, it's always a problem to find the right location for a noisy NAS.
With the Mac Mini running ESXi and having the datastore on a Drobo Mini, there's really no need for a NAS because the OS X Server app provides all functionality that a consumer-grade NAS does and then some, and the Thunderbolt Drobo would provide data storage redundancy.
If the drobo can be an iscsi target, why not just set up the volumes on a different machine, then setup esx to use the target? No drivers need for esx to use those volumes.
Drobo Mini / Drobo 5D cannot be an iSCSI target; they don't have any Ethernet interfaces - only Thunderbolt and USB 3.
There's a Drobo B800i, but it costs $2500 barebones. It has two Gigabit Ethernet interfaces, and the only protocol it supports is iSCSI. So, it's designed specifically to be an iSCSI datastore with RAID (up to 8 HDs or SSDs). This is way too expensive, and also, it's quite noisy.
I'm interested specifically in Drobo Mini /Drobo 5D, which are purely Thunderbolt and USB 3 devices.
Sorry I misunderstood.
i got a patch from dariusd to fix smc with the latest build.
i have to hexedit something and i will do that for you, create the file needed to be placed on your boot-disk (i use an USB-stick, keep the internal disk for OSX and use an iSCSI datastore).
i will receive the mini today. so probably this weekend i can help you out!
I'm not seeing a .kext any where in the Mac OS X Drobo Dashboard 2.3.5 download. Nor do I see an included bundle that has one either. I'm gonna continue to look in to the package, but my first impression is that there isn't a specific drobo driver included. It may just use a generic USB Storage driver, which most OS's already have..I'll post again if I find anything to contradict this idea. I can't really say how it would work via thunderbolt, but I'm looking to see if other vendors require a driver for their thunderbolt attached drives. Seagate at least doesn't seem to provide a driver for their thunderbolt attached drives. (And I could just be 100% wrong and looking in the wrong place.)
At least now I'm curious.. Lol
Thank you very much for looking into this. You are more knowledgeable in this field than I am.
I can see why other Thunderbolt enclosures do not require a driver. However, the Drobo is a RAID device, so I don't know if it requires a driver for the OS.
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Sorry to go a bit off topic - I'm using a Mac Mini 5,1 (2011) with ESXi 5.1.
I want to play with smoothwall to use a VM are my firewall, but I need two NIC's to do this - can anyone confirm that the Thunderbolt Ethernet adapter works on 5.1 on the 5,1? I've seen people say it works with ESXi 5.0, and that it works on 5.1 with the 6,1 mini, but not in my exact config!
TB NIC on the 2011 mini is working fine, assuming you have the latest tg3 driver loaded.
But if your switch supports vlans you could do it all on one nic.
And don't forget the new USB NIC driver available..
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Isn't that the same driver that the built in NIC uses? In which case, i'm golden, I slip streamed it in when I installed it (only got a basic switch, this is for home use)