If some HW is on HCL, it does not mean all its features are supported (sadly but true, I learned it hard way too). Very probably the raid-controller on board of your supermicro-mobo is of software/fake/bios-type (which generally is not supported by ESXi). That's why you see disk, not array...
There is not much you can do with it. Either buy add-on true raid-controller, or use individual disks attached to on-board sata/sas-ports (you can passthrough them to VM and ceate sw-raid there)...
So I ordered a Adaptec RAID 6405E . It is on the supported their hardware page, but there is a driver download, not sure what that is all about. I read some website and it said you install the drivers when installing esxi, said put the dvd in and browse to it, do you know anything about that?
So i assume if the raid card is working and esxi sees it, you set it up like any normal raid card like in windows right?
You need 2 software-packages:
1. driver: this should be included in ESXi (at least some older version), if controller is listed as supported
2. smis-provider: so that you could see status of your arrays/disks on health-page (can be installed additionally)
(there also might be some management-software for ESXi)
I recommend you check in advance if Adaptec has both driver and smis! Some time ago I found some adaptec-controller on HCL (iirc, it was of 5xxx series), so I ordered it. Installed ESXi, VMs, etc., and at the very end I found there was no smis-provider. I contacted Adaptec and they confirmed the situation: there is driver for ESXi, but no smis-provider, and thus no way of monitoring its health. What is such a raid-controller good for? And yet it was listed on VMware HCL...
smis-provider - how does one install this? I will check with adaptec to see what they have...
I am not sure about this particular Raid hardware, but generally you need driver and SMIS provider.
Typically both are installed using "esxcli software vib install" command from within SSH session.
You can try to install this driver - it MAY include also the SMIS provider.
Is there directions on how to do this? I believe i do it before I make my data-store right?
No need to. Just install the VIB (it will install newest storage driver and probably even the SMIS providers).
SCP the VIB to the host and install it by esxcli software vib install.
If you dont want to mess with SCP just upload it to your existing datastore, the path will /vmfs/volumes/_name_of_your_datastore_/name_of_the_vib
I know how to upload to data store, but questions, its a linux file tgz or whatever they call it, do i have to unzip it first then upload it? Once its uploaded, how do i install the driver? I know on the forms, someone said you can copy it to dvd and install the driver at the time of install of esxi by just putting in the dvd and installing it from there or is that different?
You need to extract either .zip packager or dirrectly the .vib package (vib package will be inside of the zip package).
Both can be installed from within ESXi by
esxcli software vib update/install
zip package can be used with VMware Update Manager as well