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ESXi 4.1 HCL Problems - S1200BTS / S1200BTL

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I am confused when it comes to the VMware Compatibility Guide and what they are actually certifying. For example, I want to build an ESXi 4.1 box that utilizes the new Sandy Bridge architecture. The only retail boards currently on the HCL are the Intel S1200BTS and S1200BTL. I was under the impression that everything on this board was compatible and would work with ESXi, hence the HCL. So far, my research shows me that 1 of the integrated NICs is not supported and likely the embedded raid controller won't accept an ESXi installation.

Overall, I'm wondering what does a piece of hardware on compatibility guide actually mean?

Thank you for your time,

Chase Dafnis

Links to the boards:

http://ark.intel.com/Compare.aspx?ids=53557,53558,

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Immortal
Immortal

The HCL does not guarantee that all embedded components are supported. Even complete servers are usually only tested with a single CPU. If there are multiple models within a server or motherboard line not all may be suitable. It is common to have many disk controller choices when ordering a server. The low end controllers are often unsupported. When ordering a complete server it is always wise to consult the manufacturer for recommended components for the intended purpose. When building a server from components you become the manufacturer which unfortunately means you need to verify all the components.

-- David -- VMware Communities Moderator

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Immortal
Immortal

The HCL does not guarantee that all embedded components are supported. Even complete servers are usually only tested with a single CPU. If there are multiple models within a server or motherboard line not all may be suitable. It is common to have many disk controller choices when ordering a server. The low end controllers are often unsupported. When ordering a complete server it is always wise to consult the manufacturer for recommended components for the intended purpose. When building a server from components you become the manufacturer which unfortunately means you need to verify all the components.

-- David -- VMware Communities Moderator

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Virtuoso
Virtuoso

VMware has a few 3rd party labs that test the hardware on the HCL. Vendors send their equipment to these labs and receive certification that they do indeed work.

It doesn't mean that things on the HCL are the only products that work; I've made all sorts of weird things into ESX boxes for home and test purposes, such as desktops and SFF atom PCs. Smiley Happy

Generally I am concerned with the HCL when it comes to support (production) and getting ESXi to install. The NIC and disk controller are probably the most essential for installation, as both can prevent an install from taking place.

VCDX #104 (DCV, NV) ஃ WahlNetwork.com ஃ @ChrisWahl ஃ Author, Networking for VMware Administrators
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Did you ever get your second NIC working?  I'm having the same issue.  When I do an lspci I see that  two NIC's but only one is names as "[vmnic0]"  I would expect the other to be names "[vmnic1]"  but it is just blank.

Additionally I am having trouble with the onboard RAID controller "Intel Embedded Server RAID"  this is hardware raid not a software raid controller.  It sees independent drives but not ones configured as part of a RAID volume.

I'm guessing both of these issues are related to drivers.  If this is infact the case where can I get drivers and where do I install them.  I'm new to ESXi but not to a linux or windows envrionment.  Any help is appriciated.

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Ok I figured out the NIC problem.  I'm still wondering about the HW RAID support.

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Immortal
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All Intel Embedded Server RAID's are software RAID that require some level of operating system interaction.

--Matt VCDX #52 blog.cowger.us
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Mr. eweiss, I am about to buy a motherboard S1200BTL and saw that the HCL is supported. It incorporates Intel ® Embedded Controller Dual 82574L Gigabit and82578DM. Could you give me instructions on best practices for VMware ESXi 4 or VMware ESXi 5 raise both network interfaces?
thank you very much

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Hi eweiss

I too have purchased an Intel S1200BTS server board, and only the one NIC is available in vSphere Client

How did you make the second onboard NIC available to the ESXI server?

Any help appeciated

Regards,

Ben

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