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ribeiroam
Contributor
Contributor

ESXi 5 XServe 3.1 Install shows no Storage Device

I am having a problem installing ESXi 5 on XServe 3.1 hardware. It boots all the way into the installed but stops where you must select a storage device. There are no storage devices listed. I have reformatted the discs to be smaller than 1TB, I have also tried formatting them to be FAT32. Nothing has worked so far.

The discs that I am trying to use are local discs on the system. This server is going to be strictly test for the time being. I have tried it with and without a raid config.

Any advice?

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20 Replies
wdroush1
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Sounds like the RAID controller isn't supported, did you check it?

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ribeiroam
Contributor
Contributor

I thought the same thing. I then went looking for information on Xerve 3.1 raid controllers and I could not find any referenced so I assumed that all of the 3.1 models came with the same controller.

I checked my Apple quote and the raid controller line item is 065-7844 Xserve RAID card.

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dkcron
Contributor
Contributor

Same issue here. Have you learned anything more about VMWare support for Apple RAID Card as found in 3,1 Xserves? My searches turn up nothing.

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mramsaywhb
Contributor
Contributor

Any luck getting this to work?  I am in the same boat.

I tried converting my RAID5 array to JBOD.  No dice.

I tried attaching a 500GB Firewire800 drive as a hail mary.  No dice.

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dkcron
Contributor
Contributor

Nope. No luck.

I suspect Apple has no intention of providing VMware with drivers for their Apple RAID Card.

Fortunately my Xserves have SSDs, so I installed ESXi 5.0 onto the SSD.

So in effect, I've got 4TB of Apple RAID 5 doing nothing.

[ I've placed my VMs on NFS datastores provided by an old Xserve running OS X Server 10.6.

So I see my useless RAID drives in the hypervisor as backup for my NFS server... ]

best

dk

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BHound1981
Contributor
Contributor

I've got the eaxct same issue here.  I get through to the storage selection screen and can't see a damn thing.  I'm pretty sure the RAID card is to blame as well.  I can't believe that support for this doesn't exist...

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mramsaywhb
Contributor
Contributor

I'm going to try to switch out the RAID card with the normal drive interconnect backplane (P/N is 661-5058).

The drives should be available in ESXi after this switch is down.

I'll report back in a day or so after I receive the part and do the install.

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simondo
Contributor
Contributor

I too have this exact same issue; ESXi 5 installation proceeds as it should until I'm prompted to select a disk, and it can't see the Apple RAIDcard.

I'm honestly stunned that they claim support for Xserve machines, and then don't support the essentially standard Apple RAID. I realise that this is probably an Apple issue too, but it's no less annoying for that!

I'm contemplating installing Lion and Virtualbox as a stop gap measure.

Any recommendations on alternatives? Parallels server looks possible, but pricy, VMware workstation for linux is I guess a possibility?

Is another RAID card a possibility?

mramsaywhb - how did you get on with the standard backplane?

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mramsaywhb
Contributor
Contributor

Standard backplane got me going. No RAID, but it will work for my needs for now. Cheap ($200) solution.

Sent from my iPhone

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simondo
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks for letting me know.

Dilemma time! It may just be easier to ebay the xserve and get something with better vmware support! 😕

I'm using Lion and virtualbox at the moment, and it's adequate, but far from ideal, even for a test environment.    

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mdri
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Same here.  XServe 3,1 with a RAID controller.  Do VMware and Apple think it's acceptable to have a ESXi host in a datacenter without RAID?  Is XServer 3,1 supported or not?

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Johnny723
Contributor
Contributor

What firmware version do you have on your Xserve?

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mdri
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I don't know which would indicate the RAID controller firmware level, so here's everything from the Mac OS Hardware Overview pane:

  Model Name:     Xserve

  Model Identifier:     Xserve3,1

  Processor Name:     Quad-Core Intel Xeon

  Processor Speed:     2.26 GHz

  Number Of Processors:     2

  Total Number Of Cores:     8

  L2 Cache (per core):     256 KB

  L3 Cache (per processor):     8 MB

  Memory:     48 GB

  Processor Interconnect Speed:     5.86 GT/s

  Boot ROM Version:     XS31.0081.B06

  SMC Version (system):     1.43f4

  LOM Revision:     1.1.9

  Hardware UUID:     47A6BE9B-3E8C-5A0E-B581-D7480676C8D6

It's presenting running 10.6.8 Server again.  No Software Updates pending.

Thanks for your interest.

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Eddysamson
Contributor
Contributor

Hey all-

Was hoping to get some updates and info on the topic at hand here. My small company is looking to add a few Apple VMs to our traditionaly 100% Windows environment in order to branch off into iOS development. We would like to make this transition as smooth as possible for our developers and thus we would like to have them on OSX VMs rather than actual hardware.

Just today we had a phone chat with some Apple reps about our situation and we were disapointed to find out that the VMWare client that would run on an OSX machine would only support licensing for 2 VMs. Xserve was an afterthought so we did not ask them about it.


We were wondering how this would work for Xserve 3.1. We found some servers on Ebay that would fit our hardware requirements and wanted to know how an ESXi 5 installion would work on it. I see that we cannot use RAID. I was wondering what levels of success people have had without using RAID.

I also would like to know if it is possible to get more than 2 VMs on Xserve 3.1.

Thanks!

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dkcron
Contributor
Contributor

eddysamson

We have 2 XServe 3,1 running ESXi 5.

Both XServes are configured with SSD and RAID card.

It is indeed the case that there are no ESXi drivers for the Apple Xserve RAID.

As a result, we installed ESXi on the SSDs.

All our ESXi stores are on NFS (these NFS services are provided by other Macs, but the OS hardly matters).

We've got multiple Mac, Windows and Linux VMs running across these 2 Xserves.

Flawlessly. For about 1 year now.

If robustness is of importance, I strongly urge you to:

1. configure TWO Xserves and pool them

2. use NFS for your stores (NFS is dead easy and fast)

3. manage the lot using vCenter (configured as a VM)

4. enable vMotion

so in answer to your questions: yes! it CAN and SHOULD be done!

best

dk

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advref
Contributor
Contributor

How can anyone expect to have an XServe that doesn't have a RAID controller. I just don't understand it. And it seems that it is like pulling teeth trying to get an answer out of VMWare on this issue. And don't even bother with Apple. Complete waste of time there. I have a ticket open on this issue but in the mean time, has anyone tried changing the RAID Controller to one that is on the Compatiblity list for ESXi 5?

I am not about to run this server without having a RAID configuration in a business environment.

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simondo
Contributor
Contributor

I lost patience with the X-serves in the end and sold them, and replaced them with HP servers. Really good iLO subsystem on the HPs...

Good luck Smiley Happy

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mdri
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I am out of the office returning Thursday, June 7.

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technolink
Contributor
Contributor

We now implemented three xserves3,1 to do the same as you did.

But encountered during a simulated powerloss of both powersupplies a "multiboot could not setup the video subsystem" error on two of three servers.

Since then (friday) they cannot be reinstalled, as installer gives the same error while booting from cd. The same cd (esxi) installer was used for first installation where all went fine. All worked for a week til those testings.

Did you never run into such an issue ?

We already tried smc reset and cmd-alt p+r to clear up xserve's pram. without success. still no boot.

OSX booted from other harddisk boots fine. just not the esxi.

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