ESXi 7.0.3 vmw_ahci with eSATA card panics or reboots whole host
I'm currently trying to find a cost-effective way for my homelab to get a eSATA 3.5" HDD enclosure running with ESXi 7.0.3 on a rack server 🙂
First things first: My hardware is outdated (PowerEdge R815 with 4x ADM Opteron 6276) and officially not supported by VMware anymore, to get that out of the way 🙂 But I'm making this thread in case someone has had similar issues and maybe knows how to work around or fix them still.
My current setup is the above mentioned eSATA enclosure via a separate eSATA-PCI-card (ASMEDIA ASM1061), ESXi reports that the "vmw_ahci" driver is being used for it. After accessing the drives via said card for any significant amount it either crashes the whole host and just reboots it, or at rare occasions it kernel panics ESXi. I once even managed to crash iDRAC with it and had to physically unplug the server to make it work again. Trying the same method and bench marking the eSATA drives via, es example, Ubuntu works just fine so it takes hardware failures out of the equation.
Again, I'm aware this is an entirely unsupported use-case, but since this is a homelab I can't really put too much money into my setup and got the server for "free" too, so would love to put it to use 🙂 My next idea would be to use a separate "dumb" SATA enclosure and a Mini-SAS to SATA cable to try and use those then, but that would kind of be my last option for now if this somehow will start working since I already have the hardware for it available.