avaldes85
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Supermicro on board Intel and Adaptec RAID configuration not recognized in ESXi 5.5 U2

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Hi, I have a supermicro X7DAL-E r1.1b motherboard that has built-in Intel and Adaptec sata raid controllers. To enable the raid controllers, I go into the BIOS and enable the raid configuration for either intel or adaptec. I have tried both raid controllers and created a raid 5 configuration by going thru each controller's bios. However, when I start going thru the installation process of ESXi 5.5 U2, I don't see one logical drive, all I see are the hard drives that I thought were configured as one logical drive in raid 5.

I know I'm using an old motherboard that is not on the HCL list, but I just don't have the money to be spending on hardware. I really want to make it work if possible. I attempted to download ESXi 4 but it is no longer available Smiley Sad. I'd figure I tried using an older version to see if it contains the drivers necessary to make it work and attempt to port those drivers into ESXI 5.5.

I was wondering if anyone has actually gotten this similar problem with a supermicro board and if a workaround or solution was found in which ESXi 5 can recognize the raid configuration? If it can't be done, then it can't be done, it is what it is. I'll just deal with it or save up.

Any suggestions would be appreciated it.

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JarryG
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Not sure about that "r1.1b" version, but original X7DAL-E does not have on-board hardware raid controller. What it has is i5000 chipset, which offers software- (aka bios-, fake-, etc) raid. This is not supported by ESXi (for very good reasons). And even if it were, without cache you'd get terrible performance...

_____________________________________________ If you found my answer useful please do *not* mark it as "correct" or "helpful". It is hard to pretend being noob with all those points! 😉

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Glenn77
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Others have had similar issues with that motherboard. 

Supermico X7DVL-E puzzling Sata issues

"For those in a Linux environment, the LSI Logic onboard RAID controller offer RAID levels of 0,1, and 10."

Unrelated to your RAID issue you could also see if that motherboard has an internal USB perhaps install ESXi on a 4GB or 8GB USB stick which leaves your drives free to play with without impacting your ESXi install.

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avaldes85
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Thanks for the link. I'm going to attempt some of the suggestions on the thread. The only thing that worries me is that the thread is from 2009 and the users where using ESX 3 not ESXI 5.5. We'll see what happens when I get home and attempt some of the settings in the BIOS. I will post any results later. Worse case scenario is to just load all the hard drives and set up each hard drive as a datastore Smiley Sad

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avaldes85
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Ok, I have attempted the suggestions posted on the link and none has worked. I have tried both Intel and Adaptec embedded controllers and ESXi just doesn't recognize the raid configuration. It is too bad that it just doesn't It's sad to see that VMware just doesn't put a lot of effort in supporting hardware like Microsoft does. I can pop a Windows Server 2012 CD and it recognizes the raid configuration without any hassles. Too frustrating! Maybe MS Hyper-V is going to be the way I'll have to setup my home cloud.

I'm still open to any other suggestions if anyone has any.

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JarryG
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Not sure about that "r1.1b" version, but original X7DAL-E does not have on-board hardware raid controller. What it has is i5000 chipset, which offers software- (aka bios-, fake-, etc) raid. This is not supported by ESXi (for very good reasons). And even if it were, without cache you'd get terrible performance...

_____________________________________________ If you found my answer useful please do *not* mark it as "correct" or "helpful". It is hard to pretend being noob with all those points! 😉

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MattiasN81
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That board use an Adaptec Host RAID HBA, same for the Intel one.

Host RAID HBAs dont have their own RAID processors (XOR cpus) and therefore the CPU handles RAID operations instead.

ESXi dosn't support any type of RAID HBA that uses the CPU for RAID operations.

I have never seen a serverboard that have a intregrated RAID with XOR and BBU directy soldered to the MB.

Proliants and PowerEdges for example have intregrated RAID controllers but they are still attached to an PCI(E)/(X) slot, sometimes heavily customized though.

VMware Certified Professional 6 - DCV VMware VTSP Software Defined Storage Dell Blade Server Solutions - EMEA Certified Dell PowerEdge Server Solutions - EMEA Certfied Dell Certified Storage Deployment Professional Dell EMC Proven Professional If you found my answers useful please consider marking them as Helpful or Correct
avaldes85
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Unfortunately for me you all are correct. I did read another forum somewhere about BIOS raids being fake/software raids, but I just couldn't understand how it could be a software raid. When I hear software raid I'm thinking its done thru the operating system. Anyways, I guess either I just use the hard drives as they are or buy a sata raid controller.

Thank you all for your contributions. It's always great to get some input on a matter from others who have already gone thru something similar.

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MattiasN81
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If u gonna buy a HBA, just make sure the controller is listed in VMware HCL before you buy one Smiley Happy

VMware Certified Professional 6 - DCV VMware VTSP Software Defined Storage Dell Blade Server Solutions - EMEA Certified Dell PowerEdge Server Solutions - EMEA Certfied Dell Certified Storage Deployment Professional Dell EMC Proven Professional If you found my answers useful please consider marking them as Helpful or Correct
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avaldes85
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Hey Mattias, I was looking at the list, but I can't seem to find a SATA raid controller. All I can see are SAS controllers. Either I'm blind or something, but I can't find a sata raid controller. Do you know of one that you can recommend? Thanks.

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MattiasN81
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All SAS RAID controllers are compatible with SATA drives, but not vice versa

If ur looking for a less expensive HBA, i would suggest DELL PERC 6i SAS controller, u can get one from ebay with BBU fro around 30-60$

VMware Certified Professional 6 - DCV VMware VTSP Software Defined Storage Dell Blade Server Solutions - EMEA Certified Dell PowerEdge Server Solutions - EMEA Certfied Dell Certified Storage Deployment Professional Dell EMC Proven Professional If you found my answers useful please consider marking them as Helpful or Correct
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