Martin_Vincent
Contributor
Contributor

Dell PowerEdge T105 with SAS 6/iR

Trying to build a low-end developement platform for our programmers.

An environment that can handle 5 Windows XP and 2 Windows Servers 2003.

I found the Dell PowerEdge T105, which is really cost effective -but- I can't find it on the HCL list (http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vi35_systems_guide.pdf)

It is based on the Single AMD Opteron 1000 series processor and nVidia CK8-04 Pro chipset.

The controller SAS 6/iR, on the other hand, seems to be supported (page 9 of http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vi35_io_guide.pdf)

Can someone confirm if this configuration will work with ESX 3.5?

Thanks!

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12 Replies
Dave_Mishchenko
Immortal
Immortal

Take a look through these threads. Given the issues you might be better looking for a supported model.

http://communities.vmware.com/message/899262#899262

http://communities.vmware.com/message/908145#908145

http://communities.vmware.com/message/913529#913529

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Martin_Vincent
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks Dave for your assistance.

What I understand is two type of issues:

1) for some reason, the ESX3.5 installer can't recognize the USB keyboard/mouse - no workaournd

2) the onboard SATA controller is unsupported, perhaps a Dell SAS 6iR raid adapter could do the job

I will look for another type of system, like the Dell PE SC1430 or the SC430.

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FishNiX
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gchamby
Contributor
Contributor

Greetings all. I wanted to share my experiences with ESX on the Dell PowerEdge T105 for what its worth.

System is a PowerEdge T105, BIOS 1.3.2, Dell SAS 6/IR controller (BIOS 6.22.03.00) with two 146 GB SATA drives, Broadcomm NetXtreme

gigabit interface and a quad core AMD Opteron 1352. Everything as shipped from Dell.

I initially attempted to install ESX 3.5 U3 from CD which resulted in a system hang at the "ata3: dev 0 ATAPI, max

UDMA/100" message.

This behavior occurs on all 3.5 update releases - 1, 2, and 3. At this point the system must be power cycled.

Going into the BIOS and disabling the NIC allows the system to move past the above message but it then hangs at the

screen indicating "loading mptscsi_2xx driver".

Again, this happens on all three ESX 3.5 update releases contrary to some of the postings I've seen which seem to suggest older updates work while U3 does not?

Once the hang occurs the system must be power cycled.

Enabling the NIC and booting with the ESX 3.5i U3 CD works perfectly fine. It glides past the "loading mptscsi_2xx" message and comes up as expected.

I assume these issues are all service console related since I was under the impression that the base hypervisor was the same?

Thanks.

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AdvNetSol
Contributor
Contributor

I have had problems with the T105 with the SAS 6/IR adapter (not integrated, it is the add-in card) installing ESXi 3.5 as of the November release of ESXi 3.5 (not sure what version). The SAS 6/IR is supported by VMWare yet i am receiving the message that nowhere is available to install ESXi. My advice would be to not use a T105 server as it will not work properly out of the box. i will update my thread with acurate error messages, hardware specs, and a resolution to the problem if one can be found.

after troubleshooting this for a while it turns out that is was simply the SAS6/IR ( SAS 6/IR , SAS 6 / IR) card was not seated properly. upon reseating ESXI 3.5 installable works fine. this is using the following hardware:

Quad Core 1354 Processor 4x512K Cache, 2.2GHz Opteron for PowerEdge T105

Add-in SAS6iR (SATA/SAS Controller) supports 2 Hard Drives-RAID 1

4GB, DDR2, 800MHz, 4x1GB,Dual Ranked DIMMs

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AdvNetSol
Contributor
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i can confirm the PowerEdge T105 and SAS 6/IR add in card work fine. i have loaded VMWare ESXi 3.5 Installable with no problems so far. The SAS6/IR is a supported piece of hardware but the t105 line is not. you can NOT use onboard SATA drives though. i tried installing off of these with no success. you have to have the add in card, and i believe the integrated SAS 6/IR will work, although i'm not sure about that because i haven't used that hardware config. the integrated SAS is supported by VMWare though.

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AdvNetSol
Contributor
Contributor

my understanding is that ESX 3.5 does not have SATA support whereas ESXi 3.5 does. that may be your problem.

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jrtaylor32k
Contributor
Contributor

I am about to test the T105 with a 3rd party raid controller from Adaptec (Adaptec 2405 (RAID 0 or 1) PCI-e 4x 128Mb) which has drivers for ESX, support from manufacturer and looks to be a better controller than the PERC for the same price ($200)

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AdvNetSol
Contributor
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post back, i'd like to know if that will work...i'll probably try something like that for myself.

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jrtaylor32k
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Installed T105 with the Adaptec 2405 kit (need the kit for the cables) last night. Worked great with the VMware-VMvisor-InstallerCD-3.5.0_Update_3-123629.i386.iso and the install was done in a few minutes.

The T105 is incompatiable with several PCI and PCI-e cards related to storage, but the Adaptec 2405 worked without issue. Plus the 2405 has 128Mb of ram and is setup with RAID 1 in 2-3 minutes.

I have read the Perc 6ir will work with the USB based load, but I can tell you the standard SATA controller does not work using the CD install or USB boot method.

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AdvNetSol
Contributor
Contributor

i got my T105 server running with the PCI SAS6/IR card. There was a hardware problem out of the box, but once i figured that out it I was able to install EXS 3.5i without any problems.

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jose_maria_gonz
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Hi Martin

I greed with Dave, Given the issues and seeing that it is not included in the HCL I would considering to look for a supported model.

The PowerEdge 1950´s are very cost effective as well and are included in the HCL.

Saludos,

Jose Maria Gonzalez,

El blog de Virtualizacion en Español

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http://www.josemariagonzalez.es

http://www.josemariagonzalez.es/feed

http://twitter.com/jose_m_gonzalez

VMware vExpert 2009

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