This is for people researching which whitebox SATA controllers work with ESX 3.5.
I bought a few AMD based NVidia chipset boards hoping to build a test ESX cluster. They had MCP61 sata controllers and people have been having some luck getting these to work. I could not get them to work so I bought an Intel ICH9 board in the hope that it would 'just work'. And the good news is that it did. The only downside is that the onboard gigabit Intel NIC is not recognized, which is a pity cause I bought the intel manufactured board so as not to have to purchase another NIC. I suppose it is easier to add a NIC than it is to add a supported SATA controller. So, it would appear that most (all ?) G33 express chipset based boards would work too.;
This is the link to the motherboard
I posted the logs etc in the other thread about the nvidia 560 chipset.
In summary, I could not even get ESX to install on the MCP61 based controller in the first instance. It failed to recognize any disks.
I'm happy with the ICH9.
That's encouraging. I'm trying to figure out what the cheapest whitebox ESX setup a person can pull off and still have a usable (albeit not production) ESX box. Unless you were a hardcore gamer, its hard to see where even a whitebox ESX machine wouldn't be useful -- for a grand or so you could have 4 cores, 16 gigs of ram and 1.5TB of disk.
At that point it becomes cheap enough that the off-hours pro or serious hobbyist might consider looking into various thin client setups for around the house...
Yes, I now have 2 ESX nodes both using iSCSI to an openfiler 2.3 box. Each box has 4gb and 2 x 2ghz CPU. very nice for around $1000 australian. Like I said, it is a pity that the onboard intel gig-e NIC is not recognized. I'll just have to shell out for another couple of PCI-E intel nics, oh, and at least a 24 port layer 2 switch with VLAN support, oh, and another couple of 750gb drives for the openfiler box.......etc etc etc.
How do you like OpenFiler? I plan on giving it a run soon (in a VM), but it looks like the kind of thing a person could build another system around. Does it provide its own RAID/redundancy, or does it rely on hardware RAID?
I like openfiler a lot. The iSCSI support in 2.3 is much improved over 2.2. There are heaps of people using it. Even oracle use it to demo RAC.
It is based on a linux kernel so it has plenty of options with regards to RAID. You can either use software RAID and LVM (both very mature) or use one of the many linux supported RAID controllers and use LVM over that. Of course you can then use LVM snapshots etc.
I am having trouble installing ESX 3.5 on my whitebox with the Intel DG33BU motherboard. I boot to the ISO imaged CD. The installation boots and then gets to a point where it wants me to specify an installation method. It asks,"What type of media contains the packages to be installed?" Below are 5 options to choose from: Local CDROM, Hard Drive, NFS image, FTP, and HTTP. No matter which one I select it returns a message titled "No Driver Found" and says,"Unable to find any drivers needed for this installation type." How do I get past this?
As I mentioned the onboard intel gigabit NIC does not work. Unless you add a support NIC then you will not be able to choose any 'network' type install. Also, when I installed I had SATA dvd connected, maybe the IDE is not supported. Alternatively, you could use a USB DVD/CD if you have one.
Thread moved to the VI:ESX 3.5 forum
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