Enthusiast
Enthusiast

MegaRAID SAS 8208ELP and RAID 5

Hi,

I have this controller in my lab server. I was reading the readme on the latest RHEL 4 driver from LSI and came across this worrying line

  • RAID 5 is not supported on VMWARE ESX Servers.

I'm hoping the driver that actually ships with ESX 3.5 does actually support RAID 5, can anyone confirm this ?

Thanks !!

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7 Replies
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Well, i installed 3 1Tb disks and set them up as a RAID5 group and it all works OK. So the answer is that RAID5 in ESX 3.5 with this controller works ok with the drivers that come with ESX 3.5

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Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I tried this today with the latest build of ESX 3.5 (123630) and it did not work for me. I even tried to load the lsi drivers manually (as this worked with MegaRAID SATA 300-8X and MegaRAID SATA 300-8XLP). No luck.

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Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Really ? What didn't work ? Did it just not see the storage on the RAID 5 ? Where you trying to install on it, or just add it in as addtional storage.

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Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Here are more details of my testing.

I got 8208 controller, flashed it with the newest firmaware and created a RAID-5 volume of three 500-GB Seagate SATA drives.

Then I made ESX bootable CD and started my server with it.

After initial boot it said something like this: "No storage was found. Do you want to load the drivers manually?". This appears right before the graphical mode starts.

I clearly remember this prompt since when I installed with SATA 300-8X and SATA 300-4XLP. Those times I had to load "megaraid2" driver manually (and edit a couple of text files later). After loading the correct driver those times I had my device listed on the summary drivers screen (under network controllers). But it was not the case with 8208. I've tried to select one by one all the three drivers available which names started with "lsi" (megaraid2, megaraid_sas and one more). But I got no additional lines about new hardware (as if I loaded unmatching driver). So I could see only the entry represening my network card.

I tried to continue the installation and proceed to the graphical mode. It allowed me to select keyboard and mouse configuration and accept the EULA. But when it was the time for disk partitioning it said that it can not continue because no storage was found. So I was forced to quit.

Today I returned 8208 and bought 8708 insted. Looks very similar and two times more expensive but supported officially and no problems with installation (megaraid_sas driver was recognised automatically). I hope it is a better solution anyway as 8208 has no hardware cache.

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Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hmm i suppose i can test this on my box at home by just booting from the CD. If it does the storage device discovery so early on in the install i will know if its going to work or not...

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Contributor
Contributor

Did you ever perform this test? I'm having exactly the same problem as the original poster -- neither ESX 3.5 U3 nor U4 will recognize this card even after manually trying all three provided LSI megaRAID drivers. This is annoying, since I bought this card based upon seeing 'Working' entry for it in this list.

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Enthusiast
Enthusiast

No i never did. Looks like it wouldn't have worked based on your experience which is a real shame.

I wonder if it works OK in vsphere ?

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