The-Kevster
Contributor
Contributor

SATA Support Clear as Mud!?

From the updated I/O sheet this is what's mentioned on supported SATA controllers....

Supported SAS/SATA Dual Controllers

ESX Server 3.5 supports selected SATA devices connected to dual SAS/SATA controllers. This support is limited to ESX Server 3.5. It is not included with ESX Server 3.0.x.

The supported dual SAS/SATA controllers are:

  • mptscsi_2xx (PCIE) ‐ LSI1078*

  • mptscsi_pcie ‐ LSI1068E (LSISAS3442E)*

  • mptscsi_pcix ‐ LSI1068 (SAS 5)*

  • aacraid_esx30 ‐ IBM serveraid 8k SAS controller*

  • cciss ‐ Smart Array P400/256 controller*

So what is the best PCIE card for me to put into my S5000PAL server that will use the above driver, if only someone could make a list :smileygrin:

Thanks,

Kev

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342 Replies
rpartmann
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Hi,

here is v0.62 but had no time to try it with 3.5u2.

.. so now i´m off to Italy .... espresso, aperol spritz, pesce, grappa Smiley Happy

kind regards,

reinhard

ps: Award points if you find answers helpful. Thanks.
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excelsi
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hi Reinhard,

thanks for the quick answer and the script.

I tried it but the same errors come up again...

But first...a great time in italy Smiley Wink

Michael

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Mr_Gimper
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Downloaded ESX3i and did the USB boot thing, and am happy to say that ESX3i detects both the onboard NIC and the SATA controller (ESX 3.5 didn't). Well pleased, considering these boxes are around £115 each (with £55 for a corsair 4gb mem kit). A proper install of ESX3i to disk will not work as it doesn't detect the onboard SATA during install. Using the USB boot, I have created a VMFS 3 datastore on the local SATA disk no problems.

Got myself 2 running ESX3i from Kingston DataTraveller 100 1gb USB keys (PC world do 2 for £9). 6GB RAM each ... works a dream. The ML even has internal USB port on the mobo Smiley Happy

Now to buy a 3rd and run it as an iSCSI server Smiley Happy

Edit: To avoid confusion, I'm referring to ML115 G5's - Opteron 1214 dual cores

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jonasb
Contributor
Contributor

Mr Gimper: This is excellent news that you can install ESX3i on a USB in the ML115. I will try this right away!

So I guess you'll use the 3rd iSCSI server as shared storage (any Red Hat or any other suggestions?) to be able to do Vmotion?

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Mr_Gimper
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Yes, I plan to run the 3rd as an iSCSI server. There are a few free Windows iSCSI targets, or I'll run openfiler.

I've been buying dual-port NICs from ebay like they are going out of fashion Smiley Happy

Have a gig card in each ML dedicated to iSCSI, and enough cards to make 2 NICs in the iSCSI box dedicated to iSCSI. The plan is just to hook each ML to a port on the iSCSI box using crossover.

Will have a nice little setup then Smiley Happy

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KingDaveRa
Contributor
Contributor

Sorted my problem.

It's something that I've encountered before. The motherboard in my system is an ASRock AM2NF3-VSTA, with an nForce3 chipset. I did have a couple of Seagate SATA drives in there. I have now swapped them for two Western Digital WD2500AAKS 250GB drives - and the performance has gone up markedly.

With the Seagate drives, I was getting around 2Mbs and 8Mbs copying data to them over a Gig-e network. With the WD drives, I'm now getting around 17Mbs!! A vast improvement. I managed to copy over 60Gb of VMs in a few hours, no problem. And that was via the VI client, which previously ran like a stunned snail!

So I can confirm, the following spec appears to work perfectly fine with ESXi 3.5.0:

ASRock AM2NF3-VSTA motherboard

AMD Athlon 64 4000+

4GB Crucial RAM

2x Western Digital WD2500AAKS 250GB SATA hard drives

Liteon DVDRW IDE drive

GeForce 4MX AGP graphics card

Intel Pro1000MT NIC

3Com 3c905TX-CMX 100Mbs NIC

We're not using the onboard NIC as I disabled it some time ago for other reasons, and just went with the cards already in the box.

Now I just need a little iSCSI box, and I'm laughing. FreeNAS here I come!!!

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Formatter
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

So assuming that the Silicon Image 3512 PCI SATA will work and its only a dual SATA drive controller the same Silicon Image 3114 PCI SATA that has the same specs but an additional 2 sata ports should work?

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bards1888
Contributor
Contributor

I had a motherboard with inbuilt Sata Silicon image 3114 4 port and it worked on that too, however I only attached 1 drive.

I'd say that if the card is supported then all of the ports will function.

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bards1888
Contributor
Contributor

IMO..... openfiler is better than freenas. Check it out at http://openfiler.com

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Mr_Gimper
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Agreed. I'm a windows man but openfiler kicks butt Smiley Happy

Only thing I wished you could do was create iscsi volumes as files as opposed to out of real partitions.

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bards1888
Contributor
Contributor

That is where LVM becomes necessary. Give it one partition and you can slice and dice it into as many LVs are you want.

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jonasb
Contributor
Contributor

Mr Gimper: Sure you mean ML115 G5 - I think you mean G1 (G5s are ML110).

What dual NICs have you bought that works like a charm? I think I will invest in a few too - just want to make sure it works out-of-the-box.

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Mr_Gimper
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Nope, it is definately the ML115 G5.

Cards that work are any with Broadcom netXtreme chipset or Intel 1000 chipset. The ones I have bought are:

HP NC360T

HP NC7771

IBM NetXtreme 1000T

HP NC7170

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jonasb
Contributor
Contributor

Strange. They're still called ML115 G1 on the webshops here in Sweden. Where do you get them for £115 (if open for anyone) - that's insanely cheap Smiley Happy

Edit: It seems like there was some G1 models which are a little bit different from G5 models.

There are some differences like the G5 has:

  • Slot 1: PCI 32-bit/33MHz PCI at 3.3V

  • Slot 2: PCI-Express x1 connector with x1 link

  • Slot 3: PCI-Express x8 connector with x8 link

  • Slot 4: PCI-Express x16 connector with x16 link

The G1 has:

  • Two 32-bit/33MHz PCI at 3.3V slot

  • Two PCI-Express slots (x8 and x16)

...and also some different CPUs available.

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Mr_Gimper
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

There are other places too

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Alginon
Contributor
Contributor

Formatter,

I have a SiI3114 SATA 4 port card. If I configure 3 drives as RAID 5 it does not recognise the partition yet if I remove 1 drive and then reload software it will boot. Bit spooky any thoughts?

Regards

John

Please consider the environment, only print out this email if absolutely necessary.

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Mr_Gimper
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

It even works whilst it still "thinks" it's a RAID 5 array with a drive missing?

Or it works with 2 drives as JBOD or mirror/stripe ?

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Formatter
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Alginon

I think it may be due to the support for the two sata connector card but it doesnt say that the 4 sata connector card will work.

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excelsi
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hi Reinhard,

additional information to my problem after updating esx:

The system boots up complete (a little suprising for me)

but the vmfs3 partitions were not recognized (I dont know the excat error log at the moment)

The webinterface is reachable and i can access the / (root) partition trough Veeam FastSCP.

BR

Michael

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jmbabcock007
Contributor
Contributor

Hello guys, I have been reading all your posts about trying to get esx 3.5 working on various whiteboxes. I just thought I would add my system and what I have encounter in trying to get it working.

My system is as follows:

Asus M2N-SLI Deluxe

AMD Phenom™ X4 9500 quad-core processor

8GB RAM

1 x 80GB Sata (Main install point for ESX)

1 x 150GB sata

2 x 500GB sata mirrored using 3ware 9650se card.

I was able to do the install, including booting from my 3ware cd to start the install and load the drivers for my card, I then followed the instructions earlier in this thread using the script provided and running inside of ubuntu linux live to fix the sata controller issue and the "could not mount root" error. However, what I am encountering now is that I can get into ESX no problem, configure it, etc, but the next time I reboot I am back to square one with the cannot mount root issue and stuck at the sh prompt.

Just wondering, any ideas why it does this. I think it has something to do with when I reboot and it says it is "saving vmware server configuration", I am betting it is modifying something back to an original state and is causing the error all over again.

tks

Jeremy

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