bjmoore
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

ESXi on 8GB modular drive? IBM HS21 XM

I've read different answers about this and am hoping to reach a clear conclusion from someone who has it in production.

Is it possible to buy the 8GB modular flash drive IBM offers on the 7995 and install ESXi installable to it?

Currently we're booting off of SAN on all ESX servers, but since that's not suppored on ESXi I need another option. I like the flash drives since it's what IBM uses from the factory, and since they have higher MTBF than a regular hard drive.

Thanks!

Ben

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8 Replies
bjmoore
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I have answered this question, since it is a USB based drive the ESXi installer does not recognize the drive as a valid installation target. Using a SAS or SCSI drive is the only option.

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Dave_Mishchenko
Immortal
Immortal

You would need to extract a DD image from the intall CD and then copy it to the USB drive, but this would be unsupported - http://www.vm-help.com/esx/esx3i/Boot%203i%20from%20USB%20flash%20drive.html. Can you just order the USB flash drive with ESXi Embedded from IBM?

bjmoore
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Thanks for the tip Dave. I need to run this in a supported hardware environment, obviously Smiley Happy According to my sales guy, IBM does not sell the ESXi chip as a seperate part number, only as an option when you purchase a complete server.

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Dave_Mishchenko
Immortal
Immortal

Tell him you might have to switch to HP as they have a seperate part you can get ;). Given that you've spent X dollars on a new system he should be able to get a $50 part for you.

You could also consider dropping in the solid state drive option and then you would be supported to go with ESXi Installable.

bjmoore
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Yep, he already knows it's a problem. I think it's really VMware's problem that they don't support boot-from-san or boot-from-chip installations of ESXi. Hi-ho Feature Request!

Instead of worrying about any of that right now, though, we're going to throw a SSD in each server and forget about it. Thanks for the advice Dave!

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Dave_Mishchenko
Immortal
Immortal

The one downside with ESXi Installable is that it may not include all the lastest CIM providers that ESXi has for the IBM embedded version. But looking at an HS21 with the latest build it seems to have most hardware components.

Should you have some time to test it, I'd be interested to see what sort of I/O performance you get with something like IOMetere if you put a VM on the SSDs.

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jimcgreen
Contributor
Contributor

It looks like it would be possible if the recovery disc for ESXi was modified. The recovery disc is IBM P/N 46D0762 which replaces the corrupt disc 46M1600. In that recovery disc in IBM.TGZ which decompresses to IBM.tar there is a file called HCL.py located in IBM\usr\lib\vmware\installer\Recovery. The contents of that file are;

#-- coding: utf-8 --

SUPPORTED_USB_DEVICES = [ # IBM supported devices

dict( Vendor='STEC',

Model='4GB USB' ),

dict( Vendor='SanDisk',

Model='Cruzer Micro' )

]

  1. vim: set sw=3 tw=80 :

It seems to me that the 4GB could be changed to 8GB and the files re-tarred and zipped and a boot disc created with MagicISO or Nero and you would have a disc that would flash the 8GB instead of the 4GB. Of course this would be for scientific research only. It wouldn't be supported.

Jim

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znet98
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I had same problem with you, and finally i had it resolved.

Solution:

1. press ALT-F1 to access the console of the ESXi install

2. login as root, password is empty, vi /usr/lib/vmware/installer/Core/TargetFilter.py

3. find "USBFilter"

In the

def USBFilter(lun):

section of TargetFilter.py change:

return interface.GetDriver() == 'usb-storage' and \

interface.GetInterfaceType() == ScsiInterface.SCSI_IFACE_TYPE_PARALLEL

to:

return interface.GetInterfaceType() == ScsiInterface.SCSI_IFACE_TYPE_ISCSI

so remove the first part of the "and" and change PARALLEL to ISCSI

4. save it, then type "install" on console, you will see the flash Drive in list, and just install it

5. I ahve done it and works great

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