sspeckman
Contributor
Contributor

ESXi on New Dell R710??

Looking to get a new Dell R710 with 32 Gigs, 2 Xeon E5520 2.26 with 4 450GB 15K drives in Raid 10 and trying to find out if ESXi will load on it ok or if need to drop back to a PE 2950?

will be putting a VM with Exchange 2007, 2 - VM's with basic Win 2003R2 server, backup AD VM , and possibly VM with test SQL 2008 on it.

Anything (other than SAN) that you would look to get/add to this?

Think SAN is out because of pricing (looks to be $8 - $10K).

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Scott Speckman

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29 Replies
awong505
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

R710 is currently certified with ESX 3.5 U4, ESXi 3.5 Embedded U4, ESXi 3.5 Installable U4. Click on the products in the below link for the details of the config that was certified.

http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/search.php?action=search&deviceCategory=server&product...

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depping
Leadership
Leadership

It's fully supported. And they are great machines in my opinion, a lot of bang for the buck! A SAN would be nice indeed... but will cost you at least 8-10k at least.

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gavinscott
Contributor
Contributor

Just want to mention that I'm having significant problems with ESXi 3.5 U4 on a Dell R710.

The management agents that report host system condition basically stopped working after a couple days and power cycling the host does not even fix it.

Every few days I lose all connectivity to the VM consoles through the VI Client due to the "Connection terminated by server" message any time you try to connect to any VM console. At this point I can manually suspend all the VMs and reboot the host and it works again for a while.

G.

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s1xth
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Weird. I have a couple r710's, no issues. Are you using Embedded ESXi or installable on your's? I havent tried the embedded yet, using installable on all of mine. Thats weird you are having problems, I would get on the horn to dell, they will support you with these issues.

-Sspeckman - i would bump your Cpu to the E5540 if possible. Doesnt cost that much more plus you will be close to the 'performance procs' the x series. I am running all E series procs, but my next units will be x series to see how they are..(definitly cost more though).

http://www.virtualizationimpact.com http://www.handsonvirtualization.com Twitter: @jfranconi
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gavinscott
Contributor
Contributor

Running ESXi Installable here. System has 2x5520, 24G UDIMM memory in Optimized mode, 2x1TB "near line" SAS in Raid 1.

All the BIOS etc. are defaults, and I haven't made any unusual config changes (no advanced settings). I just disabled HT for grins as part of rebooting to clear the latest problem.

The system health monitor display shows "Unknown" for every component almost all the time. A Reset/Refresh will sometimes get back some of them for a while.

Every few days it goes into a wedged state where I get the inability to connect to any of the guest consoles. When this happens I cannot display the system logs from the host console (I can log in with F2, scroll down to view logs, but the 1, 2, 3 keys do nothing. If I restart the management agent I get a blank screen with a cursor blinking in the lower left corner and it never restarts and I've lost console access.

From the VI client at that point I can still control VMs (so I can suspent them all and go into maintenance mode). Attempting to command a reboot then fails and greys out the option to try it. The NTP service shows stopped and trying to start it gives a "/bin/ash failed" (or something close to that). I have to power cycle the box to regain control at that point.

Anyhow, I'll update this thread if I figure it out.

G.

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s1xth
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Wow. Thats definitely a screwed up host, I dont like that it doesn't know any of the hardware. That doesn't sound good at all. I would move the VM's off there and do a reinstall. You are running Update 4 on this currect? (assuming you are just checking).

Let me know if you figure this out.

The biggest issue I had so far was when i was changing power cables on the unit, for whatever reason after the unit failed over to another PS and than back over again, the BMC/DRAC front of the server continuely reported a failed PS. I had to reseat the PS for it to clear the failed PS. Weird. I called dell and its a known issue going to be fixed a firmware revision.

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gavinscott
Contributor
Contributor

There is at least a chance that my problem described above only occurs when a Windows 7 RC 64-bit client is running.

Currently testing to see if I can disprove this theory.

G.

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StuartLittle
Contributor
Contributor

Hello Gavin,

I am having the same issue on a Dell PowerEdge 1950III which is the first time it has occured.

When attempting to access the console of any of my VM's via the VI Client I recieve that "Connection terminated by server" and after attempting to restart the Management Agent I too get a blank screen with a cursor blinking in the lower left corner.

I still have access via the VI Client to any running VM's but any shutdown VM's will not be allowed to be powered on.

Being a novice at VMware I am terrified in restarting the host incase ESXi either does not boot up correctly or if it does that I still couldn't power on any of the VM's (just like it's current state). Basically I don't want to touch anything at the moment incase I had the chance to diagnose or put in preventative measures that could save me from a disaster should I choose to reboot and everything fails/corrupts or does not power on.

Did you ever resolve your issue or can anyone offer any advice on this.

PS. I am running a standalone ESX3i (3.5.0, 123629). I can submit specs if necessary.

Hope someone can help as a matter of urgency.

Kind regards.

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DSTAVERT
Immortal
Immortal

It is possible that you have the initial version of ESXi u2 free version. That had an expiration date. A subsequent release of u2 fixed the expiration date. It was characterized by not being able to restart VM's. I would upgrade in any case.

-- David -- VMware Communities Moderator
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StuartLittle
Contributor
Contributor

DSTAVERT thank you so much for the very quick reply!

Is there a way I can find out from VI Client/system information as to whether it is U2 version? I would have thought the release/build number would have indicated what version it was? Also with the issue you mentioned that was characterized in release U2 - would a HOST reboot temporarily fix the issue or would I find myself with a running ESXi with all my VM's shutdown that I could not start ever unless I upgrade?

Also if I choose to upgrade is this a simple process that can be performed via the VI Client or update utility and will it affect any VM's etc. Sorry, I know this is a very general question with a lot of caveats but I'm just trying to get a quick answer on the high level issues.

Many thanks for your help and look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards.

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DSTAVERT
Immortal
Immortal

I just looked up the build number. You are using U3 so that isn't the issue. Do you have the license enabled?

What access do you have? VI client, Console, Unsupported console??

-- David -- VMware Communities Moderator
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StuartLittle
Contributor
Contributor

Hi DSTAVERT,

Again thank you so much for the help it really is very much appreciated.

Yes, as part of the setup of ESXi we ensured it was licensed - rather than running it in evaluation mode. The VI Client shows the serial number and also states "Licensed for 2 CPUs" (all the other features like vmotion are obviously disabled due to the license install).

The only access I seem to have is VI Client. Console is now a blank screen with flashing cursor (as per the previous posts and similar to Gavin's statement). Also the Unsupported console is not working via SSH anymore (it was working as we used Putty previously).

We have not changed or made any system configuration changes via the Unsupported console which is why we can't understand how it's got itself in this mess.

As I said earlier a HOST reboot might very well resolve the issue but I'm petrified that when the server restarts there is something wrong with the ESXi Operating System that either won't allow it to boot or if ESXi does boot and I can access the console, unsupported console again but then not/won't be able to start my production VM's via VI Client as per normal.

Not sure the best plan of action.

Again any further tips or advice is greatly welcomed!

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s1xth
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Wait you are using U3??? or U4??

http://www.virtualizationimpact.com http://www.handsonvirtualization.com Twitter: @jfranconi
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DSTAVERT
Immortal
Immortal

From the build number it is U3

-- David -- VMware Communities Moderator
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s1xth
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

Nevermind. I looked up the build number, 123629 is U3. U3 IS NOT SUPPORTED on the PE R710....you need U4. I will find the document that states this....

I would fire the update utility, update the server to U4, reboot and you will be fine. I cant find the post right now (about to head out the door), but the R710 needs U4, I dont believe its even supported under U3.

http://www.virtualizationimpact.com http://www.handsonvirtualization.com Twitter: @jfranconi
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StuartLittle
Contributor
Contributor

Hello s1xth,

Thank you to you also for contributing in helping with this issue.

Apologies but I should have probably started a new forum thread - I simply replied to an existing post in this thread that explained my exact error hoping for a reply.

My issue doesn't pertain to a Dell PowerEdge R710 ... from my initial post I mentioned that my server was a Dell PowerEdge 1950III which I do believe is supported for ESXi as we confirmed with Dell before purchasing.

Any further advice or help is still greatly appreciated.

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DSTAVERT
Immortal
Immortal

I don't think you would have any trouble restarting. Make sure you have backups before you do. You might try updating first but ??

-- David -- VMware Communities Moderator
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s1xth
VMware Employee
VMware Employee

My bad!! Sorry!

The 1950 III definitly works under esxi, as I have one. I will try to

help you the best I can :-).

Let me ask this, I notice you said there are two Sata drives, so I am

assuming you do not have a perc card installed correct? If so, what

contoller are the near line sas drives plugged into?

Also, the server has the latest firmware (bios, bmc etc) installed

right?

I am sure we can figure this out.

Jonathan

Sent from my iPhone

On Jul 3, 2009, at 1:43 PM, StuartLittle <communities-

http://www.virtualizationimpact.com http://www.handsonvirtualization.com Twitter: @jfranconi
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StuartLittle
Contributor
Contributor

I'll be restarting the host tonight and will try to ensure I have the latest backups and configuration changes saved just in case. Not looking forward to this and will be praying for a good reboot outcome!

I'll certainly post the results of any progress.

Thanks again DSTAVERT for all your advice.

(I see s1xth has kindly posted a reply while i've been replying to you - if only all product forums were this fast, dynamic and helpful to the their user base!!).

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