Contributor
Contributor

LSI MegaRAID 300-8X

Hi,

I am about to set up a server using ESXi. According to the supported hardware list it is not directly supported, even though many other LSI MegaRAID cards are. Questions:

1) I've read many other posts about users using hardware not officially supported, so I know it's possible. How do I get this card fully working with ESXi? Ideally it would have the correct name in the console, etc.

2) Can I work with VMWare to get this card supported for future versions of ESXi?

Regards,

John

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27 Replies
Immortal
Immortal

First, I'd check out the ESXi Whitebox site(s) and see if anyone else has reported success using this card. Also check the actual chipset against the VMware ESX HCL and see if the chipset is listed as supported or at least confirmed working.

I'm not sure what you mean by "fully working" - either the card will work and be detected by ESXi or it won't. If it's a MegaRAID card then it's probably a full hardware RAID card and isn't subject to some of the flakiness that "fake RAID" cards (Promise is one example) suffer from. If it's a true RAID card and is detected correctly by ESXi, then it will be fully working. I'm not sure what you mean by correct name.

Finally, you can try to see if VMware will support this card, but it's hard to say whether you'll get any cooperation or not. You'll need to contact them directly - you can try using tech support, or you can try to have your VMware rep get you in touch with an engineer - and see what they have to say about it.

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Hello John, welcome to the VMware community forums. You can first check here to see if ESXi will recognize your controller - http://www.vm-help.com/esx/esx3i/Hardware_support.php. If it's not there, then it is possible to modify the files for ESXi to recognize and load a driver for the controller. This assumes that it would work with one of the drivers that ESXi comes with.

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Contributor
Contributor

Hi guys,

Thanks for the info. I now have the server built and ESXi installed to a single SATA drive. When I log in with the VI Client, my LSI 300-8X SATA Controller is not showing up as I feared. LSI support says it uses the IOP331 processor which is different then many other LSI cards. However with the guidance of vm-help.com I was able to find the PCI ID's; 1000:0409.

I can follow steps 1-23 here:

http://www.vm-help.com/esx/esx3i/customize_oem_tgz.php

However it's not crystal clear to me exactly how to edit using vi and the proper syntax in the simple.map and pci.ids files. Can anyone help with this?

Regards,

John

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Contributor
Contributor

Whew! Thanks to Dave M's guide and some tinkering, I was able to get this LSI SATA MegaRAID 300-8X controller working with ESXi. Not too bad for an old Windows dog. See attached image. Thanks to all ESXi enthusists for the helpful posts and guides.

Regards,

John Mueske

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Contributor
Contributor

Hello John,

I'm trying to install ESX i to the same controller as yours. Were you able to produce a bootable CD that works directly with this controller, or did you have to install first on a single drive? I would appreciate any hints, thanks.

Marc Delisle

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Contributor
Contributor

Hi Marc,

In my setup I first installd it to a single drive. Then I edited the oem.tgz file at the console following the 23 step process here:

http://www.vm-help.com/esx/esx3i/customize_oem_tgz.php

In my earlier post I forgot to mention I called the megaraid2 driver.

I noticed this page also has instructions for making a modified bootable CD.

If you cannot get your system to recognize this controller properly, perhaps I could send youmy oem.tgz file (if I could figure outhow to get it off the console!).

Regards,

John

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Hi John, if you access the console, you can copy the file to a datastore with cp /bootbank/oem.tgz /vmfs/volumes/<datastore_name>/oem.tgz and then copy it to your PC with the VI client. If you could post the file here I wouldn't mind adding it to the site if you don't mind.

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Contributor
Contributor

Hi all,

Here's the oem.tgz for your system to recognize the LSI MegaRAID SATA300-8X controller. Thanks for the help Dave M!

Regards,

John

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Contributor
Contributor

Thanks John. Anyone knows a trick to put it on the CDROM? I tried mounting the iso file on a loopback filesystem (Linux) but it wont let me write on this filesystem.

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Expert
Expert

In unixland, I'd just mount the .iso as a file system, copy everything to a new area, replace the files, create a new .iso and replace the first sixteen blocks or so of the new .iso with the same number of blocks from the old .iso using dd to make sure I got the bootable information.

Cheers

Kevin

Cheers Kevin
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Expert
Expert

Thanks John. Anyone knows a trick to put it on the CDROM?

I tried mounting the iso file on a loopback filesystem (Linux) but it wont let me write on this

filesystem.

In general, .iso filesystems (in this case ISO-9660 with Rock-Ridge extensions) are write-once read-many. If you want to alter the contents of that filesystem, you typically need to remaster the image with `mkisofs` or a similar utility.

If you want the Lindsay series LSI MegaRAID cards (PCI ID 0x1000:0x0409 -- MegaRAID 300-8X and friends) to not only work during initial install, but also work on subsequent boots, you're going to be modifying two different things:

  • Initial Install ... Modifying the contents of the .iso filesystem itself. Reasonably trivial since you're only remastering the .iso filesystem image itself.

  • Subsequent Boots ... Modifying the contents of a specific FAT16 partition within a multi-partition disk image embedded two layers deep within the .iso filesystem. Significantly non-trivial, and can cause breakage in all sorts of strange ways.

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Expert
Expert

Can I work with VMware to get this card supported for future versions of ESXi?

Finally, you can try to see if VMware will support this card, but it's hard to say whether you'll

get any cooperation or not. You'll need to contact them directly - you can try using tech

support, or you can try to have your VMware rep get you in touch with an engineer - and see

what they have to say about it.

Getting official (i.e., Caps-S) Support for a given piece of hardware is all about making a solid business-case for it, which is what I'd encourage you to do through official channels. I can't personally speak to futures, obviously.

FWIW, the Intel SRCS28X ( http://www.intel.com/support/motherboards/server/srcs28x/ ), MegaRAID 300-4X, and MegaRAID 300-8X are all the same Lindsay chipset, so adding official Support could cover all three concurrently.

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As mentioned, you would have to modify oem.tgz twice (once for the copy used during the install and the 2nd for the copy that is installed to the HD). You might find it easier to extract the dd image for ESXi to a USB flash drive, edit oem.tgz on the flash drive and then boot from it. Otherwise you could

1) edit oem.tgz on the root of the CD, then boot and install with it.

2) boot the host with a linux live CD and replace oem.tgz on the Hypervisor1 partition.

3) boot ESXi.

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Contributor
Contributor

Is it possible to add the MegaRAID 300-8X Driver for ESX 3.5 (IE not ESXi)?

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Contributor
Contributor

Hi Kevin,

I tried your suggestion but was not able to make it work. My CD would not boot even if I used dd to copy the first 16 blocks. If you have more detailed suggestion, I'll appreciate. Meanwhile the USB flash drive method works.

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Contributor
Contributor

Thanks Dave, this method seems to work (at least I no longer see a warning about unsupported hardware). I'll continue my installation tomorrow, thanks.

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Hello David, you can find the process for ESX here - http://www.run-virtual.com/?p=88.

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Contributor
Contributor

It worked!!! Thanks.

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Contributor
Contributor

Hi Dave,

I now have a USB flash drive from which I boot, but I did not see any install dialog. From the VI client I see my hardware, including the MegaRAID. How do I proceed to install ESXi on the drives connected to this controller?

Thanks,

Marc Delisle

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