Scottish_Captai
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Serial ATA RAID Controller for ESX 3i

Greetings to all.

So I'm putting together a dedicated 3i machine. I have exactly one PCI-X slot, and several PCI-e 8x slots.

The machine will boot from an onboard USB socket (on the motherboard) using a standard ~16GB USB key.

I have 6 250GB SATA drives that I would like to run as a pair of RAID5 500GB arrays (each).

I know the LSI Megaraid 300-8X PCI-X card is semi-supported in ESXi (it works with a few minutes of hackery), and that's what I'll use if I can't find anything else. Is anyone aware of any other 6+ port SATA RAID card that is otherwise supported in ESXi, and comes in either PCI-X or PCI-e 8x flavors?

Cheerio.

-SC

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6 Replies
Dave_Mishchenko
Immortal
Immortal

The MegaRAID SAS 8708ELP is supported and has write cache (you'd want to add the battery module as well). Are you looking for "officially supported" or just works? The 300-8x would not be considered supported. I've also used an adaptec 4800SAS (not supported but it works fine).

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Scottish_Captai
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I'm booting the server off USB. If I've got to edit some random file somewhere to "make it work" (as long as it works, and is stable), then I don't mind doing that to get local storage up and running.

My only requirements were:

- 6x Drive Support (preferably with 6 actual SATA connectors- not those compact IPass connectors or whatever they're called)

- Battery Backup Unit

- Preferably a removable cache slot for expandable RAM

- PCI-e or PCI-X

Anything that meets those and can be /made to work/ in ESXi, I can roll with.

-SC

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dmarrow
Contributor
Contributor

I've had very good success with an Adaptec 3405 & 3408 that I bought fom ebay. The 3408 is an 8pt card.

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thomaslam
Contributor
Contributor

Hello, I too have the issue installing the VMware 3i 3.5.0. Hardwares: CPU - Quad Core 2.4Ghz. using Intel MB Memory - 8GB Raid Card - Adaptec 3405 controller (per the HCL on VMware - this is suppose to be a supported device) Hard Drive - 4x500GB SATA drives
This is a whitebox system with supported hardware. I am tempted to try the ESX Enterprise version just to see now.
I am getting this error:
"The installation operation has encountered a fatal error - unable to find a supported device to write the VMware ESX 3i 3.5.0 image to"
Any ideas why this is happen?
Thanks, Thomas
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rpcblast
Contributor
Contributor

I had a similar problem, and it turned out to be the NIC. This was on an hp dc7800p with an intec Q35 chipset. Once i dropped in an intel pro/1000 nic it fired right up.

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thomaslam
Contributor
Contributor

I have a intel nic 10/100 pro card...
The funny thing is that I am able to get it to work without the Adaptec 3405 card using just the onboard SATA controller. I think this is why I am getting the error b/c the installer is looking for that instead of the Adaptec 3405.
Checking the BIOS - but no option to turn off the the onboard SATA controller. I already disabled the onboard NIC controller via the BIOS.
I also tried downloading the Installer with Update1 and it still not working for me.
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