burvil
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Enthusiast

H730 driver from Vmware site for Vsphere 6.0?

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I have a cluster with VSAN working, but the Virtual SAN Health plugin gives a warning under Virtual SAN HCL health -> Controller Driver, where the Driver in use is slightly different from what's in the HCL.  I used the customized ISO for VSAN/VMware from the Dell site, and this is the only warning the plugin gives.  I'd like to install specifically the correct version on the HCL.

So, I found it for download at PERC H730/H730P/H830 Mini/Adapter RAID Controllers firmware version 25.2.1.0037 Driver Details | Del..., but it doesn't list a download for VMware, only windows and linux. I see it in the VMware HCL at http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/detail.php?deviceCategory=vsanio&productid=34853&vcl=t..., where it lists a download for Vsphere 5.5, but 6.0.  How would I deploy for my 6.0 cluster?  Do I need to use the Windows driver from the Dell site and deploy with OME?  I'd prefer to get it from the VMware site.   Am I looking in the wrong place on the vmware site?

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zdickinson
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Not sure if this is relevant, but the Dell OEM ESXi image was mentioned.  With vSAN it is recommended to avoid OEM images and use the stock image from VMware.  Thank you, Zach.

VSAN and OEM ESXi ISO images | CormacHogan.com

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Isalmon
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Get the driver from Dell. The latest PERC controller is 25.2.0004

PERC H730/H730P/H830 Mini/Adapter /FD33xS/FD33xD RAID Controllers firmware version 25.2.2-0004 Drive...

This is a critical update. There are issues with 25.2.1.0037. Download SAS-RAID_Firmware_V43G1_WN64_25.2.2-0004_A03.EXE and deploy it through iDrac is the easiest.

Afterward you need the matching async driver.. get the VIB from Vmware


VMware Compatibility Guide: I/O Device Search


deploy  this VIB megaraid-perc9 version 6.901.57.00-1OEM. VMware and dell have instructions



Once you are in iDRAC confirm your SSD drives. Hopefully you have intels and not lite-on drives. If not you will have to do the nautilus update

Dell Nautilus Firmware Update Utility for SAS and SATA Disk and Solid State Drive - *PLEASE SEE RELE...

The firmware shipped will cause extremely slow heavy I/O randomly. Look at the release notes and see if you SSD drives are affected.

I went through this nightmare on 9 servers. Its necessary for stability. Hopefully you only need to update the firmware and controller driver.

Good luck

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burvil
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Enthusiast

Thanks for your detailed response.  I'll try it.  That said, I have one question, based on conversations I've had with both my Dell Prosupport Engineer as well as my VMware VSAN Sales engineer.


Can you give any sort of details as to the problems with 25.2.1.0037?

I spent a fair amount of time with Dell and VMware, and they both told me that VMware is very strict about testing hardware, documenting it in the HCL and adhering to it.  I am trying to avoid VMware support not helping me if they find my configuration doesn't match their HCL exactly.  I'm definitely not saying there weren't problems with this version; I'm just trying to avoid having support telling me to upgrade because it doesn't match standards, while at the same time not addressing the core problem I have.  While I don't have a problem now, I'm trying to prevent a support issue in the future.

We have Intel SSD drives, so we are fine.

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elerium
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

The Dell ESXI 6 customized install doesn't appear to add any addition LSI drivers (see page 6 customization details), so you are likely using the Inbox lsi_mr3 driver that also ships with ESXi 6.0.

http://topics-cdn.dell.com/pdf/vmware-esxi-6.x_Reference%20Guide6_en-us.pdf

I do know there is a bug with VSAN Health where using the Inbox driver gives the warning that your driver is different from HCL and I believe that's probably what you are seeing,I linked the forum discussion here:Re: vSAN Health Plugin HCL Check

If you use firmware 25.2.2.0004, you may want to consider following the non-VSAN VCG  and install the corresponding driver VMware Compatibility Guide: I/O Device Search‌. If you end up using the megaraid_perc9 driver instead of lsi_mr3, you'll also need to run "esxcli system module set --enabled=false --module=lsi_mr3" to force ESXi to ignore lsi_mr3 driver.

If you have no issues with 25.2.1.0037, I'd just stick with it and be happy.

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zdickinson
Expert
Expert

Not sure if this is relevant, but the Dell OEM ESXi image was mentioned.  With vSAN it is recommended to avoid OEM images and use the stock image from VMware.  Thank you, Zach.

VSAN and OEM ESXi ISO images | CormacHogan.com

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burvil
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Thanks.  I got a similar response from my Dell support engineer.  While he didn't say there was anything wrong per se with the Dell ISOs, he did say a lot of what Hogan writes about, and that in the end, the H730 controller firmware is still from Dell; VMware just certifies it.  So, Dell would still support us, and even if the Dell support rep (if we were to call in with an issue) were to say "You should upgrade to the latest driver to solve your problem", it wouldn't be the first time that's happened to us.  Moreover, in this case, we have a specific reason we couldn't upgrade to the latest.

My Dell guy did say it's an ongoing issue, and they're working on it.  From the end of Hogan's article, it also looks like they're at least trying Smiley Happy

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jrp1
Contributor
Contributor

Not using the H730 for VSAN but just wanted to say thank you for posting this.  I couldn't compose more than 4 VMs at a time using View Composer without all guest VMs locking up (R730 with 8 Samsung 850 EVOs in RAID 10 on a H730P).  I swapped the lsi_mr3 driver with the megaraid_perc9 one and I see disk pushing to over 1 GBps with under 10 ms latency.  I'm never seen such a dramatic effect from a single driver!  What a relief!

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JohnNicholson
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Enthusiast

To be clear, Those drives are not on the HCL, and besides terribly bad consistent IO and low endurance they also lack capacitors to protect the DRAM write buffer.  On hard power loss be prepared for silent data corruption.

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7POD
Contributor
Contributor

Hi we are running VSAN with this card and we use Dell driver located in this site ESXi 5.5 and vSphere 6.0 stability or performance issues when using PERC 9 | Dell US

install this driver if you want to use Pass-Through for the disk.

VMware vSphere 5: Private Cloud Computing, Server and Data Center Virtualization

We had a discussion with VMware and Dell engineer regarding the H730 and H730 mini card and we ware the first company in Sweden that orded this cards and R730 servers from Dell. so we have tried everything that you could try with this card.

hope it helps

/Cheers

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elerium
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

This newer KB article published by VMWare suggests the driver/firmware combo below in addition to updating backplane firmware:

ESXi 5.5:

Driver: megaraid_perc9 version 6.902.73.00-1OEM
Controller firmware: 25.3.0.0016

ESXi 6.0:

Driver: lsi-mr3 version 6.606.12.00-1OEM
Controller firmware: 25.3.0.0016

VMware KB: Using a Dell Perc H730 controller in an ESXi 5.5 or ESXi 6.0 host displays IO failures or...

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JohnNicholson
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Enthusiast

In addition to this, if you have Intel flash drives (Dell re branded count here) they have pushed out a new SSD firmware.  They had an issue with bad error codes it looks like from the Dell patch notes, and this could cause the H730 to drop the flash drive. 

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