For the upgrade to VSphere 5 of our existing HP Prolient servers we wanted to use newer Supermicro Units but stay with the Hp Smart Array P410i controllers and disks we had before. For this task we could only use the standard VSphere 5 installation ISO and not the HP version of it. As a result there was not health status from the P410i controller any more which is not acceptable for a production server.
Because the Smart Array controllers were also sold separatly we could not imagine that there might be a problem to install CIM providers for this controller, but this was wrong. The CIM providres are only available as part of the "HP ESXi Offline Bundle for VMware ESXi 5.0" which contains also other HP specific drivers (eg. Ilo drivers) which may be problematic on non HP hardware (PSOD). Because of this HP blocks the installation with the hint "BIOS vendor HP ist required but host BIOS vendor is....".
In the ESXi 4.x Version this was not that problem because you only have to edit the vmware.xml file inside the metadata.zip archiv (delete the unused vib sections and the hwPlatform lines) but with ESXi 5 we have a new format for the offline bundles and VIB files. The VIB files are now complete installers based on Debian .deb packages only renamed to .vib. Because of this we can extract the hp offilne bundle zip archiv and move the hp-smx-provider-500.02.10.13.44-434156.vib out of it. This is the Smart Array provider and the only file we need.
This file can be extracted with 7Zip, which recognizes it as a Debian Archiv (deb). Inside this archiv is a descriptor.xml file which has to be modified to avoid the "BIOS vendor..." error. The following lines have to be deleted:
<hwplatform vendor="Hewlett-Packard Company"/>
After that we have to pack the .vib file again. This can be done on a Linux or Mac OX (with Toolbox) System. Copy the 3 files from the .vib archiv to a folder inside the Linux disk (eg. tmp) for example with a tool like WinSCP. On the Linux console (Putty) walk to the folder with the 3 files and type in the folling command:
ar -r smx.deb descriptor.xml sig.pkcs7 hp-smx-provider
it is very important to use this exact order of the files ! Copy back and rename the smx.deb file to hp-smx-provider-500.02.10.13.44-434156.vib. Afterwards copy the file to the ESXi Server and install it with esxcli from the SSH console:
esxcli software vib install -f -v /vmfs/volumes/4ee96bcd-e80a45de-88f0-00259061b367/smx/hp-smx-provider-500.02.10.13.44-434156.vib
Reboot and you are done !