btg4UK
Contributor
Contributor

ESXi 5.0 does not recognize 4TB storage array

Hello all!

This is my setup:

HP ProLiant ML350 G5

  • 2x XEON E5345 quadcore
  • 12GB RAM
  • integrated Smart Array E200i connected to single 250GB SATA disk
  • Smart Array P400/512MB connected to two 2TB SATA disks in RAID0 (4TB logical array) (please no comments about RAID0, it's for testing only!)
  • LSI 3041X-R PCI-X SAS Controller (nothing connected at the moment)
  • vSphere 5.0 starting from USB flash drive)

The server is on the HCL for vSphere 5.

My problem:

In vSphere Client, the 250GB hard disk connected to the E200I controller is recognized correctly, and I can create a VMFS5 datastore without any problems. However, the 4TB array only shows up as a 512byte device, and I can't create a datastore on it.

I also deleted the 4TB RAID0 array and created two 2TB JBOD arrays (one per disk). Now the first one shows up as 1.82TB disk, but the second one as 0.00byte.

Just to add, that the setup worked fine with MS Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 which had no problems recognizing the 4TB RAID0 array out of the box.

So why is that? I thought that vSphere 5 was supposed to be finally able to handle LUNs >2TB, so shouldn't I be able to see the full capacity of both disks in vSphere Client andto create a datastore on it? And what can I do to rectify the situation?

BTW: does anyone know when the HP and Dell editions of vSphere 5 will be available for download?

Thanks,

Ben

78 Replies
mervincm1
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I am seeing something very similar

ASUS P7-FE server class systemboard

Xeon 3440 Quadcore

12GB ECC RAM

Lexar 4GB USB to boot Vsphere ESXi 5.0.0

Smart Array P400/512MB w 4x1TB Seagate barracuda 7200.10 RAID 10 (1.8TB)

Smart Array P400/512MB w 4x2TB Seagate barracuda green RAID 10 (3.6TB)

Setup disk volumes within the P400 firmware on boot, drives seen and arrays created without issue.

From inside Vsphere client, I see the 1.8TB volume and datastore correctly (created under 4.x) but the 4TB (3.6) array only shows up as a 512byte device, and I can't create a datastore on it.

Thanks!

Aimberê
Contributor
Contributor

Hi, this is a limitation of SCSI. You can create a partition bigger than 2 TB.

If think you can create 2 partitions/datastores with 2TB each and concatenate both, but I suggest to keep them separate.

Thanks,

Aimberê Moura

Em 12 de setembro de 2011 17:35, mervincm1 <communities-emailer@vmware.com<mailto:communities-emailer@vmware.com>> escreveu:

VMware Communities<http://communities.vmware.com/index.jspa>

ESXi 5.0 does not recognize 4TB storage array

reply from mervincm1<http://communities.vmware.com/people/mervincm1> in ESXi - View the full discussion<http://communities.vmware.com/message/1825770#1825770

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mervincm1
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

If this was a SCSI limitation, then how can it work under HyperV?

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Aimberê
Contributor
Contributor

With the same hardware setup you can create 4TB datastores on Hyper-V?

Aimberê Moura

+55 21 9804-9882

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mervincm1
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I added another HDD and installed Windows.  It was able to see and format the 3.6TB just fine.  I had to delete the logical 3.6 TB drive, and recreate them under 2TB ea before they would show up in ESXi.  It is as if you can't have more than 2TB drive locally.  The P400 supports over 2TB in windows, just not in ESXi 5

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btg4UK
Contributor
Contributor

Aimberê wrote:

Hi, this is a limitation of SCSI. You can create a partition bigger than 2 TB.

If think you can create 2 partitions/datastores with 2TB each and concatenate both, but I suggest to keep them separate.

I'm sorry but that is wrong. It has nothing to do with some ancient SCSI limitations (which have long been overcome btw). The HP Smart Array P400, as any modern SAS controller, can of course handle array sizes over 2TB, and other operating systems like Windows Server and Linux can of coruse handle multi GByte partitions easily. The server I mentioned in my original post has been running Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 before, with an single 10TB data partition (5x2TB RAID5), and before I installed ESXi 5.0 I tried XenServer 5.6 which also had no problems handling large arrays over 2TB.

This is nothing special for modern hardware and modern operating systems.

Until now, ESXI only recognized LUNs <2TB (IIRC 2TB - 512byte) because of a limitation in VMFS3. One of the great new features of ESXi 5.0 however is that with VMFS5 LUNs >2TB are finally supported, a support that other operating systems and hypervisors have for many years now. That means ESXi 5.0 should be able to handle a 4TB array easily.Unfortunately, with the Smart Array P400 controller this doesn't work.

In the meantime I tried ESXi 5.0 on a Dell server with a PERC 6/i RAID controller and two 2TB disks, and there ESXi recognizes the 4TB array without problems. Therefore my guess is that the problem we see with the Smart Array controller P400 is a bug in the Smart Array driver within ESXi 5.0., and probably will show up on other Smart Array controllers.

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BYoungTech
Contributor
Contributor

Just wanted to confirm that I'm experiencing the same problem with a E200i in a HP ML350 G5

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Exiled78
Contributor
Contributor

Me too. ML350 G5 E200i . Tried 4 x 2Tb in RAID 1+0 , showed as 512b in ESXi 5. I had to split the array into two for it to work.

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Zhuominchen
Contributor
Contributor

ESXi 5.0 does recognize > 2 TB disks, provided those disks are seen by BIOS.

I upgrade my Dell Optiplex 380 BIOS, which can see 3 TB disks, ESXI 5.0 started to work like

charm. 

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btg4UK
Contributor
Contributor

The problem is not that ESXi 5.0 can't see any >2TB disk space, the problem is that ESXi 5.0 can't see >2TB disk space when using a HP Smart Array RAID controller (which is on the HCL). That disk space >2TB can be seen in other configurations has already been established. And this problem is not a BIOS issue, it's an issue with ESXI's driver for the HP Smart Array Controllers.

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Zhuominchen
Contributor
Contributor

If HP Smart Array Controllers are hardware raid controllers, you may want to upgrade controller's firmware.

In my case, I had to upgrade adaptec raid controller to get them work with >2 TB disks.  

ESXI wont work with fake-raild controllers in most cases. 

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btg4UK
Contributor
Contributor

I know you try to help and I don't want to be rude but I don't think you really understand what the problem is. This is not a BIOS issue, it is a bug in ESXI's driver for HP Smart Array storage controllers which are on the HCL for ESXi 5.0. If you read the thread then you should notice that this problem is limited to ESXI 5.0 and those controllers, and also that the same controllers handle >2TB arrays perfectly fine under anything else than ESXi.

In the meantime since I posted the initial message I went back to MS Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 which does everything that I need from a hypervisor. Quite frankly, it was already poor that VMWare took that long to come up with support for LUNs >2TB, I think it's embarassing when it doesn't work with some of the most widespread RAID controllers, especially when they are on the HCL.

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Zhuominchen
Contributor
Contributor

I can not be offended anyway.  There was another issue

ESXI 4.1 (prior)  can NOT use any disk > 2 TB (2 TB per lun).  I had to make many virtual disks from Array  at 1.99 TB and

using   Partition Exntension (aka Volume management)  to make total 20 TB in single data store.

ESXI 5.0 does not have 2 TB per lun limit.  

Again, just try to help out.

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btg4UK
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks, but we all are well aware that ESXi 4.0 has a 2TB LUN limit (2TB - 512bytes to be precise) which ESXI 5.0 does not have. Again that is not what this thread is about.

I'm sorry but it's really not helpful when you just throw unrelated bits like that your BIOS update on your Dell PC helped to see a 2TB disk or that ESXi 4 has a 2TB LUN limit. Good for you the BIOS update solved your isse but this has nothing to to with this thread. And if you don't know what a ProLiant server is or a Smart Array controller then frankly you probably shouldn't reply to this thread.

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rickardnobel
Champion
Champion

Moved discussion from the ESXi 4.x forum to ESXi 5.

/ Rickard

My VMware blog: www.rickardnobel.se
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gregsn
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I have the same problem with an HP ML350 G5 with a SmartArray E200i controller with ESXi 5.  With 4x1.0TB in RAID-5, the array does not show up in ESXi at all.  If I change the array to 3x1.0TB in RAID-5, it shows up just fine.  This seems to be a driver bug in ESXi 5.

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Josh26
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

btg4UK wrote:

And if you don't know what a ProLiant server is or a Smart Array controller then frankly you probably shouldn't reply to this thread.

As someone with a large ESXi on Proliant install base I support, the number one thing I know about such servers is that when something doesn't work, the number one go to solution is firmware updates.

Just because you don't have a Dell doesn't mean you can't have the same problem.

I would recommend checking your BIOS, two RAID cards and HDD's are all at their most recent firmware.

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Zhuominchen
Contributor
Contributor

Wide guess
Your  Raid Controller firmware upgrade URL is below
Version: 1.86  (9 Apr 2010)
    Fixes

Upgrade Requirement:
Critical - HP requires users update to this version immediately.


Problems Fixed:

  • Fixed an issue where logical drives were not being detected during POST or reboot on the HP Smart Array E200i controller with firmware version 1.80, 1.82 or 1.84.
http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/SoftwareDescription.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&prodTypeId=0&...
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btg4UK
Contributor
Contributor

As someone with a large ESXi on Proliant install base I support, the number one thing I know about such servers is that when something doesn't work, the number one go to solution is firmware updates.

Just because you don't have a Dell doesn't mean you can't have the same problem.

I would recommend checking your BIOS, two RAID cards and HDD's are all at their most recent firmware.

Yes, checking firmware and server BIOS (even if it has absolutely nothing to do with the detection of hard drives connected to the controller) can't hurt if the problem could be caused by a firmware issue.

However, if you had at least read the whole thread then you would have noticed that the problem is NOT that disks are not recognized in the controller. The problem is that ESXI 5.0 (and ESXI 5.0 alone!) can't detect logical disks on HP Smart Array controllers greater 2TB correctly. As it has been mentioned several times, the same setup works perfectly fine under Windows and Linux but not ESXi 5.0. Had it been a controller firmware issue (the ProLiant BIOS does zilch for the detection of disk storage btw) then the problem would be apparent with all operating systems. The fact that it isn't and only shows with ESXi 5.0 clearly points to a problem within ESXI's Smart Array driver.

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