I got a question about the compatibility of SATA RAID Cards. I had a Adaptec 1210SA 2Port RAID Controller. But i only saw the separate disks (JBOD) and not my RAID1 Array. I think thats because of the HostRAID. That seems to me like a software RAID. So as the inofficial Whitebox HCL says the 1210SA should be compatible, but i cant see if its ment only as SATA Controller (JBOD) or in RAID 0 or 1 mode too.
So can someone confirm if one of the following controllers works with ESXi 3.5 in RAID1 or RAID5 Mode.
Adaptec 2420SA (my preferred)
Or are there other controllers that would be better and work correctly with ESXi?
Thank you very much in advance.
I too would love to hear a comment on this. Anyone?
Most basic RAID controllers some support for at least RAID 0 and RAID 1, some may offer RAID 0+1, but I doubt if non-enterprise RAIDs support RAID 5, that's pretty high end. I know there are some, but if you read the specs on these cards, what does the manual say what RAID levels they support? It should be on the website for the manual under the adapter in question.
Also the RAID is hardware, not software, so ESX would have NO idea what RAID level it's running on, it just sees some amount of storage to run on, and that's it. I would always do RAID 5 if you can, that's the best use of storage and performance. Battery Backed RAID cards are the best, btw...
So what does the manual show for these models?
According to the manual it says it's supported to run RAID1. What I'm wondering is if ESXi will find the RAID array and, when installed, display the correct health information?
At this point it would seem that drivers with ESX(i) do not support soft-RAID functions on any of the controllers that require.
I can confirm that both 2410SA and 2610SA work under ESXi 3.5. I've also successfully tested LSI MegaRaid 4-150.
So the 2410SA works in ESXi. Does it work in RAID mode or does ESXi see it as JBOD?
Yes, it works in full RAID mode. I'm running it in RAID-5
Only problem is it's not monitorable from ESXi. You need to use BIOS to manage the RAID array.
Hi, does this mean that you can configure the SATA disks attached to the 2410SA and 2610SA controllers as vmfs? Can you install the vmware files for the guest OS (and not only the ESX OS/ESXi) on the disk(s) attached to these controllers?
I'm trying to install ESX 3.5 and/or ESXi on a system with one SATA disk as a test system. Would the 2410SA/2610SA be an option?
You'll need at least 2 disk to setup RAID-1 or RAID-0. Not sure if the 2610SA supports JBOD, never used it that way.
This is the answer I got from VMWare (ESX support):
Adaptec 2410SA and 2420SA controllers are pure SATA controllers and do not support SAS devices. The crucial point is the driver for the cards that determines whether a controller is supported or not. For SAS controllers, a mix of SAS and SATA drives is allowed (this is defined in the SAS standard) and since most SAS drivers are shipped with ESX, one can choose a SAS controller out of a wide variety of vendors and models and connect SATA drives to it and it will be detected by ESX.
When you however ask me if a VMFS partition can be created on a SATA drive, I have to disappoint you. The SATA commandset has no SCSI reservation implemented and that is just what ESX wants to put on a disk when creating a VMFS partition. Although the controller supports SAS, it simply doesn't report a "SCSI reserve" back to ESX when communicating with a SATA drive and the creation of the partition will fail.
Note: "SCSI reserve/release" (a.k.a. SCSI reservations) is the mechanism ESX relies on when hosts are clustered. There can only be one ESX host the "owns" a particular LUN (or disk). It is the same mechanism that is used in Microsoft Cluster Service.
Do not get confused by e.g. certain HP MSA types that accept SATA drives and can be used as a entry level SAN. These modules "hide" the Back-end diskcontroller bus from the Front-end side that is connected to the fibrechannel adapters. At this front-end side, the full SCSI commandset is implemented.
Consult this document: http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vi35_io_guide.pdf
Here you will find all supported storage and network controllers. Again, take notice of the driver that is needed for a particular card. This determines whether the drives will be detected by ESX or not. But be warned that SATA drives that are 1:1 presented to ESX do not support VMFS partitions.
Again, I would strongly recommend to adhere to the list of supported hardware.
So I guess I have to forget to have the vmware guest files (virtual machines) installed on a SATA disk, even when connected to a SAS controller that is recognized by ESX.
If you look further up in this thread, the 2410 is confirmed as working in RAID mode. For the 2420SA, see the below thead. Also SATA drives are supported in the official HCL when connected to specific dual mode SAS / SATA controllers.
Adaptec 2420SA http://communities.vmware.com/message/1025663
Thank you very much for your answer.
Is it possible then to have a vmfs data store on the SATA disks connected to the Adaptec 2410 controller (RAID mode) where the vmware files (guests) can be installed?
Numerous people have reported this card as working (and able to create vmfs). Is it supported - no? Will it work Ok - yes, but if you need performance then stick with a supported RAID card that has a battery backed write cache.
I can confirm that a AAR-2410 works on ESX 3.5 (not i).
Be warned, this card has a max raid size of 2TB. Don't go and buy 4 x 1TB disks as you will end up with only being able to create 2 x RAID1 sets or 1 x RAID10.
Agree with that, especially since the Dell Perc 5i can be had new for peanuts on eBay with 512MB BBWC.
Please award points to any useful answer.