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batsona
Maryland

join:2004-04-17
Ellicott City, MD
Reviews:
·Vonage
·Verizon FiOS

ESXi 5.1 will not see new RAID0...

Greetings;

I have a new Gigabyte motherboard, and I've got ESXi 5.1 set up just fine. ESXi will see anything that I plug into the SATA ports just fine & let me build a DataStore on it. Except when I turned on RAID...

I bought two identical 1TB drives and put them together in a RAID0 configuration. No errors on the RAID controller -- have not done anything illegal as far as the config goes. When I boot ESXi, and go to add a new DataStore, I see two individual 1TB drives, and not one single ~1.9TB object with which to create a datastore.

Does it seem like I've done something wrong on the RAID setup, or is ESXi missing a RAID driver? The RAID BIOS says something like, "Intel RapidResponse RAID".

dougis

join:2000-05-02
Everett, WA
Sounds like a non supported raid controller.
Did you check the ESXi supported hardware list to make sure the driver is there?

Just realized that you are using the "raid" on the motherboard which is NOT a true hardware raid so ESXi probably doesn't have the drivers.

On the off chance esxi can actually see it did you change the disk type in the bios to raid?

JoelC707
Premium
join:2002-07-09
Lanett, AL
kudos:5
reply to batsona
As a general rule, ESXi does NOT support BIOS/chipset type RAID like you are trying to use. You might be able to add support for it but I wouldn't rely on it. On a related question, why RAID 0?


jay608
Going Nucking Futs

join:2007-01-22
Chicago, IL
reply to batsona
Vmware is very specific on what is supported and what is not. The other are correct that the Onboard Raid controller is not supported. You can probably get a cheap supported raid card, but you get what you pay for.

»www.vmware.com/resources/compati ··· arch.php

batsona
Maryland

join:2004-04-17
Ellicott City, MD
Reviews:
·Vonage
·Verizon FiOS
reply to dougis
OP here: Crud... OK, looks like it's time for an Adaptec card I guess? Q: Are all the drivers that 'ship' with ESXi already on the boot disk, so that when I add the card, it will be recognized by ESXi? (It's not like Windows / Linux, where you may need to install a driver to talk to the new hardware?)


DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
Premium
join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3
I've not added hardware after the initial install but the install disk should have all of the drivers.

BTW if you wanted to, and have the linux abilities, I've heard its possible to add drivers to get a non-supported controller to work, but IMO not worth it.

but if the adaptec card is supported then you shouldn't have to add drivers (though I'm unsure if the installer puts all the extra drivers on the system or not)
--
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batsona
Maryland

join:2004-04-17
Ellicott City, MD
Reviews:
·Vonage
·Verizon FiOS
OP here: I've just been thru the Adaptec site. 10,000 products - Can someone recommend a SATA-II 6gb/sec RAID controller with 2 or 4 internal SATA ports? (and that doesn't cost more than $150)? An added plus is that it would be on the ESX compatibility list

Oh -- If it still won't see this Adaptec card, then I guess I can re-run the ESXi 5.1 install (using existing config) and it will install the driver...?


DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
Premium
join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3
If it doesn't PnP add the controller then ya rerun the install

though I would guess it should pnp it.

AsherN
Premium
join:2010-08-23
Thornhill, ON
reply to batsona
For a home/lab setup, unless you have an unspecified need for a single LUN, why not just create 2 datastores?

JoelC707
Premium
join:2002-07-09
Lanett, AL
kudos:5
reply to batsona
In my experience, ESXi finds and configured new hardware added AFTER the install just fine. Since you probably don't have anything on it yet you could easily reinstall if things don't work out that way for some reason.

Before anyone can recommend a card to you we need to know what slots you have available. IIRC you used a Gigabyte Z77 board? If so you should have a PCIe x16 and x4 available most likely (assuming you're using the CPU video).

I'd recommend a Dell PERC 6 card as they are plentiful and cheap on ebay and exceed your port requirements (though you do need special cables for it). The only downside is it conflicts with Intel SMBus and I know for a fact it won't boot in my Gigabyte Z77 board. There is a pin mod you can do to it but I just went with an AMD board instead of messing with my card.

Also, do you actually want SATA II or SATA III? You mention SATA II but then state 6 Gbps which is SATA III. Just wanting to clarify.

batsona
Maryland

join:2004-04-17
Ellicott City, MD
Reviews:
·Vonage
·Verizon FiOS
OP here: I have all the slots free except for one of the 1X slots, that I"m using for my e1000 NIC. I was using RAID0 just to get more storage out of my two 1TB drives. Sorry about mis-labeling the SATA-II versus SATA-III. I definitly have the newer 6GB drives. I'd like a RAID card that works perfectly w/o lots of mods. Thanks!

AsherN
Premium
join:2010-08-23
Thornhill, ON
RAID0 won't get you more storage, just the same amount of storage in single LUN.

batsona
Maryland

join:2004-04-17
Ellicott City, MD
That's what I thought too. There are two 1TB drives, and the RAID container reported that it was 1.8TB in size. Weird. Anyway, I'll be tearing that down & going with Adaptec as soon as I get a good recommendation... Thanks!

JoelC707
Premium
join:2002-07-09
Lanett, AL
kudos:5
reply to batsona
OK here's what I'm running into. Scanning Newegg for a SATA III compatible card, I'm not seeing one in your price range that is going to be on the compatibility list (I haven't actually checked, but the ones I see are HighPoint cards or worse). The ones that would be on there are Adaptec or LSI. There's a cheap SuperMicro but it appears to be intended for their servers and would require slight bracket modifications for use in other systems.

I agree with the others, RAID 0 will just combine the two drives into one LUN basically (it MAY give you some performance boost but I wouldn't count on it). If you need a larger VMDK than one drive can handle then look at extents. I know it's not recommended but it would do the same basic thing. Otherwise I'd keep them as two separate drives and not worry about the RAID card at all.


exocet_cm
Free at last, free at last
Premium
join:2003-03-23
New Orleans, LA
kudos:3
reply to batsona
Have a look here: »communities.vmware.com/cshwsw.js ··· wsw.jspa and here: »communities.vmware.com/community ··· ices/crc
Granted it is for ESXi 4, it might work for 5 or you could spend some time poking around the forum and find a community HCL for ESXi 5.x.
--
"All newspaper editorial writers ever do is come down from the hills after the battle is over and shoot the wounded." - Bruce Anderson
"I have often regretted my speech, never my silence." - Xenocrates
Check out my blog: »www.johndball.com

batsona
Maryland

join:2004-04-17
Ellicott City, MD
Reviews:
·Vonage
·Verizon FiOS
reply to batsona
OP here: Lemme get this math straight: RAID1 = 1TB drive + 1TB drive = 1TB storage (give-or-take...) RAID0 = 1TB drive + 1TB drive = 1TB storage (data muxed across both drives, with no parity - no nothing Or, does it just add the drives up, so I would get 2TB storage on RAID0?

I thought there was supposed to be a good performance gain on RAID0 because your 'data stream' coming onto the SATA bus was being assembled from 2 or more drives, versus 1...?

I saw a nice RAID card on Adaptec's site, but I'll have to check the compatibiliy list. --That tool on vmWare's website is completely non-intuitive. You should just be able to type in a model number of anything and have it do a lookup, versus having to match up the vendor, type of technology, as well as the model number...


Karride
Slower Traffic Keep Right
Premium
join:2000-04-17
Germantown, TN
Quick RAID Primer.

RAID0: Data is striped across both drives, with no redundancy. Space is the sum of however many drives are in the array, but if you lose a disk, bye-bye data.

RAID1: Reads/Writes are mirrored from one drive to the other. Space is halved, but you gain redundancy.

RAID5: Requires at least 3 drives. Data is striped across the disks, and a "parity" stripe is calculated and also striped. You lose 33% of your total drive space in the array, but again, gain redundancy.

JoelC707
Premium
join:2002-07-09
Lanett, AL
kudos:5
reply to batsona
To add on to Karride's primer:

RAID 0 - 1TB + 1TB = 2TB (which is what you're trying to do)
RAID 1 - 1TB + 1TB = 1 TB
RAID 5 - 1TB + 1TB + 1TB = 2TB (need a minimum of three drives to do RAID 5)

RAID 0 does provide some speed increases beyond a single disk but so can RAID 1. In theory, with RAID 1 you have two drives that can provide the data on reads so it can be potentially twice as fast as a single disk (on reads only).

Do you you want/need the capacity of the two 1TB drives in RAID 0 or are you just doing it for the speed increase? Do you care AT ALL about the data you plan to store on this array? These are important questions you need to answer before picking a RAID card or not.

As for the HCL, yeah it can be a bit overwhelming at first. Honestly all you need to really change is the primary search selection. It defaults to "Systems/Servers". You're looking for a RAID card so change it to "IO Device" (as opposed to "Storage/SAN" which are for things like Netapp appliances).

Once on IO Devices, you can enter your model number at the bottom keyword field and hit "Update and View Results" and you should get what you're looking for. For example I entered "perc" in the field and got all the Dell PERC cards that are supported on every version of ESX (interestingly, the old PERC 3 and 4 are still supported on 5.1 and I thought they removed support for parallel SCSI).

It is going to be a bit annoying with trying to find things though. Trying to search for specific models is less intuitive. I searched for "perc 5" and get ALL results, I search for "perc 5/i" and get the basic "perc" results again. I switch over to Adaptec and search for "2610sa" (an old 6 port SATA RAID card I have) and get no results yet IIRC it was on the HCL, at least for one of the older releases.


DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
Premium
join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3
My rule of thumb is never ever ever do raid 0

if you're doing raid 0 you're doing it wrong.

JoelC707
Premium
join:2002-07-09
Lanett, AL
kudos:5
As a general rule of thumb that's very true and one I tend to follow as well. That said, if you have redundancy at the server level and everything is replicated in real time between the nodes (or you are using shared storage), RAID 0 or any RAID level is largely irrelevant. Under that specific scenario, If I needed the capacity at the server level I might consider RAID 0, or more likely a JBOD group so that I might have a chance of recovering something from individual drives if the need arises.


DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
Premium
join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3
I'd push for raid 5 as minimum, raid 10 if its a large group of disks

But then again I like to build in extra redundancy so if the server level redundancy fails and a drive in the array thats still connected also fails I don't lose anything
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»www.change.org/petitions/create- ··· imcity-4

batsona
Maryland

join:2004-04-17
Ellicott City, MD
Reviews:
·Vonage
·Verizon FiOS
reply to batsona
OP here: This ESXi server I built for a learning experience, and essentially 'for my own amazement'.. I know that losing a disk on RAID0 means bye-bye data -- The server will house one W7, one XP, one CentOS5, all development platforms so to speak, so they're not important. I'll back them up by just shutting them down and copying the VMDK, VMX etc etc files to an external drive. I was indeed going for a performance increase with RAID0, since redundancy at the disk level wasn't needed, given that my ESXi deployment is not holding anything super-critical. Another small reason for collapsing down to two drives, is so I can keep my case more clear... I've got two physical drives now, and with the 2 I just bought, thats 4 drives in my case.

Thanks all.... I'll look to see what the cheapest 2-port SATA-III (6gb) RAID card costs, & see if I can adjust my budget.

AsherN
Premium
join:2010-08-23
Thornhill, ON
You are not likely to see a significant, measurable increase in speed with that setup.


exocet_cm
Free at last, free at last
Premium
join:2003-03-23
New Orleans, LA
kudos:3
reply to batsona
...and if you do RAID 5 you need hard drives that support RAID 5 TLER. I have a test RAID 5 running with 4 drives not designed for RAID 5 and they keep falling out of sync.

AsherN
Premium
join:2010-08-23
Thornhill, ON
Any kind of consumer grade, green drives will fail a RAID controller. The controller will interpret the drive spinning down to save power as a failure.


DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
Premium
join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3
Ya just say no to consumer grade drives for anything ever always.

batsona
Maryland

join:2004-04-17
Ellicott City, MD
Reviews:
·Vonage
·Verizon FiOS
Hmm.. Welp, the drives I got, where the green drives actually... They were cheaper, and I'm trying to not spend a fortunce on this home rig. --The spin-down command comes from the SATA bus, doesn't it? (comes from the power settings that are part of whatever OS the drive is attachd to, right)?

Anyway, I've decided to do two 1TB datastores, and leave the RAID, since it will cost me $300+ for a proper RAID controller.

AsherN
Premium
join:2010-08-23
Thornhill, ON
No, green drives spin down by themselves.

JoelC707
Premium
join:2002-07-09
Lanett, AL
kudos:5
reply to batsona
What brand drives are they? If they're WD drives, there's a utility that can disable that spindown command.


exocet_cm
Free at last, free at last
Premium
join:2003-03-23
New Orleans, LA
kudos:3
said by JoelC707:

What brand drives are they? If they're WD drives, there's a utility that can disable that spindown command.

...only on drives made before 2012 or something like that.

TLER
»www.google.com/search?q=WD+TLER
--
"All newspaper editorial writers ever do is come down from the hills after the battle is over and shoot the wounded." - Bruce Anderson
"I have often regretted my speech, never my silence." - Xenocrates
Check out my blog: »www.johndball.com