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I got a Dell PowerEdge 9500 which is running VMware ESXi 4.1. The server has a PERC 6i controller in it, and there are two RAID-5 volumes running. All the RAID config was done via the PERC 6i BIOS. Problem is, though, I've got no way of knowing what state the RAID volumes are in. (fwiw, this is a test/dev box, so no, I'm not using this for critical production)

Is there a client utility (win/linux) either opensource or Dell, that will let me see the state of those RAID volumes? I'd be running this in one of the client VMs on the server.

I tried googling "perc 6i utility", and scrounged around on support.dell.com with little success.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Monitor the VMware host via SNMP (or CIM or other systems management) using the Dell MIB instead. Now, you could certainly run your systems management software inside a VM.

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SNMP is the way to go. However, I felt it important to add some additional info. Just today, I noticed in the vSphere Client, if I pick the host (not a vm) in the left col, and pick the "Configuration" tab, in the mid-upper-left is a "Hardware" menu containing a "Health Status" link. I believe it's what comes up by default. Anyhow, if I click that "Health Status" link, it shows the status of the host, including an expandable "Storage" entry which shows status of all the drives and volumes on the PERC 6/i controller. Which is Just Plain Awesome.

So, while it isn't sending me email notifications the way an SNMP monitoring util would, or even Nagios would, it's sufficient to let me do a spot check on RAID health without having to reboot the box and get into the RAID BIOS.

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Keep in mind that your VMs are virtualized within an environment that abstracts storage in a way where to VMs inside of this environment anything outside of it is simply unknown (i.e. does not exist), all state information is maintained by the vmware host, and all guests are only aware of the abstracted virtual hardware, unless you have actually done a PCI passthrough to present actual physical components to a particular VM. Of course, you will not be able to do that.

As such, I will echo the comment about monitoring via SNMP. I believe Dell had some plugins for vmware to allow additional healthcheck gathering. You will not be able to do any direct monitoring of the hardware from the guest unfortunately.

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