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We have recently bought a "white box" server to run VMware ESXi 5.0 (we're planning to use the vSphere 5 Essentials Kit). According to VMware's Compatibility Guide, the server's LSI Logic MegaRAID SAS 9260-4i RAID controller is compatible (support type listed as "inbox").

I've got as far as installing ESXi 5.0 on the host, and I've also installed the vCenter Server Appliance. I connected to the vCenter Server using vSphere Client, and I can see a list of pre-defined alarms, including one which should trigger whenever "host storage status" changes, which sounds like what I need.

I've just tried pulling one of the drives from the RAID array (resulting in the expected beeping from the RAID controller) but absolutely nothing appears to have happened in vCenter. The "host storage status" alarm doesn't seem to be triggered.

What I really need to do is to configure vCenter to send an email if the RAID array is degraded, to make sure we'll know and can replace the dead drive. If the alarm isn't even going to trigger, that doesn't seem promising.

Am I missing something here? I'm by no means an expert on VMware or server hardware, so I'm not even sure who to ask about this.

Thanks in advance!

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What is the original vendor of that while-box? Has it iLo or DRAC? The Monitoring has to be done there or with IPMI means on the operating system level of the host. –  Nils Jan 17 '12 at 21:29

2 Answers 2

up vote 12 down vote accepted

Thanks to Eric C. Singer for pointing me in the right direction - I've resolved this now, with much Googling. Here's what I had to do:

  1. Download MegaRAID SAS VMware SMIS Provider VIB from the Support & Downloads tab on this page.
  2. Enable SSH on my ESXi host. This involved the following steps:
    • Go to the Configuration tab for the host in vSphere Client
    • Select "Security Profile" under Software
    • Click the "Properties..." hyperlink next to Services
    • Click on "SSH" in the list, then "Options...", then "Start"
  3. Use scp to copy the VIB file to /tmp on the host: scp vmware-esx-provider-LSIProvider.vib root@esxhostname:/tmp
  4. Log into the host via SSH: ssh root@esxhostname
  5. Install the VIB file: esxcli software vib install -v /tmp/vmware-esx-provider-LSIProvider.vib

    5a. If you got signature errors during the installation, install with the option --no-sig-check (official documentation states you can change the sig-check level, but i could not install regardless of the level) : esxcli software vib install --no-sig-check -v /tmp/vmware-esx-provider-LSIProvider.vib

  6. Reboot the ESXi host

After the reboot, the "Host storage status" alarm fired as expected when I pulled a drive, so I'm a happy bunny :-)

For completeness, here's what I had to do to get it to send me an email when the alarm triggered:

  1. Configure SMTP settings
    • Log into the vCenter Server using vSphere Client
    • From the menu, select View / Administration / Server Settings...
    • Click on "Mail" in the panel on the left
    • Enter the name of the SMTP server and sender account (this is kind of lame - would be nice if we could specify a port to connect to, SSL, authentication etc.)
    • Click OK
  2. Configure the alarm to send email
    • From the menu, select View / Inventory / Hosts and Clusters
    • In the tree view on the left, click on the object where you want to configure the alarm - either at the top level (which will affect all hosts) or an individual host
    • Select the "Alarms" tab
    • At the top of the list of alarms, make sure "View: Definitions" is selected
    • Locate "Host storage status" in the list of alarms and double-click it
    • Go to the "Actions" tab
    • Add a new "Send a notification email" action
    • In the "Configuration" column next to your new action, enter the email address you need the alarm sent to
    • You probably also want to make sure "Once" is selected in each of the last 4 columns, so you'll be notified every time the status changes
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But did you get it to email you - that's what I was stumped with, not the alarm. –  Chopper3 Jan 18 '12 at 13:57
    
Yes, I did get it to email me. I'll update my answer to include how I set that up. –  Anodyne Jan 19 '12 at 17:50

Can you see "storage" under your ESXi servers hardware tab and if so, can you see each disk? if not the HW at that level is probably abstacted from ESX. You would need to see if your controller has a extension that can be installed on your ESX server.

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Nope - the sensor categories under the Hardware Status tab are: Processor/Memory/PCI/Fan/Voltage/Temperature/Power/Network/Software Components/Baseboard Management Controller/Other –  Anodyne Jan 18 '12 at 11:17
    
Also: when I look at "Storage Adapters" on the "Configuration" tab, the controller is under the heading "MegaRAID SAS GEN2 Controller" with the device name "vmhba2". I don't know if that is significant... –  Anodyne Jan 18 '12 at 11:20

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