1

I've acquired a Dell PowerEdge R710 server a few days ago, which includes a PERC 6/i RAID controller. The server is now fitted with a SATA SSD, one SAS drive and four SATA HDD's, all of which I would like to be passed through to ESXi in an "as-is" state, without creating any logical drives in the RAID controller.

Now, the ESXi v5.5 installation image I grabbed from the Dell homepage starts just fine but only lists the logical drives and connected flash drives as possible installation targets, not any of the physical drives.

If I create a small logical drive on my SSD (which the PERC 6/i detects as SATA-SSD type), the ESXi install wizard lists the SSD value on that drive as false; which is far from optimal. I have also tried disabling the RAID controller entirely in the setup, but that also did not help. Everything that should enable passthrough is enabled in BIOS, but that shouldn't be a concern at this early stage of the ESXi installation.

How would I be able to install ESXi v5.5 to a part of my SSD that is connected to the storage controller, while giving it entire physical access to the disk (to allow for SMART values to be read etc.)?

1

You won't be able to bypass the RAID controller here... or at least you shouldn't.

ESXi is a minimal operating system and has a specific list of supported storage controllers and devices. Hardware RAID controllers are the norm for this type of deployment.

Things to note:

  • S.M.A.R.T. is overrated. You have a hardware RAID controller that considers many factors in determining drive health, including S.M.A.R.T. Stick with that.
  • You have to tell ESXi when you're using an SSD; usually when using an SSD attached to a RAID controller. Also see: VMware ESXi SSD on RAID showing as non-ssd
  • If you really need a single device passed-through to the ESXi host, you need to use an appropriate HBA or system/motherboard connection.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.