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Micro Gen8 - moving from single OS to esxi - advice on storage setup please


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I currently have an ubunu server install on my Gen8 Mircroserver (xeon 1265 and 16gb ram) working today.  This is currently used as a tv backend with tvheadend using an internal dvb-s2 card and media share for a number of openelec kodi clients.

When I got the microserver I had to setup my SSD in the optical bay as a single raid 0 array as it wouldnt boot from this drive otherwise.  I didnt have to configure any other drive, they were just picked up by ubuntu so I was able to mount and share them.  I have 4 6tb drives in the bays but they are not setup as any kind of RAID at the moment.


I am looking to add esxi so I can have my ubuntu server as was (running as a VM), but also have a couple of other VMs for testing different things in both linux and windows.

I have installed esxi 6.0 onto an sd card and this boots ok, but doesnt see the drives that are not in the raid array.  If I turn off raid and just go AHCI the drives are seen but it fails trying to create a datastore and the logs indicate this is a driver issue with the controller not being setup correctly?


I know I will need to downgrade the driver for the controller card as I have read about the poor performance, but this shouldnt impact the visibility of the drives should it?


Can I do anything to make these drives visible to esxi or do I need to set them all up as raid arrays to be visible and usable?  I should be able to setup a raid if more appropriate and move the existing data off so I can put it back over once created.


So - can anyone advise how I should setup the drives so I can utilise them in esxi?  I assume I need to create a datastore from the drives then make these visible to the relevant VM but first I need esxi to see them and be usable - so do I need to tackle the AHCI issue to make them usable, or manage by using the raid arrays?



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First off (i know it's lame to ask these questions, but it gives us/me a baseline to work from)
-What version of ESXi 6 did you install on the SD card??
(you'll need the HP ESXi 6.0 or 6.0u1 image, but i am kind of expecting you already chose the right one)
-What version of ILO firmware does your MS Gen8 run??

-Are all firmwares and bios-es updated??

Because ILO and firmwares are #1 cause for this kind of weirdness.

-Are all 5(?) disks defined as raid 0 in the B120i? If not then that is a likely cause as well.

I get 95-110MB/s on my MS Gen8 NAS over gbit connections so I think they either fixed the performance issue or i have the correct driver installed by accident...

<edit> it would help if one would use a real raid controller when working with ESXi, as you have read there's "issues" with the driver </edit>

Edited by H00GiE
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It's the latest HP Ido from the VMware website revision date Jan 2016.


Currently only the ssd is setup as a raid0 array the others are not - this works with Ubuntu but they are not visible to esxi this way. If I change to ahci mode then all drives show but I get errors using them.


So should I just set them all to raid 0 and get on with it? Any downsides in doing this or should I look at alternative hypervisors?

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