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Please help - slow throughput on Gen8 ESXi 6 (not drivers issue unfortunately)


guitaristanime
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Hi, will do my best to structure this so it flows as smoothly as possible.

 

I purchased a MS Gen8 (1610GT - 4GB RAM) with the intention of running ESXi 6 on it, I'll spare you the use case and get down to the crux of the problem and steps I've taken so far.

 

 

Installed ESXi 6.0 u2, to a 16GB SDHC card, went smoothly bar the upgrade_precheck for RAM. All good.

Set up all my drives as RAID 0 arrays individually they are as follows:

 

- 3x 2.5" HPE 3G SFF 500GB (pulled from new stock at work)

- 2x 3.5" WD Green 2TB (planning to upgrade these when I'm happy with everything)

 

So as you can see, what I had laid around the place to get things up and running for testing...

 

Booted up vSphere and licenced it, set up a data store on one of the 500GB RAID0 arrays, created a VM as per all normal stuff for Windows Server 2012-R2. All good. Get to the loading screen, start installing, copying files goes ok. Then onto the next step getting files ready for installation... as I write now, it's done 29% in 2 hours.

 

Steps I've taken to try and resolve:

-Replaced hpvsa  -100 .vib with 088 .vib (b120i crappy raid driver)

-Updated all firmware using independent install of HP Service Pack ISO

-Rebuilt all arrays multiple times, destroyed them in gparted live and rebuilt them again

-Reinstalled ESXi from scratch twice replacing driver each time..

-Loading install media for VM from client, from different datastore, same datastore etc

 

Diagnostics:

-Crystal Disk inside a VM when it eventually finished: 

 

1Be2RGC.jpg

 

 

-hdparm results:

A virtualised the same ISO that I also burned to a USB stick for fair testing.

The virtualised environment netted a cached read of around 2200 MB/sec, buffered read between 190-306 MB/sec (wildly different results each time)

The physical environment netted a cached read of around 3700 MB/sec, buffered read was pretty solid around 117 MB/sec

 

I dunno what else to test or what to make of those results...

It shouldn't take that long to install Windows in a VM from a datastore attached to the device locally. I don't know if those speeds above are good or bad in comparison to other gen8's but I sure know Windows shouldn't be that slow..

 

I've got 16GB of RAM in the post, should be here within 5 days... dunno if that will help, noticed the VM was using pretty much all available 4GB of RAM on the installer. Would buying a raid card help? I'm not using the PCI slot for anything. If yes, any suggestions on which I should buy that definitely works with ESXi 6??

 

 

Thanks for any help you can give me, totally at the end of my wits with this now and I'm ready to pack it in and just install FreeNAS over the top. Will be a shame if I have to but I've hardly got any time between work at the moment and this was supposed to increase my productivity so I could offload my work VMs onto it from my desktop...!

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Have you tried AHCI instead of the B120i? Is your ISO the latest build? Are you having Server 2012 install updates during installation?

- ESXi doesn't support AHCI on the installer. Crashes on installer at 16%. There was a thread on this very forum explaining that and why you shouldn't use it (thought it was you but maybe not!)

- Using latest ISO yes, downloaded it directly from My VMWare Downloads as I have a license...

- No not downloading updates during installation, also to note, it does the same with Server 08 R2. So not to do with Windows updates.

 

I have a spare 1G p410i cache and battery module that was a spare for my DL380 G7 at work, that would go in a p410 wouldnt it, they are functionally the same thing?

Another stupid question, if I put a p410 in and connected it to the 4-bay cable, would that then support SAS or still limited to SATA III + II ?

 

 

Thanks for anymore help you can offer, I really appreciate it, I've worked with servers for quite a long time but never really the hardware side of it, just ESX and beyond.. I just missed the postman with my 16GB RAM :( tomorrow then!

Was wondering if the lack of RAM was causing an issue with caching or something, making data transfer slow?

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The P410 will run SATA at SATA2 speed. Your disk speed listed above looks good. I have always used the ESXi image from HP. In the VM that is running, have you tried external file transfers to see how it feels?

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The P410 will run SATA at SATA2 speed. Your disk speed listed above looks good. I have always used the ESXi image from HP. In the VM that is running, have you tried external file transfers to see how it feels?

Ah okay, was only because I read a blog post of someone else who got SAS drives running at SATA3 speeds using an IBM card. I've got access to 4x 1TB SAS drives, was gonna sell them anyway so I shall continue doing that.

 

The ESXI HPE image on VMWare was updated in October, the one on HPE site was updated in April... maybe I should reinstall with the older one from HP then?

 

 

External file transfers, copying from a NAS to VM on gigabit LAN, it copied at around 20MB/sec, sometimes less...should be up around 100.. no?

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I would try the HP image for ESXi. You should be able to get 100MB throughout on a Gigabit network.

Nah after all that, the HP link just redirects to VMWare anyway, so it's the same image I used already.

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