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ESXi & passthrough


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Hi all


Found your forum whilst searching around for information regarding running ESXi on the Gen8 microserver. My setup is currently an el-cheapo PCIe SATA card (ASM1062), with a single 2.5" drive connected for VMDK storage, and a few 3.5" drives in the bays connected to the on-board controller which I want to pass through to a VM to run a NAS system (seems like a common desire/setup). I have the Xeon 1220Lv2.


All was going well running 5.5, I had the controller in passthrough mode and my VMs on my secondary PCIe controller, that is until I came to pass the on-board controller through to a VM, then I hit the known HP and 5.5 issue where passthrough is basically blocked - http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/6242-warning-esxi-55-appears-to-break-any-and-all-passthrough-capabilities-on-hp-microserver-gen8/


I thought in that case I'd come down to 5.1 u1, but now I am hitting an issue whereby both controllers are detected and the one with the VMs is working for that purpose, but as soon as I make the on-board controller available for passthrough (not even got as far as attaching to a VM), ESXi loses awareness of the PCIe controller as a storage adapter. It's still visible in the devices available for passthrough list, but it just isn't there as a storage option, so I have nowhere to put my VMs. I have tried with the onboard controller in SATA Legacy, AHCI and the B120i modes.


Has anyone come across this before? Could anyone recommend a better version of ESXi to try? I am at this stage considering 5.0 but have no reason for doing so other than just having trying it to see what happens.



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Not being one to stop trying I have now resolved this.


I am still running the HP version of 5.1 u1, but I have also manually loaded the sata_xahci driver for 5.5 even though it shouldn't really be necessary on 5.1. This resolves the issue and maintains accessibility to the ASM1062 card even when the onboard controller is running passthrough. Driver here: http://www.v-front.de/2013/11/how-to-make-your-unsupported-sata-ahci.html


So my configuration now is a single 500GB 2.5" drive in the ODD bay, connected to the ASM1062 card in the PCIe slot to store VMDKs. The onboard controller is running in AHCI mode so is recognised as the Cougar point, and then is passed through to a VM running Unraid. Still further testing to conduct but so far seems stable.

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