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A few ESXi questions


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I have been running XPEnology for many months in bare-metal configuration.  I started experimenting with enterprise NVMe drives a few weeks ago to address Docker/system IOPs limits, and despite some success getting DSM utilities to recognize them, it's apparent that the core udev functionality that Synology uses for hotplug support will prevent any reliable hacking of NVMe volumes into the system.  Hopefully better NVMe drive support will come soon from Synology themselves.


In the meantime, I have drives with 1.5GBps write rates, and 1024 command queue, so I had better find a way to use them.  The only practical way I can think of while staying on XPEnology is to use a hypervisor to present them as virtual storage to DSM.  So far I have the following working well:

  1. NVMe drives, presented as a VMWare SSD (albeit with about a 30% performance penalty vs. native access, tested with hdparm)
  2. Passthrough of my SATA controller (with spinning disks attached)
  3. Passthrough of Mellanox 10GBe network
  4. Passthrough of USB 3.0 controller (to enable USB printer and UPS support)


However, there are two devices that are visible that I think should not be:

  • ESXi is installed on a USB stick.  Once the USB controller was passthrough, the stick and its partitions became visible in DSM.  VID/PID in grub.cfg won't hide it because it isn't a synoboot device.  How can I hide it?(As an aside, I thought that ESXi might lose its partitions after launching the VM with USB passthrough, but it seems to work - because of boot device?).
  • I cannot find any way to hide the loader vmdk synoboot drive.  Is there a conclusive method of doing this?  I see lots of posts and have tried many suggestions, but nothing seems to work.


Thanks for your help.

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1) don't passthrough USB controller, just virtualize the USB devices you need in the VM.  This also works for a physical synoboot key if you want to do that.  A related hint: don't use two USB keys with the same VID/PID (obvious in hindsight).

2) The ESXi option on grub boot menu hides the boot drive/controller (not affected by SATAPortMap, etc).  I got better results by making sure that the drive and controller order is correct in the VM (boot drive and controller first).

Edited by flyride
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  • 3 months later...

Hi , about second point , I've setup the vm , it works but in the synology hdd list I see 50MB boot drive.

I use jun's 1.02b with extra drivers connected as a ide disk to vm.

Other disks are from a 3ware 3650 passed to vm.

Everythink works ok but I want to hide boot disk.


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Make the boot disk a SATA drive (add SATA controller, delete IDE controller).

The boot drive should be the only drive on that SATA controller.

Make sure you are using the ESXi boot option on the loader.


Then your boot disk should be hidden.


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ok , I found the problem...


My config now is:

loader: only one sata disk
data disk: paravirtualized scsi

network: paravirtualized vmxnet


when using ds3617xs image I get:


with boot option vmware I get NO DISK , in the serial console I see a kernel fault when loading mptsas.

with boot option baremetal I see the disk but when I try to install dsm it fail with error 35 while formatting.


I've moved to the ds3615xs , same config with vmware boot option and get it working at first try.

Now I have the vm online , with vmware tools installed ( as spk ) , paravirtualized network ( 10GB ) and disks.


I'm on 6.1.7-15284 update 1 , i've set update to install only critical update as feature included in 6.1.7 are ok for what I need.


The only things that I need now is to add a sas/sata controller with disks directly assigned to vm.

Searching for a non raid adapter i've found HP H220 that is basically an lsi 9207-8i ( LSI SAS2308 chip ), as I understand I can choose to leave the adapter assigned to esxi and make rdm to the drive in the synology vm or I can vt-d the controller to the vm and use it directly from the dsm ( using extra driver image if controller isn't recognized by default ).

Is it right ?



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As you found out, for some reason 6.1.7 and ESXi don't work on DS3617 image.  6.1.5 works with DS3617.  DS3615 works with all 6.1.x


I have not used LSI controller before but most LSI components seem to be supported, either natively on DS3617 or via extra.lzma.


You do have the choice to present storage to DSM via 1) virtual drive on datastore, 2) rdm or 3) passthrough controller and drives


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