Tutorial: Install/DSM 6.2 on ESXi [HP Microserver Gen8] with RDM


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A big thanks to jadehawk for this topic, it was really helpful. I'm trying to move my Xpenology from bare-bones Microserver Gen8 to ESXi but without much luck.

I am able to get VM to boot and am able to reach it via the web browser. I can then install DSM on a virtual disk. So far so good.

 

However, what I really want is to RDM to my existing disks, as in the video. However, even though a disk can be seen by DSM, it is "Not initialized". It seems not to be recognized by the OS as already having synology partitions.

 

This disk is one of an array of 2 (RAID 1 array). I tried it like this, because if something goes wrong, I still always have the bare-bones installation on the other disk of the array and I can just re-sync them, no harm done. Might this be a reason why it isn't working?

 

I though I would be able to just RDM this 1 disk and DSM should be able to start from it directly, without needing to install anything first, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

 

I'm using ESXi 6.7 and Jun loader 1.02b (with DSM 6.1.7-15284 Update 3 on DS3615xs).
This is on a Microserver Gen8 and using the B120i RAID controller (i.e. not set to AHCI mode).

Can anybody point me in the right direction what I might be doing wrong? Any help is much appreciated!

Edited by Paars
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1 hour ago, Paars said:

This is on a Microserver Gen8 and using the B120i RAID controller (i.e. not set to AHCI mode).

Can anybody point me in the right direction what I might be doing wrong? Any help is much appreciated!

 

I think that is the point to look at: I always use my B120i controller in AHCI mode under ESXi and have never suffer from bad performance or compatibility problems. But I use the internal B120i in AHCI-mode only for the ESXi-Datastore (with a SSD connected) and make a passthrough of an extra Dell H200-HBA in IT-mode to the Xpenology-VM. That works rock stable and fast. With this combination I even don't need to pass the single harddisks as RDM to the Xpenology VM.

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40 minutes ago, Balrog said:

 

I think that is the point to look at: I always use my B120i controller in AHCI mode under ESXi and have never suffer from bad performance or compatibility problems. But I use the internal B120i in AHCI-mode only for the ESXi-Datastore (with a SSD connected) and make a passthrough of an extra Dell H200-HBA in IT-mode to the Xpenology-VM. That works rock stable and fast. With this combination I even don't need to pass the single harddisks as RDM to the Xpenology VM.

Thank you for the very quick response!

 

I was afraid that it would be the B120i and AHCI. I currently have ESXi installed on a RAID 1 array which is made by the B120i. Turning it to AHCI mode will mean I have to reinstall everything.

 

Unfortunately, for me to make a setup with the B120i in AHCI mode, I will require one more HDD, using the ODD slot. But I don't have the necessary power cable (FDD to SATA) to try it right now. Oh well, something to look forward to. Guess I'm going back to my barebones setup for now.

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  • 1 month later...
On 3/1/2019 at 8:32 PM, bagheera said:

So I think I have gotten to the bottom of this.

 

I bought a £20 Syba PCI-E SATA Controller from Amazon thanks to their same day delivery:  https://amzn.to/2SAF3ev.  Installed that into my GEN8 and connected my SSD which has ESXI and the Datastore into that, before it was connected to the blue ODD port and the bios SATA controller settings where set to legacy mode so I could boot from the ODD.

 

Anyway I then in my BIOS i changed the SATA controller back to AHCI mode and set the PCI-E Sata Controller to boot so ESXI (installed on the SSD) would boot from that.  Everything booted up fine.  Fired up my Xpenology VM then connected to one of my shares by SMB and started to copy a 16GB file and it maxed out flat at 115MB/s and didn't drop out once.  File was copied in just a couple of minutes.

 

Happy days :D 

Thank you for posting your solution to this issue. I have been busy trying to figure out why the performance is so terrible of my similar setup. The speed drops from a nice 130 MB/s to around 225 kb/s after 15 seconds of file transfer. It is a pain!

 

I found many people reporting similar things online, but mostly everybody just installs another RAID card, not really the solution I was hoping for. Having somebody confirm that a setup works is always nice :)

I'm going to buy the same card and hope my experience is similar to yours. I'm booting from USB with the SSD as a swap/datastore for ESXi. I'm debating whether I should re-install ESXi on the SSD directly. I know it would improve boot time, but other than that I don't think it changes much performance wise (or am I mistaken in that)?

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  • 3 months later...

Hi,

I have a microserver gen 8 but Im tired of using rdm. I want to get all smart data etc.. So now Im thinking of buying a HBA card to passthrough to esxi.

Should I use the HP H222 card for this or is there another card recommended?

Also does anyone know if this HP NC365T network will work to get latest version and 918+ 1.04 loader working?

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  • 1 month later...

Good afternoon,

many thanks for the detailed video on how to install XPEnology.

 

I decided to put XPEnology on ESXi, I have an 8th generation HPE microserver for it and ESXi 6.7 on microSD.

datastore and virtual machine on a separate SSD drive, in the slot for connecting a DVD-ROM.

The virtual machine turns on, the storage is located, installed, everything is fine.

then used RDM to map disks, and it doesn’t matter which key I use -z or -r .

XPEnology  see drives, says not initialized. I carry out initialization, make one pool raid 1 on 2 disks and a partition for the entire volume.

the storage works, data is written to it and cope back. speed of the order about 113 MB / sec.

 

the problem is this: if I turn off the server and remove one disk from the raid, I wanted to check how XPEnology will be work without one disk, then the virtual machine no longer turns on, complains about the lost disk.

as it seems to me this should not be, because the virtual machine itself lives on another disk.

 

maybe someone came across this, and could tell me which way to dig.

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1 hour ago, Rojer said:

Good afternoon,

many thanks for the detailed video on how to install XPEnology.

 

I decided to put XPEnology on ESXi, I have an 8th generation HPE microserver for it and ESXi 6.7 on microSD.

datastore and virtual machine on a separate SSD drive, in the slot for connecting a DVD-ROM.

The virtual machine turns on, the storage is located, installed, everything is fine.

then used RDM to map disks, and it doesn’t matter which key I use -z or -r .

XPEnology  see drives, says not initialized. I carry out initialization, make one pool raid 1 on 2 disks and a partition for the entire volume.

the storage works, data is written to it and cope back. speed of the order about 113 MB / sec.

 

the problem is this: if I turn off the server and remove one disk from the raid, I wanted to check how XPEnology will be work without one disk, then the virtual machine no longer turns on, complains about the lost disk.

as it seems to me this should not be, because the virtual machine itself lives on another disk.

 

maybe someone came across this, and could tell me which way to dig.

 

If ESXi is stopping your from booting up a VM because it is missing a drive that is something with ESXi. Are you getting an error that it can't find the drive's vmdk file? That seems a logical thing to me, in my limited experience. I expect you should also remove the drive listing from the VM before booting it up (don't remove the file, just remove it from the VM).

 

 

On 12/8/2019 at 7:17 PM, Jamzor said:

Hi,

I have a microserver gen 8 but Im tired of using rdm. I want to get all smart data etc.. So now Im thinking of buying a HBA card to passthrough to esxi.

Should I use the HP H222 card for this or is there another card recommended?

Also does anyone know if this HP NC365T network will work to get latest version and 918+ 1.04 loader working?

 

I got it working by adding a simple SATA card. Cheaper and more energy-efficient than adding another RAID controller. The only downside is that the B120i that is in the Gen8 HP MicroServer won't give you SMART data in XPEnology, as it is not officially supported for ESXi.
I installed ESXi on an SSD connected to a Syba SY-PEX40039 Sata PCI-E card and passed through the B120i controller to the XPEnology VM. Very fast, stable, and most importantly, no issues with file transfer speed.

 

I have no experience regarding 918+ and the 1.04b loader. I do remember it not being compatible with something with the Gen8 HP MicroServer, but don't remember what it was.

Edited by Paars
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12 hours ago, Paars said:

If ESXi is stopping your from booting up a VM because it is missing a drive that is something with ESXi. Are you getting an error that it can't find the drive's vmdk file? That seems a logical thing to me, in my limited experience. I expect you should also remove the drive listing from the VM before booting it up (don't remove the file, just remove it from the VM).

I'am agree it's something with EXSi, I tried to use not dependent disk, result is same " Failed to power on virtual machine XPEnology. Unable to enumerate all disks. Click here for more details."

hm, it's very strange, case I choose not depended disk, in fact I have depended.

also I tried to move mapping file for disk to another catalogue, it doesn't work. 

 

I think I'm going to use beat metal...

Screenshot 2020-01-11 at 00.38.42.png

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On 11/18/2018 at 10:32 PM, haydibe said:

Depending on whether you have added a SATA1 controller, the problems and the settings to prevent them will be different.

 

In my setup, the SATA1 controller is recognzied as first, this is why DiskIdxMap=0C mapped my SATA1:0 disk to the first eSata slot, which made the volume unusable for me. Setting DiskIdxMap=09 moved my SATA1:0 disk to the 10th slot, which made it usable again.

 

Since I have SATA0, SATA1 and the Passthrough controller, I used SataPortMap to tell DSM that each of the controller has 4 harddisks, regardless of the real number of drives.

I had 114 before, though the result was slot 1,3,4,5 have been the LSI-Harddisks, 2 was SATA0:0 and  whatever DiskIdxMap inidicated was SATA1:1.

 

With my setup, I use DiskIdxMap=09 and SataPortMap=444. This settings work without modifiying any of the two synoinfo.conf files ;)

 

Those are not the best feasable settings! DiskIdxMap determins the first disk on a controller and is a two digit hex value, while SataPortMap is a single digit value from 1-9 per controller.

I am pretty sure that DiskIdxMap=000C01 SataPortMap=114   would result in SATA1:0 = Slot1, SATA0:0 = Slot13, LSI Slot2-5.

 

 

 

 

Hello Haydibe,

 

I have a bit of a problem, im hoping you'll be able to help me with.

My Kit: HP Gen8, LSI IBM M1015 in IR Mode, ESXi 5.5, which was working fine with RDM DSM 5.2.


I have now blated the server (did neccessary backups), and now want to create DSM 6.2

I have followed this guide: https://xpenology.com/forum/topic/13061-tutorial-install-dsm-62-on-esxi-67/

However, I just cant get it to install.  After manually installing the PAK file, it reboots, but then says "my disk has moved ..... blah blah", and all that shows up now is "RECOVER".

 

Ive done all the things in the guide correctly (amended SN, amended MAC), set synboot.img to IDE0:0 CD drive, and set SCSI 0:0 for synboot.vmdk, and added my RDM 12TB as SCSI 1:0, and NIC as E1000.   No matter how many times a try, it just keeps booting up to the "recover" screen.???

 

do you possibly have any ideas?  the only thing thats different is that he talks about SATA 0:0 and SATA 1:0, unfortunately i dont see SATA, as i have a IBM M1015 RAID card, being used for my drives, so i only see SCSI drives selectable.

 

any help would be much appreciated.

note: Ive heard that best is to install 1.03b with DS3615xs.  I dont really wanna go down the route of the VID/PID USB workaround.

 

thanks guys

Richie

 

Edited by conhulio2000
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I am afraid I won't be able to help. I use an unbranded LSI9211-8i (IT mode) in passthrough mode. The build-in mpt2sas driver in DSM6.x recognizes the controller and makes all the attached drives available to DSM. I have no idea if branded LSI9211-8i controllers or even controllers in IR mode would be supported by the mpt2sas driver if passed into the vm in passthrough mode...

 

I have zero experience with RDM drives.

 

On 11/8/2020 at 11:10 PM, conhulio2000 said:

ve done all the things in the guide correctly (amended SN, amended MAC), set synboot.img to IDE0:0 CD drive, and set SCSI 0:0 for synboot.vmdk, and added my RDM 12TB as SCSI 1:0, and NIC as E1000. 

There is no need to attache the synoboot.img at all. From what I remember the "vmdk" is just a declaration that points to synoboot.img. Though, what I don't understand why you set it to SCSI 0:0. Mine is on SATA:0.0. Also you need to use the E1000e network interface (like written on the first page of this thread. My LSI9211-8i is flashed to be a SATA HBA.. Why would this be needed to be configured as SCSI controller when used with RDM disks?

 

[Update] the second part of you sentence does not match the first part of your sentence... None of the settings you made can be found in the tutorial.[/update]

 

On 11/8/2020 at 11:10 PM, conhulio2000 said:

note: Ive heard that best is to install 1.03b with DS3615xs.  I dont really wanna go down the route of the VID/PID USB workaround.

The 1.04b bootloader only works for DS918+ and only if your cpu is newer or equal Haswell cpu architecture.

The Gen8 uses an older cpu architecure, thus it is not possible to use the 1.04b bootloader.

You are right, you need to stick to 1.03b.

 

 

 

Edited by haydibe
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4 hours ago, haydibe said:

I am afraid I won't be able to help. I use an unbranded LSI9211-8i (IT mode) in passthrough mode. The build-in mpt2sas driver in DSM6.x recognizes the controller and makes all the attached drives available to DSM. I have no idea if branded LSI9211-8i controllers or even controllers in IR mode would be supported by the mpt2sas driver if passed into the vm in passthrough mode...

 

I have zero experience with RDM drives.

 

There is no need to attache the synoboot.img at all. From what I remember the "vmdk" is just a declaration that points to synoboot.img. Though, what I don't understand why you set it to SCSI 0:0. Mine is on SATA:0.0. Also you need to use the E1000e network interface (like written on the first page of this thread. My LSI9211-8i is flashed to be a SATA HBA.. Why would this be needed to be configured as SCSI controller when used with RDM disks?

 

[Update] the second part of you sentence does not match the first part of your sentence... None of the settings you made can be found in the tutorial.[/update]

 

The 1.04b bootloader only works for DS918+ and only if your cpu is newer or equal Haswell cpu architecture.

The Gen8 uses an older cpu architecure, thus it is not possible to use the 1.04b bootloader.

You are right, you need to stick to 1.03b.

 

 

 

 

@haydibe

 

I actually got around the problem.  I finally tried VSphere v6.7 U3.  Followed the guide, properly, and it worked.

The issue was i was trying to using my existing Vpshere 5.5, which normally brings up drives in SCSI interface mode, probably according to my particular IBM M1015 card.

 

Your right, in 6.7, i didnt need to add the CD Drive and point to the synboot.img, i just did the SATA 0:0 to the vmdk.

 

I prefer to use RDM, as using Expenology with RDM i read somewhere is better performace, and if i need to use part of that drive i will just mount a NFS drive on DSM, and share that with whatever.  I also had to tweak the DSM conf file so i could re-instate SHR for DS3615xs, as it is removed by default, RAID meant i had to attach exactly the amount of drives and at exactly the same size ( i didnt want that restriction ) - hence i re-enabled SHR.  

 

So, now i managed to get it all working with LSI SAS(m1015 - IR Mode), and RDM the disks into the vm.  

 

Thanks for this blog everyone, thanks Haydibe for replying, and I hope i dont get any issues with this Vpshere 6.7 setup.  Unfortunately, VSphere 7.0 doesnt support the old IBM M1015 Raid cards anymore, so this is why i had to goto 6.7U3.

 

The Gen8 Server rocks! never ever failed me in 8 years since ive had it.  I also dont have the stock crappy CPU, i replaced it with the "4 CPUs x Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E31230 @ 3.20GHz".  Works a dream on the Gen8.

 

Thanks everyone.

Edited by conhulio2000
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20 hours ago, conhulio2000 said:

I prefer to use RDM, as using Expenology with RDM i read somewhere is better performace, and if i need to use part of that drive i will just mount a NFS drive on DSM, and share that with whatever.  ...

Not sure about the performance statement. We are speaking about the controller beeing managed from ESXi vs. directly managed in DSM..  When I move files from one volume to another (each volume on a different set of wd red drives), I get arround 400-500mb/s with direct-io. The Flexibility aspect is true, if you partioned your raid and assigned raid volumes as RDM partitions to the DSM vm. Though, If you would've used the drives in IT mode and added each drive as RDM individualy, you would've been able to switch the VM to use direct-io and DSM would not even notice the difference..   With a direct-io setup, esxi7 wouln't be an issue either.

 

 

20 hours ago, conhulio2000 said:

The Gen8 Server rocks! never ever failed me in 8 years since ive had it.  I also dont have the stock crappy CPU, i replaced it with the "4 CPUs x Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E31230 @ 3.20GHz".  Works a dream on the Gen8.

I had two of these beauties. Though, because of the outdated cpu-architecture and the ram limit of 16GB, I ended up replacing them with two Dell T30, where I threw E3-1275v5 cpus and 32GB ECC udims in.:)

 

Glad you found a solution!

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On 11/13/2020 at 7:36 AM, haydibe said:

Not sure about the performance statement. We are speaking about the controller beeing managed from ESXi vs. directly managed in DSM..  When I move files from one volume to another (each volume on a different set of wd red drives), I get arround 400-500mb/s with direct-io. The Flexibility aspect is true, if you partioned your raid and assigned raid volumes as RDM partitions to the DSM vm. Though, If you would've used the drives in IT mode and added each drive as RDM individualy, you would've been able to switch the VM to use direct-io and DSM would not even notice the difference..   With a direct-io setup, esxi7 wouln't be an issue either.

 

 

I had two of these beauties. Though, because of the outdated cpu-architecture and the ram limit of 16GB, I ended up replacing them with two Dell T30, where I threw E3-1275v5 cpus and 32GB ECC udims in.:)

 

Glad you found a solution!

 

 Thanks bud,

I'll keep that in mind about the SAS and IT Mode for next time.  usually, I dont break sometime if it works consistently.  But the DSM5.2 was getting old, and i realised i could upgrade VSphere too, so i took a leap of faith and did the jump.  Im still rebuilding it now.  I originally bought some very large Toshiba N300 drives, but man! they are flippin noisey.  So replaced with the HGST UltraStar he12, and they are much quieter (not NAS specific, but i dont really care about that, if a drive fails it fails).

 

So, much oblidged of your help, and see you in next 5 years! ........

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  • 1 month later...

Hi, with this configuration, can you set the volumes as raid inside Synology ?

I guess yes ?

If you want to add a new hard drive later, you just need to add the new disk/simlink in RDM like the others and it will be available in Synology to be added to the RAID volume ?

 

Thank you

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11 hours ago, Orphée said:

If you want to add a new hard drive later, you just need to add the new disk/simlink in RDM like the others and it will be available in Synology to be added to the RAID volume ?

yes, but all the usual limits a re there too

all about raid modes and raid extension can be checked on synology#s help and faq/kb

 

 

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Hello, do you have any suggestion ? :

 

image.thumb.png.25f6f2ea7fe898d173e6d03398a0a3e3.png

 

B120i controller is set in SATA AHCI mode in BIOS.

 

$ sudo dd bs=1M count=4096 if=/dev/zero of=/volume1/testx conv=fdatasync
4096+0 records in
4096+0 records out
4294967296 bytes (4.3 GB) copied, 14.442 s, 297 MB/s

 

$ dd if=/dev/zero bs=1M count=4096 | md5sum
4096+0 records in
4096+0 records out
4294967296 bytes (4.3 GB) copied, 10.7008 s, 401 MB/s
c9a5a6878d97b48cc965c1e41859f034  -
orphee@NAS-GEN8:/volume1$

Edited by Orphée
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To be honest, from my understands the B120i internal controller on the Gen8 is not that good.  I did alot of research about this 6 years ago, and many blogs said its not that great.

 

I bought the LSI IBM M1015, this is a very good controller that fits nicely into the PCI slot on the Gen 8 and allows you to have upto 8 drives connected.

i dont use RAID on Synology, i managed to get Synology Hydrid RAID available by hacking the install file on the boot, which allowed me to use SHR.  I think SHR because it creates volumes as standard ext4, which i can manage to read independantly in windows with the "linux reader", if a drive fails and i can manage to get it back.  with Raid i dont think thats as easy.

 

I've uploaded my speeds.  First i coped a 29gb folder with lots of vid files, then i moved them back.  I have a 1gb network, a switch.

 

Hope this helps you see a difference.  definitely it seems your speeds are particularly slow. but im not sure why that is.

 

Regards

R.

 

 

ESXispeeds.png

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I ordered a LSI 9211-8i IT, I will try it.

I hope it is plug & play for passtrough to the ESXi (unplug mini SAS from motherboard and plug it to LSI ?)

 

My speeds are not that bad for writing :

 

$ sudo dd bs=1M count=256 if=/dev/zero of=/volume1/testx conv=fdatasync                                                                                                                              
256+0 records in
256+0 records out
268435456 bytes (268 MB) copied, 1.80159 s, 149 MB/s


$ sudo dd bs=1M count=512 if=/dev/zero of=/volume1/testx conv=fdatasync
512+0 records in
512+0 records out
536870912 bytes (537 MB) copied, 2.90437 s, 185 MB/s


$ sudo dd bs=1M count=1024 if=/dev/zero of=/volume1/testx conv=fdatasync
1024+0 records in
1024+0 records out
1073741824 bytes (1.1 GB) copied, 5.54903 s, 194 MB/s

 

$ sudo dd bs=1M count=2048 if=/dev/zero of=/volume1/testx conv=fdatasync
2048+0 records in
2048+0 records out
2147483648 bytes (2.1 GB) copied, 8.00585 s, 268 MB/s

 

$ sudo dd bs=1M count=4096 if=/dev/zero of=/volume1/testx conv=fdatasync
4096+0 records in
4096+0 records out
4294967296 bytes (4.3 GB) copied, 13.0355 s, 329 MB/s

 

$ dd if=/dev/zero bs=1M count=8192 | md5sum
8192+0 records in
8192+0 records out
8589934592 bytes (8.6 GB) copied, 24.0138 s, 358 MB/s

 

Forget the graph about write speed, I was just refering the latency, the disk activity came from my camera Survelliance Station.

 

Edit : graph with count=50000 twice :

 

$ sudo dd bs=1M count=50000 if=/dev/zero of=/volume1/testx conv=fdatasync
50000+0 records in  
50000+0 records out
52428800000 bytes (52 GB) copied, 153.624 s, 341 MB/s

 

$ sudo dd bs=1M count=50000 if=/dev/zero of=/volume1/testx conv=fdatasync
50000+0 records in  
50000+0 records out
52428800000 bytes (52 GB) copied, 155.17 s, 338 MB/s

 

image.thumb.png.a0a97e24c3777c3b6ff3a9aeeac3ef43.png

Edited by Orphée
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