Sign in to follow this  
naysan19

HP Microserver G8 + ESXI + RDM + XPEnology

Recommended Posts

Hi guys,

 

I'm new to XPEnology and this forum but it seems like a great place to start!

 

I have an HP Microserver Gen 8 with ESXI 6 installed. I successfully installed XPEnology/DSM on the host when creating a VM under 2TB but I have just bought 2 x 3TB WD Red Pros and want them dedicated to XPEnology so I want to go down the RDM route, however i just can't get it to work!

 

I have set up the two 3TB disks in RAID 1 in the HP storage utility and have created a VMFS5 Datastore from the logical drive, used this article (http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/micros ... Id=1017530) as well as others to create the dummy vmdk file on the disk using ssh without a problem.

 

However when I create the VM using the VMware Paravirtual SCSI controller and attach the dummy vmdk file I get the error "incompatible device backing specified for device '4'"

 

I have tried many different configurations but nothing is working. I have a feeling that the HP Microserver G8's RAID card doesn't support local RDM...this entry level server seems to have many caveats to its features!

 

Can anyone help?? Many thanks in advance!

 

Naysan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You may want to forego the RDM route and consider buying an add-on PCI card and doing hardware passthrough instead.

 

LSI or the IBM m1015 are good bets so long as they support 2TB+ drive sizes. $100 or so is about the going rate.

 

The older cards will only do 1.5TB or below so be mindful of that. In my case, my Xpen rig has 2TB drives on the ONBOARD sata controllers and I have a cheapie $20 LSI card that has a Kingston 64GB SSD for my datastores and I passthrough the entire onboard controller/dedicate it to XPEN which has my 2TB drives which are all set as BASIC DISKS. I don't do any hardware level RAID and I don't do any software RAID. I feel more comfortable with basic disks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the reply wakkawakka,

 

I'll look into buying another card but don't really want to spend more money right now. Found this guide to using the IBM M1015 and HP Microserver G8 - https://b3n.org/m1015-hba-in-the-hp-gen8-microserver. It seems you need a CPU with VT-d for pass-through, which my entry level Gen 8 doesn't have!

 

Is there any way to make RDM to work with my setup without spending money?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have tried many different configurations but nothing is working. I have a feeling that the HP Microserver G8's RAID card doesn't support local RDM...this entry level server seems to have many caveats to its features!

 

Can anyone help?? Many thanks in advance!

 

Naysan

 

I'm guessing you haven't tried setting the BIOS to use AHCI?

 

I have the Gen8 and currently using 4 x 500GB via RDM, having first set the controller to AHCI.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't tried AHCI because I have VMs on another RAID 1 array with the disks in the 3rd and 4th slots.

 

My assumption after many failed attempts is that local RDM doesn't work with a logical drive in RAID 1 (at least not on the HP Micrsoserver) and only works with separate physical disks, but if others have got it working with RAID then i'm doing something wrong.

 

Just to clarify I can create the XPEnology VM if I attach a non-RDM vmdk, so its just the RDM part which is at fault. Not sure why but my logical drive ID doesn't start with t10 as VMware state in their article. It is naa.600508b1001cdefb6195fe83fcc3d0a6.

 

So the command that i used is :

vmkfstools -z /vmfs/devices/disks/naa.600508b1001cdefb6195fe83fcc3d0a6 "/vmfs/volumes/3TB RAID/RDM/3TB.vmdk"

 

by browsing the datastore I can see that it does create the file. To me this means the problem must lie when I add the RDM vmdk to the VM or a BIOS setting.

 

When I add the existing datastore, I have tried the VMware Paravirtual SCSI controller and LSI Logic Parallel one. virtual device node SCSI 0:0, 1:0 and have left the mode independent unchecked. There seems to be conflicting guides on the internet showing different SCSI controllers and device nodes. Which parameters should be used?

 

Thanks,

Naysan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, have you tried creating each disk as a single drive array on the RAID and then creating the SHR within Synology. That would be my preference as that way you will have more flexibility without losing redundancy.

 

For instance you could add a 4TB drive at a later date.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ElGato, I have tried setting up each disk as a RAID 0 array but still I get the same error.

 

Ideally I would like the to set up the two 3TB drives as single disks and create the RAID using DSM as you suggest, and have my two other drives as RAID 1. Is is possible to have two slots as JBOD and two slots as RAID 1?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe it's something different about ESXi v6. I havent tried that version yet.

 

Provided you haven't upgraded your VM's to what ever the latest hardware version is for v6, (I'm assuming it's v11), you should be able to install ESXi v5.5 and import the existing VM's. I would use a new USB stick and if it fails you can just reboot from your existing v6 ESXi USB drive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I was thinking that too. As ESXI 6 is so new, a lot of people haven't used it yet, hence no one having the same issues I'm having. Interestingly I installed ESXI 6 on my old HP Microserver N54L and i had the same issue when trying to create the VM with RDM vmdk - even in AHCI mode.

 

The only thing that make me doubt that ESXI 6 is at fault is VMware have added ESXi 6 to the article that I posted in the original post - http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/micros ... Id=1017530.

 

At this point it's more likely to be ESXI than anything else. I'll install ESXI 5.5 and see what happens!

 

Thanks for the tip :smile:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did load ESXi v6 but only for a short while and can't remember now if I tried RDM. I will try it again tonight.

 

Just a heads up on ESXi v5.5 HP edition. I couldn't get the latest build to install. Had to fall back to the previous release.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ElGato, you were right! It's definitely an issue with ESXI 6.0.

 

I just installed ESXI 5.5 on another USB drive on my HP N54L and I was able to create the RDM with no issues at all! I didn't change any config apart from ESXI version and went straight into creating the new VM with RDM with success.

 

So now the question is: Will VMware sort out the issue or will it always be a problem? Have they dropped support for some functions (such as local RDM) with certain controllers such as the HP B120i?

 

Thanks for all your help!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I spoke too soon, the RDM mapping worked but when I tried to power on the VM I got an error saying it failed to lock the file. I am testing on my N54L though, not Gen8...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the help ElGato. Turns out that Local RDM DOES work on ESXI 6.0. I was just configuring it wrong. I was creating the RDM drives as Datastores and adding the mapped file to its own drive, hence it was locked.

 

All working, much appreciated!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for the help ElGato. Turns out that Local RDM DOES work on ESXI 6.0. I was just configuring it wrong. I was creating the RDM drives as Datastores and adding the mapped file to its own drive, hence it was locked.

 

All working, much appreciated!

 

Hi i have the same server Gen8 Microserver with 2x3TB WD Red as a RAID1. Running latest ESXi6 version. How i can make all RAID1 to appear on ESXi and remain visible from all VM on Host ESXi server?

 

Is that possible without breaking RAID1? Wich naa.xxxxxxxxxxxxxx device should i map?

 

Please help!

 

Thanks a lot.!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this