Cheapest SATA controller for ESXi 5

DuronClocker

[H]ard|Gawd
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It doesn't need to be fast, and it doesn't matter if it is PCI or PCI-e.

I had an older VT6421-based PCI SATA/IDE controller I was hoping would work but failed miserably.

Two ports is more than enough for what this needs to do, as it is only going to have one drive connected create a datastore to create a VM that I'll pass the rest of the controllers in the system to via VT-d.

If someone knows of some way to force ESXi to allow me to create a datastore on the USB stick it is installed on, that'd make this controller not necessary :)
 

CEpeep

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There's no way to have a datastore on a USB drive AFAIK. Can you configure the VM to run without an attached disk instead? I've used a custom LiveCD ISO for this purpose before.
 

DuronClocker

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There are currently zero datastores on this system with how I want to set this up.

IBM M1015 and onboard SATA ports are both recognized by ESXi, but these are both going to be passed through to the VM, so I need a datastore on something not connected to those two controllers.

This board does have a Marvell eSATA controller that ESXi recognizes. As a semi-last resort, I could pick up an external eSATA enclosure and use this, though I was hoping to be able to pass this through to a separate VM for backups. Definitely not 100% required though, but it was a thought.

That may be my best solution for the short term. I suppose I could always connect an external to my HTPC for backups.. I'd just be limited to gigabit speeds.
 

DuronClocker

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Have you used that with 5 or just 4? Everything showing up in a search is showing info for 3.5/4.1.

Definitely cheap enough though if it works w/ 5.

I ended up ordering a $3 eSATA-to-SATA cable that I figured I'll just run back into the case to a drive mounted internally. This will work for the interim, but I would like to have the ability to give the eSATA to a VM eventually.
 

meatincereal

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I use Sil3512 on an ESXi5 AIO, with onboard sata passed through to storage VM. (Asus P8B WS)

EDIT:
To clarify: I boot from Sil3512 and passthrough the mobo sata controller to storage VM
 
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DuronClocker

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That's nice, but it is gigantic and ugly.

The Sil3512 is exactly what I'm looking for as I'd be doing the exact same thing.. host my datastore which holds my AIO VM with the onboard and M1015 passed through to it. Power-efficient and small.

I'm currently getting everything setup with the eSATA-SATA cable I bought (shipped Saturday from CA, and I received it in FL on Monday... USPS First Class.. insane).

I'll probably be ordering an Sil3512-based card soon.
 

meatincereal

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Software RAID doesn't work with ESXi, but I assume you already know that, just making sure.

I set up a RAID1 before ESXi installation, removed one of the disks causing the array to be in "critical" state. Then installed ESXi + Solaris VM and finished configuration. Then did an "offline" rebuild of the array (mirror), and put one of disk somewhere safe, so it's ready for use when my main disk fails.

Ideally I'd have a internal hardware 2x2.5 RAID1 enclosure and plug into the Sil3512 card, but can't find them where I live, so this is the best solution I could come up with.

Important note about the Sil3512 tho: To use disks >750GB you need to do a firmware update AFAIK. I haven't done it, but it's supposed to be fairly easy.
 

layerbreak

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Dec 13, 2011
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Ideally I'd have a internal hardware 2x2.5 RAID1 enclosure and plug into the Sil3512 card, but can't find them where I live, so this is the best solution I could come up with.

You need something like this Raidon SR2760-2S-S2
Attention the prices are absolut crazy at the moment. I found a shop in US they sell it for 53.00 Bucks the other for 138.95. In Germany I have payed in April 2011 40 Euro - now they want 120 Euro.
 
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dasaint

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Personally Cheap isnt always the answer on sata controllers but if you look up the BR10i which is a LSI-1068e controller you could probably find one ~$30-40 range it will handle 8 drives sas/sata and these things can be flashed with IT Firmware to make them JBOD

A Personal Fav and i use them greatly, going too cheap will possibly end you up in some bad PSOD areas stick with solid in these designs.
 

ashman

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As long as you don't have to run the latest and the greatest, I was using Adaptec 2410SA raid controllers for years until they were no longer supported in ESXi 5. They are PCI four port SATA I controllers and they will do RAID 0, 1 and 5. They are slow 150MB/s but they are supported under ESX 3.x and 4.x don't know about ESXi 4.x as I never used it. You can find them on Ebay usually for around $80.00.
 

aerosmith

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I know this thread is old but can anyone give me confirmation that the 2410SA does NOT work in ESXi 5? I've searched and cannot seem to find any other source of information that conclusively says one way or the other besides this posting that seems to indicate that it does not; however the wording could be better. By "no longer suppored in ESXi 5" do you mean the VMWare won't support the card but that it still works, just without being on the list (which I don't think it was ever on the compatibility list in the first place), or do you mean that they straight up removed the ability to use the card in a machine running ESXi 5? Clarification would be appreciated.

-Aero

EDIT: If the card does not, in fact, work, any recommendations on SATA PCI-X controllers that support, at a minimum, RAID 1 2TB arrays? I have 2 2tb drives i'd like to mirror. Thanks!

-Aero
 
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cantalup

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I know this thread is old but can anyone give me confirmation that the 2410SA does NOT work in ESXi 5? I've searched and cannot seem to find any other source of information that conclusively says one way or the other besides this posting that seems to indicate that it does not; however the wording could be better. By "no longer suppored in ESXi 5" do you mean the VMWare won't support the card but that it still works, just without being on the list (which I don't think it was ever on the compatibility list in the first place), or do you mean that they straight up removed the ability to use the card in a machine running ESXi 5? Clarification would be appreciated.

-Aero

EDIT: If the card does not, in fact, work, any recommendations on SATA PCI-X controllers that support, at a minimum, RAID 1 2TB arrays? I have 2 2tb drives i'd like to mirror. Thanks!

-Aero

is not supported :|, but it would works. on esxi5 ( the linux module is aacraid, this is identical module with adaptec 3 and 5 series. do not know on 6 series since adaptec was bought by PMC and forced to use PMC chipset on 6 Series and future release.

the key is when you ask helps from vmware, they will say" Sorry, we do not support adaptec 2410SA " :p. you are on your own!!

2410SA only support max 1T drive, and the maximum logical drive is 2T . these are pretty limited to current situtation.

the card should be OK for OS, but remember.... this is SATA 1 card.
 
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aerosmith

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Alright so I checked and, of course, you are right, the 1tb individual drive size kills this for me. Any other good PCI-X SATA controllers that will work with ESXi 5? Thanks in advance.

-Aero
 

cantalup

Gawd
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Alright so I checked and, of course, you are right, the 1tb individual drive size kills this for me. Any other good PCI-X SATA controllers that will work with ESXi 5? Thanks in advance.

-Aero

do not know, since I move away from pci-x to pci-ex years ago

or you can contact vmware for pci-x recomendation?
 

Stanza33

Gawd
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Mar 31, 2010
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Why not just buy a P200 off of Ebay?

P200's are dog slow.... And only do SATA 1.5

Go for one of these
http://h18004.www1.hp.com/products/quickspecs/12332_na/12332_na.html

Hp 8 port SAS controller.... Yes that's what they are really called.
Pci-x LSI 1068e controller

Rebadged LSI

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/LSI-LOGIC-SAS-CONTROLLER-SAS3080X-HP-L3-00082-03A-QTY-AVAILABLE-/230741241997?pt=COMP_EN_Networking_Components&hash=item35b93ff08d#ht_614wt_808

Search eBay for hp part number 347786-B21 or 435709-001 or 435234-001,
also search for LSI 3080X-R

.
.
 

aerosmith

Limp Gawd
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Aug 13, 2002
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Stanza,

I purchased one of those, they look like just the ticket. Do you have specific experience with those units? I'd be interesting in knowing if you've flashed with the LSI firmware instead of the HP provided firmware? I downloaded the newest bios/firmware release for the LSI sas3080x-r, which this seems to be based on. However, when I peruse the batch file for selecting the appropriate firmware, it seems to be insisting on using the IT firmware instead of the IR firmware. Do you have experience with this? I can paste the appropriate parts of the batch file but I don't want to waste your and my time if you wouldn't know the answer anyway. Let me know, and thanks for the recommendation.

-Aero

EDIT: I took another look at the firmware batch process and it's the 3800 and 3801 that are forced into IT firmware, not the 3080. Damn my old eyes. I would still like feedback, if you have any, regarding success / failure with attempting to install LSI Native firmware/bios instead of the HP stuff.
-Aero
 

Jaszx

n00b
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May 3, 2012
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OK, so I'm about to purchase one of the HP 8 port SAS cards for my server, I'm planning on running a SSD through it.

When you say flash it, how do you exactly flash a card like such? I have a desktop board with a PCI-X slot that I can install Windows onto, then I would simply find the LSI firmware for their card and essentially turn my HP card into an LSI card?

When you say 6gbps, are you talking about SATA or SAS? I'm looking to use SATA as my SSD is a SATA III drive.

As for your sc44ge guide, what would be largely different between the two flashing models? I am assuming that since they are both LSI cards, the flashing procedure will be the same? What is the possibility of bricking the card given I accidentally mess the flash up?

Thanks!
 

aerosmith

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when I did this, I just downloaded the latest DOS firmware and booted from a bootable floppy (via USB Floppy drive) and went that route. No need to install windows or the like. Also, the lastest version of firmware supports SATA III 6gbps as well as 3gbps speeds (the previous firmware release only supported one or the other; there was a 3gb firmware image and a 6gb firmware image and you had to select which one you wanted). As for the actual flash procedure, I found that on the model that I had purchased, I didn't need to swap the executable to the HP one; the one supplied with the LSI Firmware package did the job just fine.
 

Stanza33

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As for your sc44ge guide, what would be largely different between the two flashing models? I am assuming that since they are both LSI cards, the flashing procedure will be the same? What is the possibility of bricking the card given I accidentally mess the flash up?

Thanks!

Yes flashing procedure is the same..

Only difference will be the firmware image names

eg (from when I did it ages ago.

http://forums.overclockers.com.au/showthread.php?t=951339#post13066010

SC44Ge process would be better to follow

http://forums.overclockers.com.au/showthread.php?t=980841

Also I have a BR10i Guide as well... (as you will see they are all pretty similar process)
http://hardforum.com/showpost.php?p=1038602393&postcount=30

Main thing is to either pick the R or the T named firmware (Raid or Target Mode)
And the correct revision B3 etc.

All should go fine;)

.
 

Grentz

Fully [H]
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May 5, 2006
Messages
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The lsi 3041e-r is a good cheap card for PCIe as well if you want to go that route.

Can pick them up for around ~$50 on eBay.
 

athlon1.2

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I picked up the LSI SAS3080X-HP read all on upgrading/crossflashing, got everything ready only to discover this doesn't fit in the standard PCI slots. At the same time I install an Intel PCI-X network card without an issue.

So now it seems loose the x16 slot with LSI SAS3041 vs Dell 6iR... They seem pretty similar except for the SAS connectors.
 

athlon1.2

Supreme [H]ardness
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I booted with just the Intel NIC and it sees the onboard intel SATA... so why even bother with a controller?
 

aerosmith

Limp Gawd
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So I installed this 3080x-r card, flashed it appropriately with the latest LSI Firmware, and am using 2 2tb SATA drives (Seagate) in a raid 1 mirror. I have installed VMware 5 update 1 on the disk, and am also using it for my host disks. I have HORRIBLE Disk IO. I'm talking sub - 2MB / second transfer rates sometimes. Any ideas?

The host machine is dual processor AMD Opteron 285s, 8gb / socket (16gb total). Any ideas on something stupid I might have missed or known issues is what I'm looking for. Thanks in advance.


-Aero Out.
 

Grentz

Fully [H]
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So I installed this 3080x-r card, flashed it appropriately with the latest LSI Firmware, and am using 2 2tb SATA drives (Seagate) in a raid 1 mirror. I have installed VMware 5 update 1 on the disk, and am also using it for my host disks. I have HORRIBLE Disk IO. I'm talking sub - 2MB / second transfer rates sometimes. Any ideas?

The host machine is dual processor AMD Opteron 285s, 8gb / socket (16gb total). Any ideas on something stupid I might have missed or known issues is what I'm looking for. Thanks in advance.


-Aero Out.

On my 3041 I had to enable writecache even though it technically does not have RAM for cache nor a battery backup. I believe without it enabled it was not even using the drives cache properly as my speeds SUCKED.

Essentially you just need to use the LSIutil to enable it. Here is a KB I found with a quick google:
http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/mi...nguage=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2001946
 

Stanza33

Gawd
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Messages
538
Have you tried just installing ESXi to a USB stick.

Then add the Mirrored HDD's as a data store?

.
 

chune

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I picked up the LSI SAS3080X-HP read all on upgrading/crossflashing, got everything ready only to discover this doesn't fit in the standard PCI slots. At the same time I install an Intel PCI-X network card without an issue.

So now it seems loose the x16 slot with LSI SAS3041 vs Dell 6iR... They seem pretty similar except for the SAS connectors.

Are you sure about that? According to the datasheet it is backwards compatible:

Technical Specifications
PCI Bus 64-bit, 133 MHz PCI-X, backward compatible with PCI
PCI Modes Bus Master DMA
PCI data burst
transfer rate
132 MBps (PCI 32-bit bus at 33 MHz)
264 MBps (PCI 64-bit bus at 33MHz)
528 MBps (PCI 64-bit bus at 66 MHz)
800 MB/second (PCI-X 64-bit bus @ 100 MHz)
1064 MB/second (PCI-X 64-bit bus @ 133 MHz)
http://vb.net/products/LSILOGIC/LSISAS3442Xds.pdf page 2

Does your specific motherboard just happen to have PCB components blocking the protruding edge in the rear? Or did it physically fit but just wouldn't post?
 
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