Seems many have had issues with DELL raid controllers disappearing from ESXi - hopefully this may help others with the same issue.
I have a DELL R530 configured with 1 x 2.4Tb RAID5 (raid mode) on a H330 Mini PERC. A vanilla ESXi 6.5a is installed is on the RAID array (no flash or SD storage).
I enabled passthrough on the H330 mini PERC and when the server eventually rebooted, the controller disappeared (along with the vmfs storage volumes). The H330 was still shown in the hardware list with the passthrough enabled (which would not stay disabled when I tried to change back).
I could not do any config changes to the ESXi through ESCLi (could not be live updated errors)
When I eventually got physical access to the server, I performed te following steps:
- Upgraded to ESXi 6.5 u1 DELL custom image. RESULT: No change, no controller / storage found.
- BIOS was a little old, so updated all onboard R530 BIOS / FW to latest versions. RESULT: Still no change.
- Decided to install ESXi on USB flash drive (as recommended - don't have SD storage installed). RESULT: storage found and remounted VMs and happy days.
I think I know the cause. On the new ESXi install, the H330 PERC mini passthrough is disabled. On the old ESXi install, I had enabled H330 passthrough and I could not disable H330 passthrough.
I would like to monitor the RAID array from the VMs, but I'm now paranoid of enabling passthrough as the ESXi VMs were offline for almost a week.
I would really like to know if anyone has experienced issues after enabling H330 (or others) passthrough in ESXi 6.5.
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Is the a reason that you are wanting to switch to passthrough mode versus continuing to use the RAID? Converting from non passthrough to passthrough is going to make the data on the drives not readable since it was a RAID array and then it stopped being one. If you only want to be able to monitor the array. You can install OMSA. http://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/19/drivers/driversdetails?driverId=YK2V8
Thanks for the reply.
My belief was that the only difference enabling passthrough was that the hosts see the hardware directly and not the standard VMware SAS controller.
Are you talking about making the PCIe device (H310 SAS PERC in this case) a pass-through device in VMware, or changing the PERC from a raid controller to an HBA (non-raid)?
If you set a PCIe device as a pass-through device for VMware, VMware can no longer use it (including as boot device), so you'd need to boot off of something different (e.g. Dell's Internal Dual SD Module).
Member since 2003
That's the issue. I did not realise that VMware can no long use the controller once it has been tagged as passthrough in ESXi. What was frustrating is that I couldn't deactivate passthrough once set..
It is curious that ESXi still booted on RAID attached to the passthrough controller.
Thanks for the help.
Similar issue here with an PE R520:
RAID10 set an initialized in BIOS, but when the installation prompts to choose a destination I see all the physical drives as possible installation destinations listed versus the entire RAID volume.