#intel #optane SSD demo units received as part of the vExpert Program not being detected as a datastore in ESXi 7.0 or ESXi 8.0 ?

July 3rd, 2023

This blog is specific to the #intel #optane demo units received as part of the vExpert Program. but later you will observe that this applies to all storage devices connected to ESXi 7.0 or ESXi 8.0.

and again my special thanks to fellow #vExperts –  Mr vSAN, Matt Mancini, and vCommunity Guy for arranging this fantastic opportunity to work with #intel #optane demo units for free in our #homelabs .

These demo units received may have been previously used as part of the #intel loan program.

I received 10 (ten) #intel #optane – Intel® Optane™ SSD DC P4800X Series 375GB, 2.5in PCIe x4, 3D XPoint™

the form factor I selected for my #homelab was U.2 15mm, rather than a PCIe slot in card, because I want to use them, in the storage/disk slot of a server, I could connect them to a U.2 to PCIe card, but I would rather use them as “intended”.  More on the complications of that later with my #homelab.

For ease, I did quickly connect them all to a recommended (thanks Mr vSAN) – StarTech.com U.2 to PCIe Adapter – x4 PCIe – For 2.5″ U.2 NVMe SSD – SFF-8639 PCIe Adapter – U.2 SSD – PCIe SSD – U.2 drive (PEX4SFF8639) for testing and formatting in my test bench. In fact I’ve now got a bucket full of these cards, I’ve tried and tested, how difficult can it be to connect a U.2. NVMe interface to a PCIe slot, when some cards are £50 GBP, and other cards are available from that well known China website for £1.99 GBP ! and some are described as Low Profile – NOT! – but more on that later!

You may notice if you look through the above photos, there is one U.2 #intel #optane unit with a RED DOT! Read on.

This because it was faulty, ah, or so I thought! I must admit, it was very odd, because it worked in Windows 10, and on checking in ESXi and Ubuntu, the devices were present.

esxi007-no-storage1

PCIe passthrough devices

esxi007-storage-adapters

Storage Adapters

Device visible in Ubuntu

But when trying to create a datastore, no device was available to create a datastore.

No storage for datastore visible

BUT BUT BUT After discussions with Mr vSAN,  Mr Todd (MrVSAN) suggested checking that the #intel #optane SSD how not been formatted to/with LBA 4K sectors! Because ESXi 7.0 and 8.0 does not support LBA 4K. I was surprised that it would not list the SSD device!

Interestingly on Twitter at the same time, another vExpert was also having similar issues!

Checking with an Ubuntu Live “CDROM” USB flash drive

Dell PowerEdge R730 UEFI BOOT

 

Dell PowerEdge R730 UEFI BOOT

 

Dell PowerEdge R730 Ubuntu

Using the nvme-cli, which you can pull using sudo apt-get install nvem-cli, and use the command sudo nvme list to list NVMe devices

to check the LBA format – sudo nvme id-ns -H /dev/nvmeXnY | grep “LBA format” you can see in the screenshot below I have two NVMe devices /dev/nvme0n1
/dev/nvme1n1 and both show

[3:0] : 03x Current LBA Format Selected

if you look at LBA Format 3: it states Data Size – 4096 bytes !

check LBA  – sudo nvme id-ns -H /dev/nvmeXnY | grep “LBA format”

 

Argh! 4K ! lets just reformat with – sudo nvme format -l 0 /dev/nvme0n1, it does not display any progress, as there is no -v verbose option, but eventually it will respond with Success Formatting Namespace:1

sudo nvme format -l 0 /dev/nvme0n1,

sudo nvme format -l 0 /dev/nvme0n1,

success 512k

for #shitsandgiggles I’ve left /dev/nvme1n1 formatted as 4k, but now above you can see /dev/nvme0n1 is 512 sectors, so now back and restart ESXi. I’ll do a quick video on /dev/nvme1n1 for Hancock’s VMware Half Hour

If I now check the storage devices in ESXi, there is a Local NVMe SSD available

storage devices

and if you now try to create a datastore – Viola!

device for datastore available

You will notice from the above storage device list the 4K formatted NVMe device is still missing. Q.E.D

Anyway kudos and my sincere Thanks to Simon Todd aka Mr vSAN !

So onward with my #intel #optane #homelab journey more later!

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It’s A Proper Job! – Low Profile PCIe Bracket for Dell 0XYT17 Intel X520-DA2 Dual Port 10GB SFP+ NIC

July 2nd, 2023
 

So I recently blogged here – about the network interfaces I’ve chosen for my #intel #optane #vSAN #homelab, but I cam across a small snag, in the Dell PowerEdge R730 I’m using as one of the #homelab servers uses low profile PCIe cards so I need to purchase a low profile bracket from eBay for it, so it will fit nicely.  I could have swapped the bracket from another network interface card but that then leaves that card I cannot use in the future!

Low profile bracket

flapping in the breeze

So one purchased from the UK, I could purchase one from China, but I’m in a hurry, I could leave the PCIe card floppy around in the breeze, but I do like to do things proper!

R730 riser with Intel-DA2 fitted with low profile bracket

It’s a Proper Job!

oh for those that don’t know, it’s a lovely tipple from Cornwall! A Cornish IPA from St Austell Brewery !

 

 

 

 

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Inexpensive HCL Certified 10GBe network interfaces for vSphere ESXi 7.0 and vSphere ESXi 8.0 #homelab

July 2nd, 2023

I’ve been desperately searching for inexpensive 10GBe SFP+ network interface cards for use with my new #intel #optane #homelab #vSAN which support both VMware vSphere 7.0 (ESXi 7.0) and 8.0 (ESXi 8.0), the major reason is so I can use the same lab for vSphere 7.0 and then upgrade to vSphere 8.0.

You can use the VMware Hardware compatibility list to find them, but it does take some searching and testing, so I’ve settled on the following network interface cards

Dell 0Y40PH Broadcom 57810S Dual Port 10GbE SFP+ Network Card Low Profile Dell P/N: 0Y40PH – this uses the qfle3i driver in ESXi 7.x and 8.x.

Dell 0Y40PH Broadcom 57810S Dual Port 10GbE SFP+ Network Card Low Profile Dell P/N: 0Y40PH

Dell 0Y40PH Broadcom 57810S Dual Port 10GbE SFP+ Network Card Low Profile Dell P/N: 0Y40PH

Dell 0Y40PH Broadcom 57810S Dual Port 10GbE SFP+ Network Card Low Profile Dell P/N: 0Y40PH

Dell 0Y40PH Broadcom 57810S Dual Port 10GbE SFP+ Network Card Low Profile Dell P/N: 0Y40PH

Dell 0XYT17 Intel X520-DA2 Dual Port 10GB SFP+ NIC with SFP this uses the ixgben driver for ESXi 7.x and 8.x

Dell 0XYT17 Intel X520-DA2 Dual Port 10GB SFP+ NIC with SFP

Dell 0XYT17 Intel X520-DA2 Dual Port 10GB SFP+ NIC with SFP

Dell 0XYT17 Intel X520-DA2 Dual Port 10GB SFP+ NIC with SFP

Dell 0XYT17 Intel X520-DA2 Dual Port 10GB SFP+ NIC with SFP

which I’ve tested both with ESXi 7.0 and ESXi 8.0.

What does surprise me, in it’s taken many months to find the first card above, which is present on the HCL, and also functions with ESXi 7. and 8.0, without adding any additional drivers, e.g. it works out of the box!

We were scrapping many Dell R910 from the datacentre, and I was surprised after testing that the Dell 0XYT17 Intel X520-DA2 Dual Port 10GB SFP+ NIC with SFP still functions with ESXi 7.0 and ESXi 8.0, and was manufactured 10 years ago, and is still present on the HCL today! Well done #intel for stopping these cards going to landfill!

10 years old and on the HCL!

10 years old and on the HCL!

This is a bargain card and firmware is still available and can be updated from Dell ! From memory 21.x !

So ideal for an inexpensive #homelab

Argh, I’ve got one issue, more later on that!

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#intel #optane demo units as part of the @vExpert program

July 1st, 2023

I was able to take part in the fantastic offer of free #intel #optane demo units as part of the vExpert Program to create a #vSAN #homelab project which I will document here on this blog. It has taken me a while to obtain all the parts for the #homelab BOM, so here goes….. the #homelab will be based on VMware vSphere 7.0 and 8.0 vSAN.

So one of the many benefits of the vExpert Program , so if you have an interest in VMware Products, reach out to me as a vExpert Pro, for help with applying to the program!

So many Thanks to fellow #vExperts –  Mr vSAN, and Matt Mancini, vCommunity Guy for organising this. 

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This is not houmous !

July 1st, 2023

This is not houmous ! I’ve created a weapon of mass destruction!

I’ve been growing organic horseradish on the allotments for over 15 years, and I’ve recently dug it up, and started to prepare it for homemade horseradish sauce!

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Sorry for the hiatus!

May 23rd, 2023

So maybe time to return, life has just been so hectic, and the Blog has not broke, so the tidy-up has begon, as lots of links have broken in the last 3 years!

I’ve removed the annoying MrHyperlink, people complained about the flashing, and got rid of the GiffGaff and Donations buttons!

Normal service will resume shortly!

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It’s been a while!

May 16th, 2023

It’s been a while since I last Blogged!

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Remote Desktop Manager by Devolutions Inc

January 22nd, 2021

I’m trying to work smarter and more efficiently, and returned to using a tool I found over 10 years ago called Remote Desktop Manager by Devolutions Inc, basically, it’s a System Administration tool, which has all your server/workstation connection stuff in, so that single pane of glass management, e.g. RDP and SSH connections all in one place for managing and connecting to servers, and much much more.

and if you are a vExpert, MVP you get it for FREE!

 

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How not to play Fornite! Keep out of the storm!

December 27th, 2020

Power cut today, caused me to be without internet for seven hours, and when power was restored, I had a few issues.

So later when all was restored, I had a test game of Fornite, and thought I would record it, so you can see what happens if you go fishing for a great white shark!

 

Oh, you are supposed to stay out of the storm! (it kills you!)

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Merry Christmas and A Prosperous New Year 2021 from Andysworld!

December 23rd, 2020
Christmas Festive Monkey

Christmas Festive Monkey

This photo was taken by me in Nagano Japan in 2011, it’s not a stock download from the internet! just before the Earthquake and Reactor meltdown!

Hopefully 2021 will be COVID-19 eventually….

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