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VMDirectPath / passthrough on HP DL380 G6 with P212 Controller and LTO3 SAS Tape

Allen Neeser
Occasional Visitor

VMDirectPath / passthrough on HP DL380 G6 with P212 Controller and LTO3 SAS Tape

I try to run following combination:

HP DL380 G6 Server with Intel Xeon 55xx CPU
integrated SA P410i Controller with 512MB BBWC
Vmware vSphere ESX 4.0 standard installed

I put following addition to this HP Server:
SA P212 SAS Controller with zero Memory configuration
connected to HP LTO3 external SAS Tape Drive

First I was activating the P212 Controller in the advanced settings for VMDirectPath and restarted the ESX
Second I was adding the P212 controller directly to a Ubuntu 9.04 VM and for a second test to a RHEL5 Server VM.

Ubuntu 9.04 is listing the LTO3 Tape with the newer cciss driver (ubuntu 8.04 did not because cciss version is to old for p212), but always it gives me timeouts in the installation, during startup and by I/O. RHEL5 was sometimes freezing and one time the wohle ESX host was crashed/freezing with a weird Kernel Message, that my memory modules may be corrupted! But they are really not, I tested them and the Server is running fine without VMDirectPath enabled.

Should I try to put a Memory Module with Battery into the SA P212 SAS Controller or is it maybee better to buy another controller from HP.

Does somebody have the same problem like me or is trying to get a local attached tape drive working on a ESX 4 Host? I know Vmware that it's better to attach the LTO3 to another physically Server and that it's only experimental support, but we have also the NAS to recover everything and the Tape is only for a second offsite dual Backup Strategy, so I don't like to buy a second physically server to run the Tape only.

I think it's a driver problem on the ESX4.0 Host for this P212 Controller, but I'm not able to validate this or to write a new driver, so I need to know which other Controller is working or if I can do a workaround for this.

I'm very happy for every suggestion or help.

Thanks a lot!
Allen Neeser
3 REPLIES
PatrickHauer
Occasional Visitor

Re: VMDirectPath / passthrough on HP DL380 G6 with P212 Controller and LTO3 SAS Tape

Hi Allen
i had similar problems like you, but i used the passthrough mode with a windows 2008 guest. I orderd an HP SC08Ge HBA an this configuration causes no troubles for me. i read annother posting which suggest to install an additional BBWC Unit into the P212 Controller.

I opened a case by HP and their suggestion was to change the CPU because there where some errors mentioning a problem with the CPU in this server.

Re: VMDirectPath / passthrough on HP DL380 G6 with P212 Controller and LTO3 SAS Tape

Hi Patrick,

I am in a similar situation with a DL360G6, SAS autoloader and previously P212 controler, now sc08ge. Did you use vmdirectpath on the new controller too?

I'm about to enable vmdirectpath as I can't get the drive to read/write although I can control the loader ok. Am a bit worried by talk of kernel errors etc!

Thanks/

George
PatrickHauer
Occasional Visitor

Re: VMDirectPath / passthrough on HP DL380 G6 with P212 Controller and LTO3 SAS Tape

Hi George,
yes i am using now the passthrough configuration with the new Controller and this setup works fine for me.

Which vmkernel message do you read?