Getting VMWare ESXi 5.0.0 with RAID using the Intel X79 chipset to work

Deleted asked:

I have bought a new server where I use the motherboard
ASUS P9X79 WS X79 S-2011 ATX. It will be used for virtualization, preferably using VMware vSphere Hypervisor™ (ESXi) if I can get the RAID on my motherboard working with VMWare (it does not detect it).

The motherboard has the Intel® X79 chipset, which for RAID controller means vendor ID 8086 (Intel) and model ID 2826.

When I boot the ESXi 5.0.0 installation media from my flash drive I can not see drives in the RAID5 set I created.


My answer:

OK, the previous answers have talked about why it’s a bad idea to use fakeraid, why VMware doesn’t support it, and to some extent why using a desktop motherboard isn’t such a good idea.

If you’re really set on using this board as the base for a VMware server, this is what you do:

  1. Go to eBay.
  2. Search for DELL PERC 6/i. Buy one, preferably one that includes a battery. This is an actual hardware RAID controller which is compatible with VMware vSphere. Do not get a 6/iR card.
  3. If the card didn’t come with a drive cable, then search for SFF-8484 SFF-8482 and buy one of the cables listed. This cable allows you to connect up to four SAS or SATA drives to the 6/i.
  4. When they all arrive, install the 6/i in one of your computer’s PCI Express slots and connect the drives to the 6/i with the cable.
  5. Use the 6/i RAID BIOS to create your RAID array.
  6. Install VMware vSphere Hypervisor.


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