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 HP DC7900 SFF 
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Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 12:52 pm
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Post HP DC7900 SFF
- Model HP DC7900
- Intel Q45
- Socket 775 Q6600
- Memory 8GB (4x2GB) Kingston ValueRam DDR2-800
- BIOS 2009-08-25
- Onboard NIC (Intel 82567-LM3) working
- Onboard Storage ICH10 working
-1x WD Green 1TB
- MB support Intel VT (vt-x)
- MB support vt-d (directed I/O)
- Added HP/LSI Sas3442E-R adapter
-2x WD Green 1TB

Running LSI Sas adapter passed-through to Nexentastor (community edition) VM with 2x1TB in ZFS mirror. Used RDMs for a while, but pass-through performance is much better especially if you look at latency using iostat/zfs iostat.
Nexentastor VM presents iSCSI volume to ESXi host which contains all other VM's and als serves as SMB/NFS/iSCSI NAS for the rest of the household.

CPU power policy set to dynamic. System draws around 60Watt from wall outlet when running 5VM's.

Overall very satisfied with this "office" PC. Only problem is that it won't boot with quad port intel PCI-e NIC (82575 VT Quad). Might get solved by BIOS update


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Sat Nov 14, 2009 11:32 am
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Post Re: HP DC7900 SFF
Thanks for the post. Do you recall any numbers regarding the performance difference and does the controller come with battery backed write cache?

For the NIC see the driver update here (or it should be included in Update 1 - due likely by the 19th) - http://downloads.vmware.com/d/details/e ... R0QGpidGR3.

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Dave Mishchenko
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Sat Nov 14, 2009 11:36 pm
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Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 12:52 pm
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Post Re: HP DC7900 SFF
Looking at iostat under Nexenta the value "svc_t" which apparently is the HD access-time is now always < 20ms as where it used to be > 60ms when using RDM. Don't think there is a battery backup option for this controller. Am using it in JBOD mode and let ZFS handle the mirroring.

Problem with Intel VT quad is that the DC7900 BIOS doesn't even continue to boot the system. It may be a BIOS setting I have to change though still have to investigate that. The card has worked in my previous setup (AMD X2 3800, MB: M2NPV-VM)


Sun Nov 15, 2009 11:36 am
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Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:36 am
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Post Re: HP DC7900 SFF
I have a very similar setup. But how am I able to get the iscsi device to autoload into vmware on a reboot of the host?
It apears after a Storage rescan though.


Wed Dec 02, 2009 2:43 pm
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Post Re: HP DC7900 SFF
Are you running a VM which then provides an iSCSI datastore to ESXi?

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Dave Mishchenko
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Wed Dec 02, 2009 2:58 pm
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Post Re: HP DC7900 SFF
Yes, a Nexentastor VM with a diskcontroller passthroughed to it.


Wed Dec 02, 2009 10:52 pm
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Post Re: HP DC7900 SFF
You could add a cron job to do the rescan for you, but the main issue is that ESXi will mount datastores before VMs are started.

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Dave Mishchenko
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Wed Dec 02, 2009 11:27 pm
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Joined: Thu Nov 19, 2009 11:36 am
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Post Re: HP DC7900 SFF
I'm not sure a cronjob is the right thing to use.
One way to solve it would be if Nexentastor could run a PowerCLI command right after VMware-tools start.
Would that be possible?
Or maybe if ESXi can run the job after it gets "VMware-tools: OK". Probably not possible though.
Are there other alternatives?

Edit: NFS shares do mount automatic.


Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:16 am
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