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Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:17 am
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Post ASUS P8B-E/4L
ASUS P8B-E/4L: ESXi 4.1u1 and ESXi 5.0. Fast and Stable.
- 4 x 82574L LAN working
- VMDirectPath working provided the processor supports Intel vt-d.
- Onboard RAID sets are recognized only as individual drives (to be expected for non ROC (RAID-on-chip) RAID adapters).

UPDATE - Oct 2011: BIOS v1101 Sep 2011 now correctly supports LSI 9260-8i at adapter firmware v12.13.0-0104 and previous v12.12.0-0048. I am totally delighted that the ASUS Support team worked with me to fix this.

Motherboard BIOS v1101
CPU: Intel Xeon E3-1240 (supports vt-d), Intel i3-2100 (does not support vt-d and onboard graphics is ignored). All hyperthreads accessible as logical processors.
Memory: Kingston DDR3 2x4GB ECC KVR1333D3E9SK2/8G (System works with 1, 2, 3 or 4 memory sticks, but the onboard memory thermal sensors are not recognized by ESXi). Note that non-ECC memory does not POST.
RAID Card: LSI MegaRaid 9260-8i
Drives Used: 8 x Seagate ST3500418AS 500GB 7200rpm SATA II
as 7 x RAID 6, 1 x Hot Standby

- Processors running around 55°C on the stock coolers. Some 3rd party coolers brought the temperature down by about 6°C.
- Processors are not officially supported by ESXi and therefore may not correctly apply CPU microcode updates - not usually a problem in a whitebox environment.
- Onboard Intel/LSI C204 IDE/Raid/AHCI Controller: CDROM and individual HDD recognized in RAID and AHCI Mode but RAID arrays are NOT recognized.
- Add-in (optional) ASUS PIKE 1068E RAID Arrays (OK, but RAID is dreadfully slow under ESXi I suspect because the Pike chipset is not a true raid-on-chip ROC and the small footprint hypervisor cannot support the complete driver)
- Add-in Adaptec 2405 RAID Arrays with and without Chenbro CK12803 SAS Expander ver B0 (OK - RAID card functions in all 3 PCIe slots)
- ESXi installs from CDROM connected to onboard AHCI (OK)
- ESXi installs on and boots from 4GB Patriot USB memory stick (OK)
- Some motherboard components interfere with Chenbro CK12803 SAS Expander and it does not fit securely in all PCIe/PCI slots.
- Adaptec RAID 2405 adapter tested only on ESXi 4.1U1 and can be managed with Adaptec ARCCONF CLI (command line interface) installed on a remote windows client computer if CIM Provider (from Adaptec adapter storage manager download web page) and aacraid driver bundles (from Adaptec adapter driver download web page) are installed on ESXi host.
- LSI MegaRAID 9260-8i works with MB BIOS v1101 but does not POST correctly for MB BIOS 1002 and lower (Adapter F/W tested was 12.12.0-0048 and v12.13.0-0104): Problem is that the motherboard loads the adapter config utility to allow new RAID configuration to be added, but on reboot, the POST hangs at "press DEL for setup" prompt. LSI 9260-8i can be managed from older version of MegaRaid Storage Manager if adapter installed on ESXi 4.1U1 system but this seems no longer possible at ESXI 5.0. Must install the latest LSI Provider and v5.34 driver on ESXi 5.0 to see the adapter instrumentation in vSphere.

Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:40 am
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