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 Dell PowerVault 745N - ESXi u4 
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Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:25 pm
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 Dell PowerVault 745N - ESXi u4
Dave.Mishchenko wrote:
- server / MB / NIC / controller make and model
- chipset
- CPU socket and type used
- BIOS / firmware versions
- are the onboard NIC / storage controller working
- any changes required to enable ESX/ESXi to recognize hardware components
- does the storage controller support RAID / battery backup for write cache
- does the MB support Intel VT (vt-x) / AMD-V
- does it support vt-d (directed I/O) / AMD IOMMU (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X86_virtualization)


It's a 1u server, configured with either software or hardware raid (mine is hardware raid, based off the "CERC" raid adapter from Dell). When u4 was released, it specifically mentioned the raid adapter, so I fired up a quick install using a USB dvd-drive.

Mine is configured with 3GB of ram, 4*750GB drives, and a P4 2.8GHz w/HT cpu, with embedded Intel gigabit NICs (which are the CT and MT label designation).

Install took awhile, and both NIC's were set to DHCP and pulled an address just fine. Logging in with VIC I was able to browse all 3 datastores (I sliced and diced my raid into 3 containers).

I didn't create any VM's though, as my "playtime" came to an abrupt end and I had to repro the box right away :(


Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:47 pm
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Post Re: Dell PowerVault 745N - ESXi u4
Can't say I was expecting a PowerVault make the white box list. :D

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Tue Apr 21, 2009 3:21 pm
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Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:25 pm
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Post Re: Dell PowerVault 745N - ESXi u4
honestly, the only thing I expected to work was being able to now access the hard drives.

When the box first came up, it showed the IP address as 0.0.0.0 which I fully expected it to, BUT what I didn't realize was eth0 was plugged into a switch, but nothing else was on that particular switch - so no DHCP obviously.

Once I set the management to both NIC's and restarted, it came right up.

Oh, the Intel NIC's are described as the following (from CentOS 5.3):

"Intel Corporation 82547GI Gigabit Ethernet Controller"

These are embedded onto the motherboard. This may be a decent setup for low usage Linux VM's - we used to run Windows + VMWare Server 1.x on this box, and the Linux VM's worked ok, but the Windows VM's ... sucked. :mrgreen: Plus, this particular model tops out at 4GB ram, not a lot of headroom for multiple VM's (I would MAYBE put 3-4 VM's?).


Tue Apr 21, 2009 3:29 pm
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Joined: Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:25 pm
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Post Re: Dell PowerVault 745N - ESXi u4
Dave, I made a mistake.

Backstory: We owned 2 Powervaults 745N's - one of them the memory controller died and we purchased a replacement mobo direct from Dell - what they sent us was a physically similar in size and shape and layout motherboard - but it belonged to a PowerEdge 750 - and THAT'S the machine I was able to successfully get ESXi 3.5 u4 loaded on.

Our 745N only has 512MB ram at the moment, and ESXi would NOT install on that due to the lack of memory. If I ever come across some compatible memory, I'll throw it in and re-visit ESXi 3.5 again.

My apologies for the mistake.

FWIW, at least you can now add the PE 750 to your whitebox list :P


Fri Apr 24, 2009 5:06 pm
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Post Re: Dell PowerVault 745N - ESXi u4
No worries - I've made the change.


Fri Apr 24, 2009 7:06 pm
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Joined: Thu Nov 05, 2009 6:06 am
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Post Re: Dell PowerVault 745N - ESXi u4
Hi mauirixxx.

I have this same Dell 750 as you have, and unfortunately I'm not able to load esxi 3.5 u4 to it. It's start loading and what I always getting on the end is black screen and nothing more.
Did you have to do me adjustment to bootloader (add some commands to kernel in Lilo configuration) ?


Thu Nov 05, 2009 6:11 am
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Post Re: Dell PowerVault 745N - ESXi u4
I did nothing special monsoft, sorry.

It literally was plug in a USB attached cd-rom drive, ensure the bios would boot off it first, configure the raid containers, burn the 3.5 u4 iso to a cd, and boot, and wait for the install to finish.

Was yours an original PE 750? Mine was a refurbished PE 750 motherboard, so maybe during the refurbishing Dell may have done something to the board?

If that's the case, then that may totally invalidate my experience.

Only other thing I can think of would be to ensure the BIOS is up to date, and make sure the install media is valid, and that your raid adapter is supported (all standard stuff, I know ....).

Wish I could be of more help :(


Thu Nov 05, 2009 11:16 am
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Post Re: Dell PowerVault 745N - ESXi u4
Mine is original.
I updated BIOS and now I have a information that my SATA controller is not supported so I have to follow IDE installation method.

On Bios A04 I got black screen on the end, so BIOS upgrade improved whole process.

Thanks


Fri Nov 06, 2009 4:11 am
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Post Re: Dell PowerVault 745N - ESXi u4
I never tried with the onboard SATA controller, I used the included "CERC" (Cost Effective Raid Controller - while it works, there's WAY better raid controllers available) which was recently added to their supported hardware list, which is what made me try loading ESXi on this machine in the first place :)

Glad to see you got further along though!


Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:04 am
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