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Configuring LSI® Nytro™ WarpDrive™ Application Acceleration Card and deploying with VMware® ESX/ESXi 4.x (Partner Verified and Support) (2012308)

Purpose

This article provides information about LSI support for configuring the LSI WarpDrive SLP-300 acceleration card with ESX/ESXi 4.1. When other LSI Host Bus Adapters become available, they will be described here also.

Note: The Partner Verified and Supported Products (PVSP) policy implies that the solution is not directly supported by VMware. For issues with this configuration, contact LSI Corporation directly. See the Support Workflow on how partners can engage with VMware. It is the partner's responsibility to verify that the configuration functions with future vSphere major and minor releases, as VMware does not guarantee that compatibility with future releases is maintained.
 
Disclaimer: The PVSP partner product referenced in this article is a software module that is developed and supported by a partner. Use of this product is also governed by the end user license agreement of the partner. You must obtain the application, support, and licensing for using this product from the partner.

Resolution

Product Overview

The new family of LSI Nytro WarpDrive application acceleration cards are designed to offer high performance with low latency and low CPU burden accelerating applications such as Web serving, data warehousing, data mining, online transaction processing and high-performance computing. Their PCIe® host interface, industry standard drivers and small form factor make them more flexible and easier to integrate into today’s low profile, high performance system chassis.

The Nytro WarpDrive cards are designed to improve the performance of applications regardless of the mix of reads and writes, especially when combined with optional Nytro XD host software. The card’s high performance means that a single Nytro WarpDrive card can do the same work as hundreds of traditional spinning hard disk drives (HDDs).

Users can enjoy a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) by reducing power consumption, space, and maintenance in enterprise systems. The Nytro WarpDrive card adds no additional moving parts to maintain and no user configuration at set-up. Additionally, the Nytro WarpDrive card offers a management infrastructure for extensive monitoring including health, error rate, and failure monitoring.

The WarpDrive acceleration card is compatible with VMware ESX/ESXi 4.x.

Installation Details

Using the Nytro WarpDrive Card ESX 4.x driver CD to install drivers on ESX or ESXi installation

Click on your product's link to download a CD image:

The driver CD can be created by burning the image to CD ROM using any standard CD burning software.

The driver CD can be used to install the driver in several ways:
  • To install drivers for devices as part of a new ESX installation
  • To update existing drivers or install new drivers for an existing ESX installation with esxupdate
  • To update existing drivers or install new drivers for an existing ESX or ESXi installation with vihostupdate

Note: VMware Update Manager is not currently supported.

Installing drivers for devices as part of a new ESX installation (ESX only)

To install drivers for devices as part of a new ESX installation:
  1. Place the ESX installation DVD in the DVD drive of the host.
  2. Restart the host.
  3. Accept the terms of the license agreement.
  4. Select a keyboard type.
  5. When prompted for Custom Drivers, select Yes to install custom drivers.
  6. Click Add to eject the ESX installation DVD.
  7. Place the driver CD in the DVD drive of the ESX host.
  8. Select driver module to import drivers to the ESX host.
  9. Click Next to continue. A dialog box displays the message: Load the system drivers.
  10. Click Yes. After loading the driver module, continue installing ESX. After the drivers are installed you are prompted to swap the driver CD with the ESX installation DVD.

Updating or adding drivers on existing ESX installations using esxupdate (ESX only) 

To update or add drivers on existing ESX installations using esxupdate:
  1. Power on the ESX host and log into an account with administrator capability.
  2. Place the driver CD in the CD-ROM drive of the ESX host.
  3. Mount the driver CD.
  4. Navigate to the cd mount point/offline-bundle/ and locate the offline-bundle.zip file.
  5. Run the esxupdate command to install drivers using the offline bundle:

    esxupdate --bundle=offline-bundle.zip –-maintenancemode update

  6. Reboot the server for the new driver become effective

Updating or adding drivers on existing ESX/ESXi installations using vihostupdate (ESX and ESXi)

 To update or add drivers on existing ESX/ESXi installations using vihostupdate:
  1. Power on the ESX/ESXi host.
  2. Place the driver CD in the CD-ROM drive of the host where either the vSphere CLI package is installed or vMA is hosted.
  3. Mount the driver CD.
  4. Navigate to cd_mount_point/offline-bundle/ and locate the offline-bundle.zip file.
  5. Put the system into maintenance mode using the command:

    vicfg-hostops conn_options operation enter

  6. Run the vihostupdate command to install drivers using the offline bundle;:

    vihostupdate conn_options --install --bundle offline-bundle.zip

    Note: For more details on vihostupdate, see the vSphere Command-Line Interface Installation and Reference Guide.

  7. To come out of maintenance mode use the command:

    vicfg-hostops conn_options operation exit

  8. Reboot the server for the new driver to become effective.

Configuration Details

There is no specific configuration required for WarpDrive acceleration card post installation of the driver. Post successful installation, the WarpDrive card controller and disks have to be detected by default in the ESX/ESXi host.

Verification Summary

Test Scenario

Installation and Configuration

  • Various installation/un-installation scenarios of drivers
  • Creation and extension of data store on WarpDrive acceleration card
  • Various Guest OS installations on WarpDrive acceleration card
  • Virtual disk creation using WarpDrive acceleration card and adding it to Guest OS
  • Taking and reverting snapshot on of VM created on WarpDrive acceleration card

Basic IO testing

  • Multiple virtual machine creation and running I/Os on the virtual machine
  • Suspend and resume virtual machine while I/Os are running

Stress testing

  • Overnight I/Os running with various exceptions(like target reset, lun reset, controller reset)
  • Rebooting test system in loop with WarpDrive acceleration card connected

Verification hardware and software

Systems tested

  • Dell R710
  • IBM x3620

Guest OS

  • RHEL 6.1
  • SLES11SP1
  • Win2K8R2

IO Tool used

  • LinuxSmash
  • IOzone
  • FIO

Support information

You can access product documentation at http://www.lsi.com/products/storagecomponents/Pages/SolidState.aspx.

Support Process

Customers can submit a support request ticket by login in at http://www.lsi.com/support/Pages/submitsupportrequest.aspx and entering the requested information. Customers usually create an account on the LSI website to be able to enter a Support Request. Customers can also email their support request to globalsupport@lsi.com.

Escalation Process

If you need to engage LSI for support escalation, submit a Support Request either by e-mail or phone. You need to provide the serial number of the LSI product that you have purchased. If a failed part is identified, be prepared to also provide this information for a parts request:

  • Identification of the failed part or a brief description of failure
  • Description of troubleshooting conducted
  • Applicable contact, address and shipping information​

If a replacement part has been prescribed, a part will be dispatched to your site. Also included will be further information, if necessary, on how to replace the component, as well as instructions on how to return your failed part.

Contact information

Email at: globalsupport@lsi.com

North America: 800-372-2447
International: 1-610-712-4323
 
Note: LSI, the LSI & Design logo, and WarpDrive are trademarks or registered trademarks of LSI Corporation. All other brand or product names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.
© LSI Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

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