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Micron PCI Express RealSSD™ Storage for VMware ESX/ESXi 4.1 (2030423)

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This article provides information about Partner Support for configuring the Micron PCI Express RealSSD™ storage device for use in servers deployed with ESX/ESXi 4.1. This article is specific to the P320 family of products.

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 Micron 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 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 from the partner the application, support, and licensing for using this product.

For product support and other product information, see the Micron Product Support Home page.

For documents and other product collateral, see the Micron Enterprise PCIe SSD Home page.


Product Overview

The low-latency, high-IOPs RealSSD™ P320 family of enterprise class solid state disk technology offers compelling bandwidth and performance, combined with extended endurance, exceptional reliability, and remarkable power efficiency. It is an ideal solution for optimizing applications with heavy READ access, from Web accelerators to media streaming and video-on-demand servers, as well as data warehousing and local storage caching solutions.

The custom controller is designed specifically to interact with and optimize Micron’s high-performance NAND, achieving high sequential READ speeds. Engineered for endurance, the P320h drive can withstand high temps and a heavy workload.

The P320h SSDs also includes robust enterprise features like unique RAIN (redundant array of independent NAND) technology which provides both robust lifetime wear leveling and data protection, along with a suite of other advanced NAND-management tools provide monitoring, reporting, error correction, and workload balancing. For an in-depth review of Micron’s RAIN technology, see the Micron Enterprise PCIe SSD Web site.

Installing the Micron PCIe RealSSD™ Device and Driver in ESX/ESXi 4.1

The P320h uses a PCI Express 2.0 x8 interface with an HBA and Solid State Storage Device combined into a single form factor. Proper installation requires the mtip32xx device driver.

Installing the card consists of powering down the ESX/ESXi 4.1 server, locating a free PCIe x8 or x16 slot, and seating the device firmly into the PCIe slot.

The P320h is distributed with software that contains the device driver for VMware ESX/ESXi 4.1 and supporting documentation.
To install the Micron PCIe RealSSD™ Device and Driver in ESX/ESXi 4.1:
  1. Locate the file.
  2. Copy file to the ESX host. You may copy directly to the local storage via SSH or upload to the default data store through the vSphere Client Browse Datastore feature.
  3. At a command prompt through SSH, run this command to install or update the driver:

    # esxupdate -–bundle=path_to_parent_folder/ -–nodeps -–nocache update

  4. Reboot the host for the installation to take effect.
In some cases, it may be required to uninstall the previous driver version before you can update with the previous instructions.
To uninstall the previous version:
  1. Run this command to query the VIB database for the exact package name

    # esxupdate query –-vib-view | grep mtip

    You should see an output similar to:

    --------------VIB ID---------------------------------- Package State- Timestamp---------
    cross_vmware-esx-drivers-block-mtipx2xx_400.1.0.2-1OEM installed 2012-04-11T17...

  2. Run this command to remove the installed driver:

    # esxupdate -b cross_vmware-esx-drivers-block-mtipx2xx_400.1.0.2-1OEM remove

Note: If the installation fails indicating that the host must be in maintenance mode prior to installation, follow the VMware instructions for entering maintenance mode or add --maintenancemode to the esxupdate command line.

Basic Configuration using vSphere

To configure the P320 device for use in a local storage configuration you must partition and format the drive and then create a datastore from which to create virtual machines or assign virtual machines storage space using .vmdk files.

These instructions were written based on using the vSphere 5.0.0 client application. You need to log into your vCenter Server from the vSphere Client and locate the server that contains your P320 installation.

To configure the P320 device using the vSphere Client:

  1. Connect to your ESX host using the vSphere Client.
  2. Click the Configuration tab and select Storage under the Hardware pane in the upper left corner of the window.
  3. Click Datastores.

  4. Click Add Storage. This opens a wizard for creating a new datastore.

  5. Select the Disk/LUN option and click Next.
  6. Select a Disk/LUN from the list of devices. The P320 is available as one of the devices with vmhba#:C0:T0:L0 for a Path ID, where the # represents the device number that the kernel assigns the device.

  7. Click Next.

    You see a summary of the device Disk Layout. If this is a new installation, you see a screen similar to:

    If the device has been in service for a while, you are prompted to confirm if you want to use free space or use the entire device.

  8. Click Next.
  9. Provide a name for the new data store. In this example, the data store is given the name P320-FastData.
  10. Click Next.
  11. Determine the size of the data store and any format parameters for initializing the drive and click Next.

    You see a summary of the configuration settings.

  12. Click Finish to initialize the P320 device.

    The vSphere Client shows the progress. When the configuration completes, you see a new item listed in the Datastores pane of the Configuration tab similar to:

Request a Product Feature

To request a new product feature or to provide feedback on a VMware product, please visit the Request a Product Feature page.


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