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Best practices for vSAN implementations using Dell PERC H730 or FD332-PERC storage controllers (2109665)

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Purpose

This article provides the best practices for implementing VMware vSAN (formerly known as Virtual SAN) using Dell PERC H730 or FD332-PERC storage controllers.

Resolution

General best practices
 
Note: VMware recommends you follow these best practices to avoid a vSAN cluster failure.
Refer to these tables for the recommended driver/firmware combinations for the major vSAN releases.

Note: This information was correct as of 15 November, 2016. Refer to the VCG for more information.
 
For vSAN 6.x and 5.5:

Device
Recommended Driver
Recommended Firmware
BP13G+ (Non-expander backplane) NA 2.23 or later
BP13G+EX (Expander backplane) NA 3.03 or later
PERC H730 See the VMware Compatibility Guide
FD332-PERC See the VMware Compatibility Guide

Note: To use the megaraid_perc9 driver in ESXi 5.5, you must disable the lsi_mr3 and possibly the megaraid_sas driver.
 
To disable these drivers in ESXi 5.5:

Note: This operation requires an ESXi host reboot to take effect. While rebooting ensure that an appropriate vSAN Maintenance Mode option is selected. For information about vSAN Maintenance Mode, see the Place a Member of Virtual SAN Cluster in Maintenance Mode section in the vSphere Storage Guide.

  1. Log in to the ESXi host using SSH or console.

  2. Disable the lsi_mr3 driver by running this command:

    esxcli system module set --enabled=false --module=lsi_mr3

  3. Reboot the ESXi host.

  4. Post reboot, determine the driver being used by the PERC controller. If the driver being used is megaraid_sas instead of megaraid_perc9, disable the megaraid_sas  driver to force the system to use the appropriate driver. To disable the megaraid_sas driver, run this command:

    esxcli system module set --enabled=false --module=megaraid_sas

  5. If you disabled the megaraid_sas driver in step 4, reboot the ESXi host a second time.


Additional Information

For related information on Dell H730 controllers, see Deployment guidelines for running VMware vSAN and VMware vSphere VMFS datastores on a Dell H730 controller with the lsi_mr3 driver (2136374).

If best-practice recommendations are not followed, the vSAN cluster may fail with an unexpected disk failure declaration. One or more behaviors may manifest in the vSAN environment:

  • When vSAN is under load, you see that vSAN status as Unhealthy:

  • Latency-related alarms may be triggered.
  • In the ESXi host /var/log/vmkernel.log file, you see entries similar to:

    WARNING: lsi_mr3: fusionReset:2565: megaraid_sas: Hardware critical error, returning FAILED.
    WARNING: ScsiPath: 7133: Set retry timeout for failed TaskMgmt abort for CmdSN 0x0, status Failure, path vmhba0:C0:T0:L0

Tags

vSAN implementation recommendation, Dell PERC H730, FD332-PERC, vSAN h730,

See Also

Update History

jetaylor - 04/29/2016 - Rewrite as a best-practice document. mkhalil - 08/06/2015 - Restructured KB to accommodate recently posted updated driver. mkhalil - 05/10/2016 - Moved the DiskIOTimeout and diskIoRetryFactor in the resolution section to KB 2144936 11/15/2016 - Added vSAN 6.5 to Products 04/18/2017 - Added vSAN 6.6 to Products

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