ESXi 6 and pass through disk without vt-d. Possible now?

weust

Active Member
Aug 15, 2014
349
38
28
42
Since managing Free Hyper-V in a workgroup is starting to really piss me off, I am looking at ESXi 6 to see if that can satisfy me.
I have experience with ESX(i) so setting things up won't be a problem.

But I can't find whether ESXi 6 finally support passing through a disk the same Hyper-V can.
Meaning, without the need of VT-d and passing through an entire controller.

The articles I can find on what is new in ESXi 6 all focus on higher level/marketing stuff it seems :)

Hope someone can help me out here.
 
Last edited:

weust

Active Member
Aug 15, 2014
349
38
28
42
Got impatient and decided to install ESXi 6 on a USB stick an give it a try.
As far as I can see you still can't pass through a disk to a VM without VT-d and passing an entire controller.
So, that sucks.

I also was unable to get my WAN connection through to the VM running OPNsense (fork of pfSense).
Which is weird since I was able to do that using ESXi 5.5 back in September 2014.
Perhaps it has something to do with the generation of the VM I choose. Went for version 11, which warns about some things you can't add or edit using the "VMware vSphere Client".
But since it's mainly a VMSwitch things I doubt that.

Good thing is that ESXi 6 detects all the hardware in my SuperMicro 2758 Superserver.
So no screwing around with drivers for the i354 NICs.
 

Biren78

Active Member
Jan 16, 2013
550
94
28
RDM should still be possible.

One other idea: just setup a AD network. If you are just replacing WORKGROUP then that should be really easy.
 

weust

Active Member
Aug 15, 2014
349
38
28
42
The only thing I can find to pass through a Raw disk, is through a SAN.

Thought of of setting up a AD, but that would mean adding a computer to the network.
Eating power, etc. Doesn't have to be much, but I was hoping to avoid it.
Keeping power consumation as low as possible.
 

TechIsCool

Active Member
Feb 8, 2012
263
117
43
Clinton, WA
techiscool.com
You can use Internal Storage as RDM drives but its not supported by VMware.

SSH into the host
esxcfg-mpath -l | grep "Device: "
Then Run
vmkfstools -z /vmfs/devices/disks/<name of RAW device from Step 1> <location to store VMDK>/<RDM name>.vmdk

Find the vmdk you just created by adding it as a disk to the host.
More Info Here
 

weust

Active Member
Aug 15, 2014
349
38
28
42
Ah, yes. Of course. Forget about that.
Will give that a try once get WAN pass through working. Otheriwse there is no use, and I will stay with Hyper-V.

Will give ESXi 5.5 a try later to see if it works there.
 

NeverDie

Active Member
Jan 28, 2015
307
26
28
USA
Ah, yes. Of course. Forget about that.
Will give that a try once get WAN pass through working. Otheriwse there is no use, and I will stay with Hyper-V.

Will give ESXi 5.5 a try later to see if it works there.
I've also read that if the VM's OS is Windows, then using Hyper-V tends to work better than if using ESXi. All I know is that with ESXi 5.5 on a C2758 I couldn't seem to get Windows Home Server to install properly as a guest VM. I was planning to retry using ESXi 6.0, except that you've already done enough (thanks for your write-up) that I'll try Hyper-V next instead.
 

TuxDude

Well-Known Member
Sep 17, 2011
615
338
63
I've also read that if the VM's OS is Windows, then using Hyper-V tends to work better than if using ESXi.
Wouldn't MS love that to be true - sounds like a piece of FUD right out of their marketing department. I'll just say there's a reason that VMware owns the enterprise virtualization market. HyperV is catching up fast, but its not there just yet.
 
  • Like
Reactions: whitey

NeverDie

Active Member
Jan 28, 2015
307
26
28
USA
Wouldn't MS love that to be true - sounds like a piece of FUD right out of their marketing department. I'll just say there's a reason that VMware owns the enterprise virtualization market. HyperV is catching up fast, but its not there just yet.
So, is that a prediction I'll encounter the same problem with Windows Home Server under Hyper-V?
 

weust

Active Member
Aug 15, 2014
349
38
28
42
The ESX 3.5 I ran years ago at work, with Windows Server 2003, ran great.
Later to 2008 R2 and never a problem too. Can't imagine ESX 5.5 would be worse.

The only real advantage of Hyper-V is that with 2008 R2 (can't remember about 2008) and 2012 (R2) it knows it's a virtual machine, and has the integration tools built in.
Other then that they both perform fine.
 

weust

Active Member
Aug 15, 2014
349
38
28
42
I added a dual port Intel server NIC in, the 82571EB controllers, and at first it wasn't working.
Then I did a power reset on the cable mode, and it worked. Which is behaviour as expected since the NIC changed.

Gonna try that with the I354 controller now . Would suprise me if that works, since only the OS changed.
But if it works, that's cool.

All this with ESXi 6.0 btw. ESXi 5.5 installer won't even get past the schedular part of the startup...
 

weust

Active Member
Aug 15, 2014
349
38
28
42
And the I354 now passes WAN traffic too. Excellent!
Just needed a cable modem reset...

And yes, I know I totally de-railed my own topic :-(
 

NeverDie

Active Member
Jan 28, 2015
307
26
28
USA
Home server died a death
If by dead you mean unsupported, then more like dying and nearly dead. Microsoft will supposedly support it for about another 12 months. Anyhow, I have a copy that I've never used, and I hear it's good for doing nightly remote backups of Windows computers that are on the LAN. Aside from that, I don't know whether there's any value in it. I'm using FreeNAS for shares.