My Rant on ESXI 7.0

Sleyk

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I have to rant.

I saw a list of 735 plus devices not supported anymore. This is so silly and ridiculous.

ESXI is important for alot of people, and alot of people and corporations use it in the Enterprise and Server industry. But too many people are basing their purchases on ESXI now. Why?

Who gives a shit about ESXI? We are all so scared cuz ESXI "will remove our drivers" and not support our cards. Goodness gracious! Better get that Threadripper 3999KK+infinity CPU cuz ESXI wont support the Ryzen 2000 series anymore! Lol!

We cant let one piece of software dictate how we purchase our tech. This is stupid. ESXI will just keep losing users to alternate products. ESXI/VMware has not cared about whitebox builders and home labbers since time immemorial. They are all about making money. So now we cant use good, decent cheap products because ESXI dictates it wont support it anymore?

Sorry my friends, but F*** ESXI.

I was just having this conversation on reddit. Too many people screaming "oh no! ESXI dont support me!" Ridiculous. ESXI is not the be all end all virtualization software.

What I think its high time is we find and start getting used to alternatives. Proxmox is excellent. There are many other free alternatives out there that we all know about.

What do you guys think?
 
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StevenDTX

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Why should VMWare care about whitebox builders?

1) They are a subsidiary of Dell. It would make a lot of sense for them to push Dell products.
2) People who typically build whitebox servers are not who they are looking to support. Its a lot easier to suport a few very large customers (who operate thousands of servers), than many customers who operate only a few servers. Large customers are NOT buying whitebox servers. They are buying complete solutions from Dell and HP.

Don't get your panties in a bunch because your homelab doesn't work with a new product. Either stick with 6.7, or upgrade your hardware. I replaced a dozen NICs in my homelab today to prepare for the 7.0 upgrade.
 
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Netwerkz101

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Not so much different from old drivers not working in new Operating Systems.
How long should a software company support any given software?

If you want new features and bug fixes, you upgrade your software. If you don't care about upgrading, then don't upgrade - stay on older versions.

I have WinXP/Server 2003 VMs just because I had software that would not run on anything else (newer).
If I ever turn on XenServer again .. it would be the older 7.x version before it was crippled from it's former enterprise level features.
 

Sleyk

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Why should VMWare care about whitebox builders?

1) They are a subsidiary of Dell. It would make a lot of sense for them to push Dell products.
2) People who typically build whitebox servers are not who they are looking to support. Its a lot easier to suport a few very large customers (who operate thousands of servers), than many customers who operate only a few servers. Large customers are NOT buying whitebox servers. They are buying complete solutions from Dell and HP.

Don't get your panties in a bunch because your homelab doesn't work with a new product. Either stick with 6.7, or upgrade your hardware. I replaced a dozen NICs in my homelab today to prepare for the 7.0 upgrade.
I agree with the concept of not supporting small homelabbers, (of course they will do what makes most profit) but honestly, there is zero reason they cant support older tech, none. They just CHOOSE not to.

They arent obligated, but they can. And some of the things in the hardware list aren't even THAT old.

Yet they don't. And why? To make you buy new oem parts? Maybe. But they are even undercutting themselves as well. How many "oem" parts do Dell make? Plenty I might add. I dare say a large chunk of their business comes from just that. OEM parts built into their "complete" systems.

I actually don't have a problem with upgrading. As a matter of fact, all my devices are actually supported. I just don't like this "plus ultra" dependence on ESXI and now the whole tech world has to be all in a scramble cuz one peice of software wants to exclude good, solid, decent hardware drivers? Some of which is frankly ridiculous.

So, what now? We all bow to the overlords that is ESXI? Guess people better start saving for that Ryzen 4, cuz Ryzen 3 wont be supported in a few months.
 
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Sleyk

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Not so much different from old drivers not working in new Operating Systems.
How long should a software company support any given software?

If you want new features and bug fixes, you upgrade your software. If you don't care about upgrading, then don't upgrade - stay on older versions.

I have WinXP/Server 2003 VMs just because I had software that would not run on anything else (newer).
If I ever turn on XenServer again .. it would be the older 7.x version before it was crippled from it's former enterprise level features.
I see your point as well, but we seem to rely too heavily on this one peice of software. So if Windows dies tomorrow, will we not shift to alternate OS? I just dont like the idea of what ESXI is doing.
 

StevenDTX

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Plus...vSphere 7 is barely a month old. Companies will be releasing updated drivers, but it takes time to get them certified.

For instance, I have an Areca 1883. It does not work under vSphere 7.0. I sent a note to Areca asking if it will ever work and they responded that they are working on the certification now. So, they should release a driver in the near future so their cards will continue to work with 7.0. Fortunately for me, I only need it to work when I am doing maintenance on my SAN and need to move my workloads off the SAN temporarily.
 

RTM

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I am not sure how you got to 735+ (I assume it is the list on their wiki/support portal thing) devices had their driver support remove, but I suspect that it is probably not that many.

AFAIK (like I posted in another thread) at least some of the devices are just supported by a different driver.
 

Sleyk

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I am not sure how you got to 735+ (I assume it is the list on their wiki/support portal thing) devices had their driver support remove, but I suspect that it is probably not that many.

AFAIK (like I posted in another thread) at least some of the devices are just supported by a different driver.
Take a look here my brother: ESXi 7.0: The Unsupported
This guy found the whole list of unsupported devices. Im gonna post another thread dedicated just to the list
 

RyC

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Nearly all of the newly unsupported devices (as that article you linked says) are due to VMKLinux support being removed entirely in 7.0. VMware warned us three years ago, and the device manufacturers have decided it wasn't worth their time to make a native ESXi driver for many of these old devices. And there are in fact reasons (whether you think they're good is up to you) why VMKLinux is being removed, listed here: VMware plans to deprecate vmkLinux APIs and associated driver ecosystem - VMware vSphere Blog

Don't get me wrong, I'm very bummed the venerable M1015/LSI2008 cards are no longer supported.
 

Sleyk

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Nearly all of the newly unsupported devices (as that article you linked says) are due to VMKLinux support being removed entirely in 7.0. VMware warned us three years ago, and the device manufacturers have decided it wasn't worth their time to make a native ESXi driver for many of these old devices. And there are in fact reasons (whether you think they're good is up to you) why VMKLinux is being removed, listed here: VMware plans to deprecate vmkLinux APIs and associated driver ecosystem - VMware vSphere Blog

Don't get me wrong, I'm very bummed the venerable M1015/LSI2008 cards are no longer supported.
Interesting. I truly didnt know that they did warn that they were going to do this years ago. That changes my persepctive alittle bit, albeit, I just dont see why the bulk of these cards should be removed. It just signals a wave that ripples across the tech landscape. I am being alittle dramatic of course, as you still have 6.7, but is it really time to mark many of these devices as depreciated?
 

Evan

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Don't get me wrong, I'm very bummed the venerable M1015/LSI2008 cards are no longer supported.
6.7 is supported a while yet... anyway was going to say didn’t fedora/red hat remove LSI2008 support also in RHEL8 ?

lets be realistic, it costs a huge amount of testing effort and $$ if not development effort as well to support old devices, that’s why they have to make a choice. LSI2008 though is strange, can still buy kind of new systems today that run this, eg x10sdv with lsi2116.
 

Netwerkz101

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I see your point as well, but we seem to rely too heavily on this one peice of software. So if Windows dies tomorrow, will we not shift to alternate OS? I just dont like the idea of what ESXI is doing.
It's adaption. Plain and simple.
Separate the Business and Personal use cases.

Right now, a business might be running ESXI because it allows the business to scale back on the
cost of real estate (growing datacenter), power and cooling. It saves time (time is money) and effort during upgrades.

Look at what is happening though. Businesses are transitioning to the "Cloud" ..so it is not necessarily ESXI any longer.
That's adaption!


On a personal level ... people tend to gravitate to what's convenient/comfortable.
Why don''t the masses use a free open source OS vs. MS Windows or Mac OS? Because those platforms
are what the masses learned on in school or use at work ... so it's familiar. Most PCs sold are offered with MS Windows - how convenient! If you buy a Mac ...well ... you get what you get.


If I am a mobile app developer, I would not likely develop apps for the Windows Phone/Mobile OS - nope.
It's going to be IOS and Android.

If I employ developers to develop ESXI, how much time/money should I allow for them to spend on making the software work with older tech? I would much rather pay them to make current versions better or build new versions.

If you don't want to be locked in to to anything, you better be making your own substitutes.
 

BoredSysadmin

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Its a lot easier to suport a few very large customers (who operate thousands of servers), than many customers who operate only a few servers. Large customers are NOT buying whitebox servers. They are buying complete solutions from Dell and HP
I don't disagree with you in general, but few corrections: Very Large customers do not buy HP and Dells, they design and build their own servers. They also don't need VMWare to support them since they aren't running VMWare.

Now to part 2, a general VMWare rant (coming from soured, bruised and left behind VCAP, aka me)
vSphere 7 is a massive disappointment for me, and I'll admit I haven't even touched it. Why? Simply because massive full OS virtualization is generally an extremely wasteful process and we all know the solution for it. VMWare does too, so why the F*CK they decided to release vSphere 7 without container support, only to have it available in much more expensive vCloud Foundation. vSphere 7 was released with a list of new features and quality of life improvements worthy of a service pack, not a highly and extremely lengthy anticipated release. vSAN design left to wanting in many/many areas deficient to Nutanix :
see tons of details here: CloudXC [and Yes, I know the author is a Nutanix employee, but I've seen fault in his comparisons and statements]

In short, Proxmox, ESXi, KVM, Hyper-V, XEN, and the rest of hypervisors are all good for legacy software, but moving forward I strongly believe the container-based systems will be soon a majority of new deployments and VMware, in particular, is surely going to miss that bus. Companies like Rancher and Diamanti know and they systems ready. Not yes 100% polished, but they are already on the way.
 

Jiaxinxi

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The lack of lsi2008 support is really disappointing. Is it really that hard to add drivers to some poplar hardwares?
 

R2D2

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I agree with the concept of not supporting small homelabbers, (of course they will do what makes most profit) but honestly, there is zero reason they cant support older tech, none. They just CHOOSE not to.

They arent obligated, but they can. And some of the things in the hardware list aren't even THAT old.

Yet they don't. And why? To make you buy new oem parts? Maybe.
No. Of course they choose not to. There is one simple reason:

Supporting all of these legacy devices and platforms has a real tangible cost associated to it, down to the feature/item, its design life, and cost associated with the product management and engineering folk assigned to it.

That's it. It's not a case of 'there is zero reason'. That ^^^ is the reason. VMware is a business, not a charitable/open source project.

'Some of the things in the hardware list aren't even THAT old' is 100% perceptive. From a business POV when something is holding the platform back from evolving and it means lots of hacky code to keep it working to support a declining user base, yep, it's old and gets cut.
 
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WANg

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Take a look here my brother: ESXi 7.0: The Unsupported
This guy found the whole list of unsupported devices. Im gonna post another thread dedicated just to the list
Let's have a cursory look at that list.

Hm, okay.
On the Intel side, basically every "freebie" 100Mbit/1GBit card that was found in Dell servers made 12-20 years ago (stuff like i82540/i82576 from the 32 bit Xeon days?!)
On the AMD side, all of their PATA drive controllers, the Hudson IDE drive controller from their netbook line (oh no, my laptop with the ATi Radeon X1200 will not be able to run VSphere 7!)
On nVidia, a whole bunch of disk controllers dating back 15-20 years ago (nForce 1-5, All MCPs all the way from 51 to 77. Well, there goes my dream of running VSphere 7 on an Athlon x2 box from 2006)
On Promise Tecnology/Silicon Image, a whole bunch of really old PATA/SATA controllers
From LSI, a whole bunch of old PERCs from the PERC4 to the PERC H800
From Dell, you lose access to PERCs 1-5 (eh, what runs a PERC5? My ancient and honorable Poweredge SC1425 from 2001?)
From Broadcom, every single oldschool Tigon Gigabit NIC from at least 12-20 years ago (the BCM5705 were still supported?! Wow. Wasn't that on the Dell D600/800 laptops of 2003?!)
From Mellanox, everything dropped from ConnectX2 or below.

Eh, yeah. What the heck are ancient artifacts like that doing on a machine running VSphere 7? Yeesh. If that's not an IT guy's best excuse to hit up the C-level for a hardware renewal, (and with 3 product release cycle's worth of warnings)...I don't know what is.
 
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WANg

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No. Of course they choose not to. There is one simple reason:

Supporting all of these legacy devices and platforms has a real tangible cost associated to it, down to the feature/item, its design life, and cost associated with the product management and engineering folk assigned to it.

That's it. It's not a case of 'there is zero reason'. That ^^^ is the reason. VMware is a business, not a charitable/open source project.

'Some of the things in the hardware list aren't even THAT old' is 100% perceptive. From a business POV when something is holding the platform back from evolving and it means lots of hacky code to keep it working to support a declining user base, yep, it's old and gets cut.
There's also another simpler reason - VMWare does not write the drivers. The hardware vendors themselves write the drivers, and if they don't want to write a new one to support VMWare native rather than the old VMLinux API, that's not VMWare....thats the vendors.

Example: Solarflare dropped support for anything below the XtremeScale/SFN8xxx series on their new native drivers, citing hardware incompatibility...never mind that the old cards are fairly competent and they could've just done it...but they choose not to. Of course, when they are charging 500+ USD/card, it's a new revenue stream for them.

And then there's the problem of native drivers dropping features for cards that were taken for granted back in the "old days", which is also the vendor's way of forcing obsolescence.

Example: Mellanox dropped support for SRIOV in their new (well, new since VMWare ESXi 6.0, but dating back at least 2 years), native driver for their ConnectX3 cards (nmlx4). If you want SRIOV, you have to run ConnectX4 (nmlx5) OR downgrade to their OFED/VMLinux drivers (mlx4), and depending on what you run, you have to run the old 1.9 version, or the newer 2.4 version of OFED. So even if you can go VSphere 7, you might not want to. Those ConnectX4 cards aren't that cheap, either.

So even if there is support for your hardware, there's no guarantee the vendors themselves wouldn't subtly mess with you to force a hardware purchase. And if you dealt with vendors without long term support policies, that's what they generally do.
 
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i386

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Those ConnectX4 cards aren't that cheap, either
There are regularly hpe branded single Port cx-4 (100gbe/edr!) on eBay for <120€ (~135$). (I have 4 of the, but Not enough Hosts with x16 pcie Slots :rolleyes:)
 

R2D2

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There's also another simpler reason - VMWare does not write the drivers. The hardware vendors themselves write the drivers, and if they don't want to write a new one to support VMWare native rather than the old VMLinux API, that's not VMWare....thats the vendors.
This is also correct, but further - Even if a new driver is available, my above arguement still stands - There's a cost. Sometimes the newer hardware lacks functions that hold the platform back, etc etc - rest of my comments.
 

msg7086

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Interesting. I truly didn't know that they did warn that they were going to do this years ago. That changes my perspective a little bit, albeit, I just don't see why the bulk of these cards should be removed. It just signals a wave that ripples across the tech landscape. I am being a little dramatic of course, as you still have 6.7, but is it really time to mark many of these devices as depreciated?
A few points to consider here for homelab users.

Hardware pieces being sold cheap (a whole lot cheaper than new) usually means they are likely not supposed to be working in enterprise / data center environment any more. Hence they were dumped cheap into used market so you could buy them cheap. So the fact that most ebay selling equipment is going to be depreciated is ... kinda natural?

Also enterprise market tend to deprecate technology a bit faster than consumer market. You can perfectly have an 10 year old gaming desktop running latest version of Windows 10 or Linux -- because it's consumer market, they try to support as many devices as financially possible. In enterprise market, who cares about old products. Even if you have a nice 10Gig or even 40Gig NIC, if it passed support period it's done. Toss it and get a new one if you want to upgrade or even keep yourself under supported -- that's what they would convince you to do. And also because they are enterprise software, they MUST ensure ALL supported devices are working as intended (i.e. certified). That would be a whole lot of money to spend to support old hardwares.

Now, for this particular case, it's because VMware removed the VMKLinux API layer, so all Linux kernel based drivers no longer work.

Is it really time to mark many of the devices deprecated because of that? Well, any time would be a good time. We know it eventually would go. And if it stays, your new devices would probably still use the same API layer. (Why make a new driver if the old driver works?) If VMware removes it 10 years later, you could still complain that your new device you would have bought in the future, that may still be using the same API layer, stops working.

6.7 seems to be pretty mature. 5.5 lasted a long time, so I guess 6.7 will be similarly supported to its EOL. By the time it's reaching EOL you should have bought new devices that IS compatible with 7.0+.

I understand your frustration, but at the end of the day, they are targeting at a market that "is supposed to be okey with that".

My 0.02.