Non-raid controller for esxi

dodge

New Member
Dec 28, 2019
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First post, hope I've got the correct forum for this question.

I'm about to build my first ESXi server, partly to run a vm to replace a hp microserver (gen 7, running ubuntu) for serving audio, and for running multiple VMs to experiment with containerization/kubernetes for the day job. I want to pull the HDs from the microserver (non-raid) and present directly to the vm. My understanding is I need a raid card flashed to IT Mode. I was hoping to get one ready-flashed on ebay (UK) but unsure of model required for esxi support. Will this approach work? If so, any suggestions on what card I should be looking for?
 
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BlueFox

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Oct 26, 2015
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You can always get a HBA that never supported IR mode, so it would have to be in IT mode. LSI 9207-8i is cheap and supported by ESXi.
 

dodge

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Dec 28, 2019
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Thanks, didn't actually realise LSI did non-raid controllers. Much cheaper from chinese sellers - worth the risk? Also, is it possible to mount fans on these controllers? Or just rely on good airflow in the case?
 
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nikalai

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Oct 26, 2018
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It is possible to receive a fake card if you order from China. I wouldn't take any risk
 

pricklypunter

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Nov 10, 2015
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I would look for a branded card from a good e-cycler, or even just stick a post in the for sale/ trades forum here and obtain a card that way, before I would look at importing one from the far east. Not because of the higher chance of a fake one, or the price, but just because it will be quicker getting to me :)

Also just to bring some balance here, you can also pick up a fake card from the U.S or anywhere else in the world too. China is not, by any stretch of the imagination, the only place in the world where unscrupulous people live :)
 
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BeTeP

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Mar 23, 2019
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All fakes come from China (or rather south east Asia in general) just because all electronics including 100% genuine product come from the same place.

The chances of getting a fake product (or not getting anything at all for that matter) are more or less the same regardless of where your seller is located. It's just getting your money back is going to take much longer for international transactions.

Also the extent of those fake LSI adapters market proliferation is hugely overblown. The situation with the fake Intel network cards was much worse.

I would say that if you would order a used OEM branded (i.e Dell, HP, IBM, etc.) adapter from a seller also dealing in recycled servers - the chances of getting a fake product are slim to none.

If I would have needed a cheap 8-port SAS2 HBA for an older system - I would have bought a used Dell PERC H200 (LSI SAS2008 based) controller for about $15 shipped. If desired it can be flashed to the LSI SAS9210-8i which is still supported by ESXi 6.7 U3.

There are bunch of them listed at ~£25 shipped (from inside of UK) at ebay.co.uk.
 
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dodge

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Dec 28, 2019
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Thanks for all the advice. Doesn't appear to be many non-raid cards from recyclers on ebay located within EU, but a few for IT-Mode cards (but not too sure which of these cards to look at hence original question about using with esxi). Found a new 9207 for £80 on amazon, emailed supplier about packaging - if in proper packaging then less chance of a counterfeit?
 

BlueFox

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Oct 26, 2015
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£80 is a bit much for a 9207-8i. You should be able to import one from the US for less.
 

BeTeP

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Mar 23, 2019
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Overpriced and being sold as new = much higher chance of getting ripped off.
 

BeTeP

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It is kind of weird that they would put "12G" in the title though. There is nothing about H310 (SAS2008 based HBA) which could be described as 12G. And they want £10+ more than other sellers.
 

dodge

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Dec 28, 2019
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Went for the h310 from Bargain Hardware - worth the premium over far east resellers for quicker delivery, 90 day warranty, legitimate business etc. Thanks for all the help. Will google for flashing to IT mode, but might be back...