USB thumb drive datastore + built in Intel Lynx Point AHCI Controller + VT-d = successful AIO

Discussion in 'VMware, VirtualBox, Citrix' started by namike, Feb 22, 2016.

  1. namike

    namike Member

    Sep 2, 2014
    Likes Received:
    I always feel like such a leach on this forum, so I wanted to do some testing to give back to the STH community. As hinted at a possibility in a few other threads, this past weekend I sat down and successfully created a napp-it-one AIO with using a USB thumb drive for my datastore to house my napp-it VM, the only SATA controller on my board (Intel Lynx Point AHCI Controller) passed through to it via DirectPath I/O (VT-d) and booting from a different USB stick to load ESXi 6.

    My test bed:
    Lenovo TS140
    Intel Xeon 1225v3
    On-board Intel SATA Controller (Lynx Point)
    Sandisk 128GB USB3.0 thumb drive for datastore
    Generic 2GB USB2.0 thumb drive with ESXi 6 installed to it

    You will see that I have created a data store on the 128GB thumb drive and uploaded to Napp-it .ova to this data store. I then passed the built in Intel SATA controller through to the VM. You will see I just created a simple pool with the one disk for testing purposes. I then shared that file system back to ESXi via NFS (as indicated by 'naspool').

    I take no credit for coming up with this. I followed the blog article gea has posted a few times on this very forum.

    USB Devices as VMFS Datastore in vSphere ESXi 6.0

    I googled and found how to fix the Lynx Point Controller from not showing up as a possible device to pass through. You will need to SSH into your ESXi host and vi a file to change it as I found in the post:

    DirectPath I/O support for Haswell Lynx Point S... | VMware Communities

      # INTEL Lynx Point AHCI
      8086  8c02  d3d0  false
    I think this is a game changer for your average home lab guy working on a budget. If there is anything else you guys want me to test, let me know!

    Edit: Feel free to move this post if you think it will be better served in the Napp-it forum.


    esxisum.JPG esxisum.JPG nappdisk.JPG nasdrives.jpg passthrough.JPG

    Attached Files:

    Kristian and Diavuno like this.
  2. Diavuno

    Diavuno Active Member

    Jan 31, 2014
    Likes Received:
    Very cool.
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