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


Sep 2, 2014
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