I'm Sure You've Head, But If Not...Watch Your SD Cards! with vSphere 7U2!!


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For those who don’t go to the VMware forums (another ‘communities’ based vendor website) often, there was finally a VMware employee who somewhat unofficially acknowledged the issue of running ESXi on SD cards, specifically with vSphere 7U2. I say U2 because v7 and v7U1c, of which I both have run on DELL IDSDMs, runs flawlessly; and has for the past year.

To read a little more on the issue, you can review the VMware Communities post here. The issue, it seems, has to do with their newly formatted boot partitions. But honestly, I think the mishap (Hosts disconnecting/hanging) is mostly due to a new vmkusb driver. VMW is currently working on a fix, though they’re really recommending orgs to start using ‘high-performance’ storage (i.e. disks) for the boot  device moving forward. All that to say is, if you haven’t upgrade to 7U2, I recommend not to. If you’re running your boot on disk, I think you’ll be fine. Otherwise, hold off. 

One of the Veeam Vanguards, Luciano Patrao, did a nice little post on the issue & his experience. You can read his article here.

Cheers!


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I have also read from different sources that SD and/or the Controller is causing problems. Besides that current problems, the SD cards also had some other problems in the past and certain types also were not so reliable.

esxcfg-rescan -d vmhba32

If this works then it's a real gem...I'm sure everyone had the situation were the host losts its SD card and if you could solve this with that command ...woah 🥳

 

 

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I think I heard that too @regnor ; but I’m not completely convinced. i think most of the issue is the driver, and maybe even the new boot partition format. That esxcli cmd doesn’t really work. It’s only a band-aid….fixing the Host I think anywhere from 2-7 days.

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Yes that's true, but at least it revives the host for some time. The final solution will be to replace the SD cards with regular disks as those are way more reliable.

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Very interesting article for sure.

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Thank you for pointing out this problem! It seems to be, the higher ESXi version is, the harder it is for a SD-card to survive. By chance we have discussed this topic internally. From my perspective, actually new hosts should be equipped with boot HDDs/SSDs. This will avoid these problems completely! 

Here are also two very interesting links:

 

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DELL has a newer SD module which appears should be fine, I was told today. And the ESXi Requirements, pg. 16 of PDF, still shows SD as “supported”. I guess VMW needs to either remove this supportability, or at least list supported modules. Replacement in-line is not an inexpensive process, of both HD cost and FTE time. For smaller orgs who don’t use 1. tanzu (i.e. k8s), 2. vSAN, 3. NSX a minimal install device like a SD should be fine. SD manufacturers need to toughen them up I guess 😁

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HPE sells some kind of Raid1-SD-card-plugin. The thing here is, there is no way - at least I do not know any - to monitor this black-box. Most of the time it works fine.

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Good to know, if I ever go the HPE route again. Thanks! 

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HPE sells some kind of Raid1-SD-card-plugin. The thing here is, there is no way - at least I do not know any - to monitor this black-box. Most of the time it works fine.


I was also thinking the same. You have double the lifetime but some day it wills till break your host 🧨

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Thx @coolsport00 for sharing. Didn’t know and interesting to know, alsmost all customers are running ESXi on SAS disks or SSD disks in RAID-1, but there are exceptions running on SD-cards...

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Interesting. Most folks I know run it on ESXi. Though, I think enterprise orgs probably run it on HDDs/SSDs. 

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Good Article @coolsport00 

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Thank you sir. Really appreciate it. 

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