How-To add/present HDDs to CORE Running on a HP G8 ESXi VM

Hi All, thanks in advance for the help and suggestions. I’m running a Lab Environment with HP G8 Servers running VMware and i am planning to run a TruenasCore as a Virtual machine, to maximize the available resources to the VMware Virtual Infrastructure. I’ve tested the TrueNAS Core VM with NVME PCI Devices passthrough and it performed exceptionally well, now i’m moving on to add HHD drives for a different tier storage like backups, etc.
The HP G8 has a P420i standard raid controller and i added 4x 6TB SATA HDD Drives.
My question is, since CORE is running on a VM in the ESXi Host, how should i present the HDD’s to it?

Thank You!

The only safe way, is to passthrough an entire controller. But not a raid controller - a HBA in IT mode. LSI HBA 9300- 8i and rebrands are proven to work.

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In this special case you could install ESXi on a pair of drives on the Raid controller and try to pass trough the onboard Sata controller.
Normally you need that for installation but if you got another controller anyway thats not usable for TNC…
O/c a dedicated HBA is recommended if u got the spare lanes

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Can’t go into any additional expenses, already maxed out my budget :frowning:

Will probably try the P420i in HBA mode, but my boot drive is also there as a 1 small ssd in raid0.

You can find them for 30 bucks on ebay. Just saying…

I’m testing a simple way to present the disks to the OS. Creating simple RAID0 Virtual Drives for each disk and then adding them to the TrueNAS VM as RAW Disks.

So ultimately, my question would be: Is there too much performance impact, by using the HP Controller and present the Drives as RAID0 Volumes to the TrueNAS?
Is it the same impact as it would be presenting them by using the Controller in HBA Mode?

Forgot to add context here: I’m doing it this way because i also have 3x 4TB SAS HDDs that i want to mount as a RAID5 through the HP Controller and consume it as a simple VMFS Datastore by the ESXi, for ISO, OVA, VM Templates Repo.

The final goal is to have the following:

Local Datastore for local ESXi consumption, like a repo for ISOs, OVA, Etc. For this one i’m thinking of the 3x 4TB SAS HDDs
8TB NFS Share (Performance Tier) from the TrueNAS Server, based on 2 PCIe NVMe 4TB Drives
SMB/NFS Share (Backup and Archive) from TrueNAS Server, based on the 4x 6TB HDDs

Is it worth the investment in the previously mentioned LSI ? I’m not looking for extraordinary performance, for that purpose i bought the 2 NVMe and each has its own PCIe card, so that will guarantee performance.

In terms of Networking i have a 4x 10Gb SFP+ Mikrotik for VLAN and Routed Networks and then i have a Mokerlink also 10Gb SFP+ for SAN.
So each host will have it’s own dedicated 10Gb port for Storage and all other networking will run through the other 10Gb port from the Mikrotik.

If you care about your data, “performance” is NOT what you should care about. Passing virtual disks is not supported, and is STRONGLY advised against.

If you do not care about your data, do as you want—but why bother with ZFS?

Not Virtual VMDK Disks, but RAW Disks. maybe the same under the hood…

The only supported configuration is to pass a whole controller, preferably a LSI HBA, alternatively the chipset SATA controller if ESXI boots from NVMe, or from a RAID controler. Anything else is known to eventually result in catastrophic failure.

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