Updates from QA Training

Tricking ESXi into seeing an SSD

Sometimes supported SSDs (Solid-State Drives) do not appear in the vSphere Client or Web Client as an SSD, but instead as unknown or Non-SSD. It is possible to use storage claim rules to alter this behaviour, to be able to use the ESXi host cache feature in ESXi 5.0 and above.


Andy Fox | 31 January 2013

Sometimes supported SSDs (Solid-State Drives) do not appear in the vSphere Client or Web Client as an SSD, but instead as unknown or Non-SSD. It is possible to use storage claim rules to alter this behaviour, to be able to use the ESXi host cache feature in ESXi 5.0 and above.

To start with, it is important to identify the device that is being reported incorrectly.

Select Datastore

As you can see from the vSphere Client above, the datastore created as SharedSSD is reported as Non-SSD.

We need to identify the device that this datastore has been created on; one possible way would be to go into the properties of the datastore, and then enter the manage paths screen as shown below.

Identify Device

Notice that the SATP (Storage Array Type Plugin) used for this device is VMW_SATP_DEFUALT_AA, we will need this with the device id.

We can then right click on the path and copy the name to the clipboard. In this case that would contain all the detail after Name: in the lower window. The only detail required is in this case the iSCSI t10 number.

(Although in this example we have already created a datastore on the device, it would be possible to configure a device that does not currently have a datastore as SSD except we would need to identify the device via the storage adapter.)

Once we have the device id, and SATP we can than use the esxcli command line tool (found in the ESXi shell, and vCli and vMa) to configure a claim rule.

The first setup is to create the claim rule with the required optional parameter to enable SSD.

Create Claim Rule

The next step is to ensure that the claim rule has been added.

Check Claim Rule Applied

Notice that the claim rule previously entered is displayed as a result of the command.

Now we need to reclaim all claim rules to ensure that SSD is now enabled for this device.

Reclaim Rules

Notice that in this case it was unable to unclaim the path. This can happen sometimes, and is easily fixed with a reboot of the host.

If you do not get the unable to reclaim message detailed above, you can now confirm that the rule has been applied and that the device is now seen as SSD.

Confirm SSDstatus

As you can see in the above, the value for Is SSD: is true.

You should now see the datastore listed as SSD in the client.

Now SSDis Shown

It is also possible to use this method to allow the use of SSD for host caching when using a nested setup for testing.

Andy-Fox

Andy Fox

Senior Learning Consultant

Andy has been a Consultant Instructor with QA for 10 years, and has 16 years IT Training experience. In his 25+ years in the IT industry he has gained experience working with Novell products and Microsoft from MS-DOS onwards. Since joining QA, his focus moved towards SuSE Linux where he gained CLP and CLE status. Over the past 4 years he has been engaged in the delivery of VMware vSphere training and has gained VCP, VCI and VCAP-DCA status.
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