Monthly Archives: January 2018

Home Lab vSAN

New Home Lab – vSAN 6.6 Ready

More details coming up. For now, screenshot first.

Home Lab vSAN



vSAN AF Performance on a 1Gbps network.


Some other performance testing before setting up the vSAN cluster.

Single Node vSAN on Supermicro E300
Cache Tier: Samsung NVMe SSD 960 Evo M.2
Capacity Tier: Samsung Evo 1TB SSD
SM E300 SIngle Node vSAN MBpsSM E300 Single Node vSAN IOPS

Samsung Evo 1TB M.2 convert to SATA on Supermicro E300
SM E300 Evo 1TB M.2 to SATA MBpsSM E300 Evo 1TB M.2 to SATA IOPS

Samsung NVMe SSD 960 Evo M.2 240GB on Supermicro E300
SM E300 NovSAN Samsung 960 NvME Mbps
SM E300 NovSAN Samsung 960 NvME IOPS


Compare with NUC Performance also running NVMe 500GB

Also did some comparison when running NFS over 1500 vs 9000 MTU
*Cannot remember what were the disks. 

Screen Shot 2018-01-21 at 1.22.14 PM

NSX-v Testing Series – Part 1 – ESG HA, OSPF, Graceful Restart

In the past 3-4 years since I have been started playing around with NSX-v, first version 6.0.4, I have been testing features here and there, performing demos after I join VMware, without really documenting down. Its always test and forget. So now, I’m going to start documenting down my tests with blogging, recording videos and diagrams.

*Disclaimer: You will find incomplete blog posts because with my work commitments and being a dad of 2 young kids, its really tough to blog in a single block of time. I will update whenever I can and with my best ability.

First off the list, I’m going to start with ESG (Edge Services Gateway) High Availability. Why? The ESG is the gateway between virtual and physical, services rich(LB/NAT/Firewall/VPN), always required in every NSX deployment. In the region I served – South East Asia and Korea, many customers footprint size falls between 20 – 40 physical ESXi hosts and North-South bandwidth typically is under 10Gbps. Therefore, a single ESG is suffice to meet these performance requirements. However, since so many services can be turn on on the ESG, the availability is very important. We can always depends on vSphere HA but the reboot of VM would depends takes time. Therefore, application level HA is required and we have ESG-HA or Edge-HA.

[Placeholder for Network Diagram]
CSR – ESG(s) – DLR – Test VM (High level connectivity)

First Edge-HA Failover Test (OSPF default timers with Graceful Restart)

Install ESXi6.5 on SM300 Fail2

ESXi 6.5 fail to install on mSATA SSD on Supermicro E300 / E200


Was pretty disappointed when I found out I am not able to install ESXi 6.5 on my SM E300 on mSATA SSD, which means no vSAN 6.6 goodness for me. I purposely purchased more SM to run a 4 node vSAN cluster so replace my unstable NFS on a single VM, single SSD. I also took the chance not to use USB for the boot drive because I have been burnt many times with USB. Either the USB drives gone missing or just turn bad. I have decided to use SSD like SATADOM. But SATADOM is too expensive and when I explore further, the SM E300 has a mSATA port and since its unused, perfect. So I went to purchased 16GB mSATA SSD to be boot drives. ESXi 6.0 install went fine but had issues with ESXi 6.5. Screenshot below. After days of troubleshooting, finally found the solution to it and the issue was related to the vmw-ahci driver that ESXi 6.5 is using.

Screenshot showing ESXi 6.5 install failed. The error is something related to SSD not found. Install ESXi6.5 on SM300 Fail2


Installer was able to show all the SSDs but after selecting the 16GB, the install failed.
Install ESXi6.5 on SM300 Fail1


Below are some screen shots, showing the troubleshooting.


This was after a reboot after installing ESXi 6.5 on a previous installed ESXi 6.0. After the reboot, you can see the SSD drives were missing.
SM300 ESXi6.5 Fail


I followed Anthony blog on storage performance issue to try disable the vmw-ahci.
Screen Shot 2018-01-20 at 11.05.22 AM

Even that, it still doesn’t work, after reboot, the box boot back to 6.0U2. I have to go to the altboobank and edit the boot.cfg and remove the vmw_ahci.v00. I also edit the bootstate from value 3 to 1.
Screen Shot 2018-01-20 at 11.12.19 AM


After disabling and reboot, you can see the drives are showing in ESXi 6.5.
Screen Shot 2018-01-20 at 11.08.01 AM




Screen Shot 2018-01-20 at 10.25.03 AM

Create a custom ESXi 6.5 ISO for Supermicro E300 / E200 install

For those Supermicro E200 or E300 users, if you have tried installing ESXi 6.5 on a SSD which is connected to the AHCI controller, you might not able to install successfully. Therefore, you might need to remove the conflicting AHCI driver. The below steps are used to create a custom ESXi 6.5U1 ISO with the removed vmw-ahci driver.

Add-EsxSoftwareDepot “”

New-EsxImageProfile -CloneProfile “ESXi-6.5.0-20170702001-standard” -name “ESXi-6.5.0-u1-SM300″ -Vendor “”

Remove-EsxSoftwarePackage -ImageProfile “ESXi-6.5.0-u1-SM300″ -SoftwarePackage “vmw_ahci”

Add-EsxSoftwareDepot “C:\VMware\vSphere\ESXi\”

Add-EsxSoftwarePackage -ImageProfile “ESXi-6.5.0-u1-SM300″ -SoftwarePackage “net-ixgbe”

Export-ESXImageProfile -NoSignatureCheck -ImageProfile “ESXi-6.5.0-u1-SM300″ -ExportToISO -filepath C:\VMware\vSphere\ESXi\ESXi-6.5.0-u1-SM300.iso

Screen Shot 2018-01-20 at 10.25.03 AM


Screen Shot 2018-01-20 at 10.24.33 AM