VSAN and the AHCI controller (hint: not supported!)

I have seen multiple people reporting this already so I figured I would write a quick blog post. Several folks are going from Beta to GA release for VSAN and so far people have been very successful, except for those using disk controllers which are not on the HCL like the on-board AHCI controller. For whatever reason it appeared on the HCL for a short time during the beta, but it is not supported (and not listed) today. I have had similar issues in my lab, and as far as I am aware there is no workaround at the moment. The errors you will see appear in the various logfiles have the keywords: “APD”, “PDL”, “Path lost” or “NMP device <xyz> is blocked”.

Before you install / configure Virtual SAN I highly want to recommend validating the HCL: http://vmwa.re/vsanhcl (I figured I will need this URL a couple of times in the future so I created this nice short url)

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    1. says

      Duncan, does the GA version of VSAN still work in “LAB” environments per “http://www.yellow-bricks.com/2013/09/02/testing-virtual-san-in-your-lab-with-vsphere-5-5/”? We always want to follow the HCL for production but for learning your article is great in labs. I plan on re-building VSAN on 5.5.1 but didn’t want to waste my time if it will not work with GA VSAN.
      Thx Tom

    2. Matt says

      Ran into this testing last week – host would hang up every time I tried to add disks to a Disk Group – attempting to reboot the host would hang immediately following initialization of the VSAN volume. Had to boot to a GParted USB key and blow out the VSAN partitions on my disks to get the host to boot again. Shame, worked pretty well during the beta. And there are a number of on-board AMD and Intel AHCI controllers actually ON the HCL, mine included – VSAN HCL is just more strict I guess. Hopefully they can work past these issues and open up the HCL a bit more in future releases.

      • divintas says

        Hello Duncan,
        I am using 3 HP ML 110 G6 which worked like charm in the beta. The SATA disks worked just behind the IBEX PEAK controller. This seems not to work anymore. Do you have any idea to revive this environment? A cheap RAID controller which will work? This is just a test environment so 50-100 euro for each card should be maximim. ebay would be an option as well.

        • Matt says

          I just snagged 3x Dell H310 controllers on eBay last night for $50 each. Highly recommended to search for HCL controllers on eBay.

    3. Richard Billington says

      So this worked in the beta, can you still get the image for 5.5 with vSAN beta code? Was thinking of using ImageBuilder to build a working ISO just to get my lab working until a fix is available. I have been looking around and the links seem to have gone? Really stuck as I have loaned out my SAN! Have just 3 hosts with SSD and HDU now. Getting 3 supported RAID controllers is another option but reverting to a working beta would get me going.

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