LSI 9265-8i 5.5 has arrived, time to update to MegaRAID, firmware 3.230.05-2100, and SMIS 00.34.V0.01, right from your VM!

Posted by Paul Braren on Jan 31 2013 in
  • ESXi
  • Storage
  • Virtualization
  • You may fondly recall reading every word of these nail-biters:
    How to make ESXi 5.0 recognize an LSI 9265-8i RAID controller, Sat Sep 24th, 2011
    How to make ESXi 5.1 see the health of an LSI 9265-8i RAID controller and array (seems to work with all 92xx controllers), Sep 15th, 2012

    and frequently reminisce about this long-awaited firmware milestone, the introduction of SSD read+write caching:
    LSI 9265-8i firmware 23.4.1-0028 for CacheCade Pro 2.0 has arrived, Apr 3rd, 2012

    then the sheer joy of discovering far easier ways to update your RAID bits and pieces:
    ESXi 5.1 host with LSI 92xx RAID adapter can run a VM with fully functional MegaRAID Storage Manager UI, here’s howMon Oct 1st, 2012
    LSI 9265-8i 5.1 October 8, 2012 Firmware 1881 for LSI CacheCade and non-CacheCade RAID controllers has arrived, Mon Oct 15th, 2012

    Hey, don't judge! Not until you've suffered the hardship of having to endure dual-booting to something other than ESXi just for flashing your LSI-based RAID adapter. Or worse yet, suffered the MegaCLI from DOS boot media. Argh! We suffered for years!

    C'mon, admit it, getting that all working was a major step forward for all of us, the many LSI RAID adapter-owning VMware enthusiasts. Yes, based on site visitor counts, there are tens of thousands of you out there.

    Well, taking the best of these articles creates the recipe for deploying the very latest LSI release they call 5.5, which includes:

    1. MegaRAID Storage Manager for configuration
    2. Firmware for SSD caching enhancements
    3. SMIS provider for health monitoring of the RAID array from ESXi 5.1

    Can it all be done from inside a VM? Why yes! Check it out for yourself, by kicking back and enjoying the 48 wondrous minutes of non-stop pointing and clicking and talking:

    Or skip right on down to the vital detail here.

    Downloads for the 9265/9266 RAID adapter family:

    Here's the individual pieces you'll want to download right into your VM, I used Windows 8 64 bit running off the RAID5 storage controlled by the 9265-8i, worked fine, since nothing really happens until the entire server is rebooted anyway.

    Support for CacheCade and non-CacheCade RAID controllers, including 9265-8i; 9266-4i; 9266-8i; 9285-8e; 9285CV-8e
    ReadmeVersion: 3.230.05-2100 download 4.3MB (the actual filename of the image you flash with is mr2208fw.rom)

    MegaRAID Storage Manager
    OS: Windows Readme Version: download 56.8MB

    VMware SMIS Provider
    Version 00.34.V0.01 download 6.9MB

    Here's the commands to issue via PuTTY, after going into maintenance mode, explained here.

    Don't forget that it's your responsibility to back up first, especially if you haven't duplicated the data elsewhere already!

    This is the secret sauce (which differs from what LSI's readme says, to avoid an error)

    cd /usr/bin
    esxcli software vib install -v /tmp/vmware-esx-provider-lsiprovider.vib --no-sig-check

    Rusty on exactly how to do this, including moving the file over? You can also view the above video starting at this spot.

    I seem good to go. Stable. Same speeds. Well, there is one minor thing. I'll be curious to see if any of you also experience an issue with monitoring your BBU (Battery Backup Unit) after going to this VIB. Anybody?

    Guess there's another firmware and SMIS update in my future, but at least I know it's not very painful to do it. No data loss. Minimal time loss. Both good things.