William Lam's "Homelab considerations for vSphere 7" predicts an easy install for Xeon D Supermicro SuperServers!

Posted by Paul Braren on Mar 31 2020 (updated on Apr 4 2020) in
  • ESXi
  • Virtualization
  • HowTo
  • HomeLab
  • vSphere7
  • how-to-install-esxi-on-xeon-d-1500-supermicro-superserver

    Back on March 10 2020, VMware announced vSphere 7. On Thursday, April 2nd, they've got a launch event planned, and I was originally hoping it'd also be the day we can finally get our hands-on the GA level bits. Like many others, I'll be having myself a close look at both the vExpert downloads and VMUG Advantage EVALExperience downloads sites that day, just in case. That said, we've been informed by VMware that the wait could be all the way until May 1st 2020. Also keep in mind that the announcement was made before the massive staff location change to work-from-home, due to the world's current challenging situation. Having enjoyed the honor of working at VMware, I got to see first-hand how incredibly effective Workspace ONE, single sign-on, and seamless automatic VPN can be when working remotely, so if there's any company that can stay close-to-schedule during such a trying time, it's VMware!

    Whatever happens, you can be sure that I'll be updating my popular How to update any VMware ESXi Hypervisor to the latest using ESXCLI for easy download and install as soon as possible.

    Meanwhile, while we all (non-VMware-employees) wait, I have some good news to share. The very popular SuperServer mini-tower Bundles are based on the very same X10SDV-TLN4F series of Supermicro motherboards that William Lam wrote about yesterday. This means that his promising findings about installing ESXi 7.0 on his SYS-E200-8D apply to the mini-tower SYS-5028D-TN4T mini tower too!

    William writes:

    I am also happy to report that the E200-8D platform which is another popular system in the VMware community works out of the box with ESXi 7. I also expect other Supermicro variants to just work as well but I do not have confirmation but given these systems are on VMware's HCL, you should not have any issues.

    Yes, right there on the VMware Compatibility Guide, see:


    Right now, the HCL listing is only showing up through 6.7 Update 3 in the drop-down selection menu. That doesn't necessarily mean that 7.0 will show up there soon, but if last time is any guide, it should take just weeks instead of years, thanks in part to persistent prodding by folks like myself, and perhaps William too.

    Despite the easy install of ESXi 6.7 too, one potential sticking point that has bitten me in the past was that the included inbox drivers for the built-in 10GB NIC based on the X552/X557 chipset aren't always the VMware HCL-recommended drivers. The non-problematic I350 1GbE networking has worked for 5+ years out of the box, but the post-install optional install of different X557 drivers might take a bit of legwork, but one thing is for sure, this will be a great chance to try out VMware new vSphere Lifecycle Manager (vLCM)!

    There are two things you can do now, before April 2nd's second VMware vSphere 7 announcement event:

    1. Check out the articles and many of VMware's vSphere 7 videos that I featured in a handy gallery here.
    2. Be sure to get your BIOS and IPMI up-to-date, detailed at TinkerTry here.


    vSphere Lifecycle Manager [vLCM]

    Apr 04 2020 Update

    It started with this tweet from Veeam legend Anthony Spiteri, but in just a minutes, his issue with the Supermicro SYS-5028D-TN4T that has been using a disabled AHCI driver for performance reasons was fixed under ESX 7.0, and the fix was documented at:

    • Quick Fix – No Datastores after ESXi 7.0 Upgrade on SuperMicro with Intel Based SATA Adapters
      Apr 03 2020 by Anthony Spiteri at Virtualization Is Life!

      As usual, I like to jump right into software upgrades to test out new functionality (on none production systems of-course). With the GA of vSphere7 overnight, I went about upgrading my Homelab vCenter and ESXi host. The vCenter upgrade went well, but I ran into an issue after I upgraded the ESXi Host using the online bundle upgrade.

    See also at TinkerTry









    See also



    Don't forget to attend the live event!