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Hypervisor 8.2 and Intel VROC / VMD


Brett Anderson1709159247

Question

We have new Supermicro servers on which we intended to install Hypervisor 8.2. 

 

Server Configuration 1

2x 1TB NVMe SSD configured in RAID1 (Intel VROC)

2x 6.4TB NVMe SSD configured in RAID1 (Intel VROC)

2x 7.68TB SATA SSD configured in RAID1 (Intel VROC)

 

Server Configuration 2

2x 240GB SATA M.2 SSD configured in RAID1 (Intel VROC)

4x 6.4TB NVMe SSD configured in RAID10 (Intel VROC)

 

I want to focus on Server Configuration 2 for purposes of this thread. 

(I haven't got around to configuring any Server Configuration 1 systems yet, as I have been stuck dealing with issues regarding Server Configuration 2 systems for over a week now.)

 

The server has Micron SATA and NVMe drives, and has the Intel VROC premium hardware key installed. 

The M.2 SATA RAID1 configuration was created by and is managed by Intel VROC. 

I was able to successfully install Hypervisor 8.2 on the RAID1 array for both servers. 

However, the installer did not see the NVMe SSD RAID10 array during either installation.

 

Once Hypervisor 8.2 booted up successfully, I navigated to the command line to determine the status of the NVMe RAID10 array.  No NVMe drives were present, and neither was the RAID10 array. A member of the Citrix support staff and I determined that if Intel VROC (VMD) was turned off--and the RAID10 array destroyed--each of the four NVMe SSDs became individually available to the Hypervisor.  As one of the outcomes of the call, the support representative indicated that "Intel VROC and Intel VMD is not supported". 

 

I have found no corroborating evidence of either piece of information.  The HCL is not at all helpful in this regard.  Searching official Hypervisor 8.2 documentation is not helpful either.

A Citrix employee pointed out in this thread that Hypervisor doesn't support Intel VROC.  That can't be true, since the Hypervisor 8.2 installer successfully installs Hypervisor onto a M.2 SATA RAID1 array that was created by and is managed by Intel VROC.

 

Also: Hypervisor 8.2 ships with the Intel VMD kernel extension vmd.ko (/lib/modules/4.19.0+1/kernel/drivers/pci/controller/vmd.ko), but it is not loaded by default.  I have loaded it manually without issue (as far as I can tell; it shows up in the output of an lsmod command), along with the raid10 kernel module (/lib/modules/4.19.0+1/kernel/drivers/md/raid10.ko).  I now have both modules loaded automatically on boot by including a conf file in the /etc/modules-load.d/ directory.

 

But still, the NVMe RAID10 array is not visible from within Hypervisor.

 

Does anyone have any ideas as to why I cannot get the RAID10 NVMe SSD array to work properly with Hypervisor 8.2?

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5 answers to this question

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Hi,

In VROC documentation never mention XenServer or VMware for example, the only OS to virtualize is RedHat with KVM. You can check the doc here "https://www.intel.com/content/dam/support/us/en/documents/memory-and-storage/ssd-software/Intel_VROC_Supported_Configs_6-3.pdf".

If you hace any aditional question I think you can send a support case to Intel directly.

I know this is not the answer you want, but I hope this help.

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18 hours ago, Tobias Kreidl said:

Are the drives in the RAID 10 array using 4k sectors? If so, there's likely an incompatibility there.

-=Tobias

 

I'm not sure I follow the logic...

 

If Hypervisor can correctly see each of the four NVMe drive when they are not managed by VMD/VROC, the sector size compatibility should not be an issue, correct?  What would be changing when I configure the four NVMe drives as a RAID10 array?

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23 hours ago, Nicolaacutes Ventre said:

Hi,

In VROC documentation never mention XenServer or VMware for example, the only OS to virtualize is RedHat with KVM. You can check the doc here "https://www.intel.com/content/dam/support/us/en/documents/memory-and-storage/ssd-software/Intel_VROC_Supported_Configs_6-3.pdf".

If you hace any aditional question I think you can send a support case to Intel directly.

I know this is not the answer you want, but I hope this help.

 

I appreciate the reply, but it sidesteps the issue.  The issue is that no Citrix documentation specifically indicates whether or not VMD and/or VROC is supported by Hypervisor 8.2. 

 

Hypervisor 8.2 ships with the VMD kernel extension, but it is not loaded by default. 

The kernel extension can be loaded without any issue, but drives managed by VMD/VROC still aren't viewable by Hypervisor. 

 

My question is twofold:

1) Why does the VMD kernel extension that ships with Hypervisor 8.2, when loaded, not allow Hypervisor to see the NVMe SSD RAID10 array managed by VMD?

2) Am I able to configure Hypervisor to support the NVMe SSD RAID10 array?

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You're right, the Citrix documentation doesn't say anything about it. But ... here is my point of view:

1) Citrix Hypervisor is a paravirtualized hypervisor, that means it has the kernel and an API. If you load any modules into the kernel that the API can't recognize, the system can't work.

2) Maybe there is a way, but thinking about the problems and technical support, if something fails at some point you will not have support. As I said before, Citrix does not have documentation that specifies the compatibility but Intel does and the only system that it marks as compatible and that can run a hypervisor is RedHat.

So I thing that the best option is to contact Intel support anda ask the same question. They can tell you about the compatibility, and if works they have to know how.

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