PernixData FVP unable to add SSD to cluster

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During the configuration process of the PernixData FVP Cluster, you are unable to add SSD due to unlisted devices. As first troubleshooting step, it’s necessary to figure out if the problem is related to PernixData or VMware side.

If a SSD drive is installed in the ESXi host, it can be used as flash device for the FVP Cluster but it has some requirements:

  • FVP requires exclusive access to each flash device.
  • SSD flash devices perform best with FVP when directly accessed without RAID configuration.
  • Flash devices must be clear of existing partitions before they can be added to a Flash Cluster.

 

Adding flash devices to cluster

With the vSphere Web Client, access the vCenter Server. Go to vCenter Home tab and under PernixData FVP click on Flash Clusters item.

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Select the FVP Cluster to configure, navigate to Manage tab > Flash Devices and click on Add Devices button.

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The devices list appears empty. Even enabling the Show all devices option, no resources are available to use.

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Looking at the detected SSD disk (Local ATA Disk), it reports that Contains VMFS partition.

This is the reason why the SSD can’t be added to Flash Cluster: FVP to properly work requires that flash devices are clear of existing partitions. Existing partitions must be then removed to fix this matter.

 

Procedure

Enable SSH in the affected ESXi and login as root.

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In VMware ESXi 5.5, partedUtil is the tool used to manage partitions (fdisk command is deprecated since it does not handle GPT partitions).

To obtain a list of disk device names that can be managed by partedUtil run the command:

# ls /vmfs/devices/disks/

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The disk named “t10.ATA_____TS256GSSD320___ …” is the SSD disk we want to claim.

To get the partitions list from the installed disks, type the command:

partedUtil getptbl "/vmfs/devices/disks/DeviceName"

# partedUtil getptbl "/vmfs/devices/disks/t10.ATA_____TS256GSSD320_______
_____________________B427990008__________"

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In this example no partitions are detected. If the disk contains partitions, remove them using the partedUtil command.

partedUtil delete "/vmfs/devices/disks/DeviceName" PartitionNumber

Because no partitions are configured, try fixing the GPT table running the command:

partedUtil fix "/vmfs/devices/disks/DeviceName"

# partedUtil fix "/vmfs/devices/disks/t10.ATA_____TS256GSSD320___________
_________________B427990008__________"

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Reboot the ESXi host from the console with the command reboot.

# reboot

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Repeat same steps for all the hosts with SSD to claim.

Once the host has rebooted, in the FVP Cluster configuration tab the SSD disks are now listed when clicking Add Devices button.

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The flash devices are now successfully added to the FVP Cluster.

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Be careful when re-using SSD devices to set new configurations since they have to be cleared from existing partitions.

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