Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Managing RAID with VMWare ESXi 4 and Fujitsu Servers

Managing RAID is an integral part of any server installation. Fujitsu servers, with either a typical Windows or Linux installation have no hardware abstraction layer and so the RAID subsystem can be managed with ServerView RAID manager which is provided by Fujitsu.

If, however, you install the server with VMWare ESXi the guest operating systems do not have direct access to the hardware and so using ServerView RAID manager after a default install will not correctly display the RAID subsystem. This was seen as a big negative for using Vmware ESXi 4 as ServerView RAID manager can be very critical when troubleshooting, planning or fixing anything to do with RAID.

After trying to find a way around this situation I stumbled across a brief mention of a way to connect to the CIM API that is provided by VMWare. This allows developers to create software that can talk to the hardware of the server via a CIM broker. ServerView RAID can take advantage of this and a VMWare server can be added via the amCLI command, as shown below (Updated: This works on Windows and Linux):

amCLI -e 21/0 add_server name= port=5989 username=root password=*****

Change the server name to an IP address or DNS name of your server, the username and password to the one matching your VMWare installation.

Confirm the addition by running
amCLI -e 21/0 show_server_list

Delete the server by running, changing the name as appropriate
amCLI -e 21/0 delete_server name=

Log into the ServerView RAID web interface as normal (https://IP Address:3173) using the superuser name and password for the OS. You should now see the RAID adapter from the VMWare ESXi 4 server. This has been tested on a TX150 S6 and TX200 S5 with a LSI1078 RAID card.

If the adapter does not appear then make sure there is a host file entry for the IP address of the guest OS that is running ServerView RAID


  1. What is the default username and password for the ServerView Software ?

  2. Hello, looks interesting. But it's not totally clear for me.
    The commands you gave, is it from the esxi machine itself ?
    And after that, I install raidview in the VM ( in my case window 2003 sbs ) ?

  3. Install ServerView RAID on the 2003 SBS server and then open a command prompt and run cd C:\Program Files\Fujitsu Siemens\RAID\bin\

    The amCLI binary is in this directory and you can run the commands shown above.

    Good Luck

  4. Hey,

    great you answered so soon !
    I've installed serverview raid, path has changed because it's fujitsu without siemens, entered the commands like you said.
    In internet explorer i couldn't open the raid manager but in firefox I could !
    So far so good, but when I pull out one disk of my raid array, the status stays good ?
    Do you have any idea's what can be wrong ?
    It's weird because the led on the server stays green, the hd bay led is orange and on vsphere client - storage - raid1 device - is degraded.
    Thx in advance !

  5. Works with RX300 S6 + LSI RAID 5/6 controller and TX150 S7 with LSI1078 (it will probably work with other Fujitsu servers and LSI controllers as well).
    Important it, that you have to restart ServerView RAID Manager service after adding ESXi server via CLI.
    More info is in ServerView RAID manual

  6. in the manual is one error, when you use the server view raidmanager on a normal vsphere 4 server, you must enable on the esx host the firewall port 3173
    with the esxcfg firewall command

  7. It's really useful info Neil.

    Recently I have installed ESXi 5 on Fujitsu server and documented RAID build steps here. I hope it helps.


  8. Really effective.

    It works perfectly for my Fujitsu RX300 S6 and a Guest Windows Server 2003 R2 with ServerView Raid 5.7.

    Thank you !