Enhancing Mordor unRAID With IBM ServerRAID M1015

When I set up unRAID as a VM on Mordor ESXi host, I reviewed the available solutions for configuring data drives for use in unRAID. I reached the conclusion that the optimal solution would be to use VMDirectPath I/O to passthrough the disks directly to unRAID, but I could not accomplish that successfully, and settled on using Raw Device Mapping. But now I got the IBM ServerRAID M1015 PCI-Express card I purchased on eBay (also available from Amazon), and I’m all set to install it and upgrade my setup!

The loot:

The package included one IBM RAID Card, already cross-flashed to LSI-9210-8i IT firmware, and two SFF-8087-to-4-SATA cables (refer to the unRAID forums for more on LSI firmware versions and unRAID).

Following is a step-by-step procedure of a successful install.

Below it I go over possible pitfalls that I actually encountered, as a useful reference of what to avoid.

Continue Reading…

Setting up unRAID as VM on Mordor

After installing VMware ESXi on Mordor, the next step in my Mordor 1.0 -> Mordor 2.0 project is to regain the basic Mordor 1.0 functionality based on a VM, AKA, set up an unRAID-powered-NAS.

In this post I document the details of my experience of setting up unRAID (version 5.0-beta12a) on my ESXi server (running version 5.1.0). I describe creating a VM on ESXi that boots from a physical USB flash drive (using Plop Boot Manager), my adventures with trying to passthrough the onboard SATA controller to the VM (spoiler: it failed), and other options for configuring the data drives for the VM (Raw Device Mapping, VMDirectPath I/O passthrough).

By far, the most useful resource that guided me in this process was the amazingly detailed documentation by the unRAID user Johnm in his ATLAS post in the Lime Tech forum. I have used guidance and tips from his post extensively, and will probably repeat some in this post.

Continue Reading…

Mordor 1.0: My Dedicated unRAID Server

During October 2011 I built my first home server. It was purposed to be a dedicated NAS server, based on unRAID OS.

In this post I intend to try and recall considerations and decisions, and document the setup, to serve as reference for myself, and as background for the following posts dealing with the transition to Mordor 2.0. Since this is mostly a recall from memory, it is most likely inaccurate and incomplete, but it’s what I got…

Continue Reading…