Hi everyone, I recently got a Dell Poweredge R730 server with 16 bays. My goal is to run Proxmox on it and virtualize TrueNas Scale. While in theory this seems pretty easy, I’m running into issues passing through my drives. I currently have a Dell Perc H730mini which is running in HBA mode, but doesn’t seem to have IT mode. I need some assistance/recommendations on how to get all my drives passed through. My research seems to maybe point to an H330mini LSI card, but I don’t know for sure. I know I can pass each drive through individually, but as I understand this is not a good idea because you aren’t passing through the physical hardware but virtualizing it. I would love any help or tips anyone can supply me. Please let me know if you need any more specs or anything like that to help.
Your goal is somewhat confusing.
There is a lot of overlap between what proxmox does and what truenas scale does - truenas scale can host virtual machines, and proxmox can work as a NAS with a bit of tweaking.
I’m not sure what (if anything) else you are hoping to run on Proxmox but I’d suggest installing truenas scale bare metal, you’ll save yourself a lot of headaches and things will be less likely to go wrong.
A Nas purpose is to store your data as safely as possible, true as wants the ha to be in IT)Pass through mode because ofbZFS, it looks like with the controller you have that is not possible, so you will either lose the capabilities of zfs to manage properly the drives, or you will get pass through mode and lose monitoring/smart information.
Hence, as you suspected, it would be best if you procured a proper it mode haha and used that, natively or passed through using proxmox is not going to make any difference…
I think there may be some terminology confusion here.
I use dell servers, If the Dell’s Perc is in HBA mode then it is directly passing the disks through to the OS - you can easily verify this in proxmox (assuming that is what you have up and running at the moment) because the disks section will show the model of disk, serial number and SMART status reports.
If you have that then you don’t need to worry about an ‘it mode’ adapter.
If on the other hand it is showing ‘perc disk’ or ‘raid disk’ or something generic like that, then yes you have a problem and should look at putting it into ‘hba mode’ or ‘it mode’ or passing through the drives.
As long as the HBA reports properly SMART information, and as long as it doesn’t play games with pretending to be in HBA mode while in reality trying to ‘help’ … it looks like the 730Mini is doing both, at least according to a bunch of threads on the Truenas forum …
I’m not seeing anything solid in that thread to give me any cause for concern about using a Perc in HBA mode?
I ran some benchmarks when I was setting up a dell server last year (albeit a rather newer model, R7515) and the difference between a RAID 0 single disk and a HBA pass through was immediately apparent in benchmarks, as you’d expect the RAID 0 single disk was hugely faster, particularly in random writes as the raid controller cached them. In HBA mode the disk performed exactly as I’d expect the physical disk to behave.
In short your post sounds a lot like FUD.
… it may very well be … nothing like first hand experience to provide value
were you using a 730Mini?
did it provide smart information?
The ones I had the chance to actually use (in old R720xds and R710s) either did not have HBA mode, or had it and performance was nominal and could provide SMART info, but I never had an H730Mini …
I have the perc in HBA mode, and it does pass the drives through just fine to Proxmox, but it doesn’t send them through to the Truenas VM. However I did find a way to do it, by putting proxmox on the internal sata connections, then passed the whole HBA card to proxmox. Seems to work fine. Thanks for the response
I get there is a lot of overlap, but I wanted the great functionality of proxmox vms and snapshots, and the great nas and docker functionality of truenas scale. I may end up running truenas bare metal or I may end up running proxmox bare metal. But for now it’s working pretty great the way I have it. I’m trying to learn how to do networking on docker containers right now.
edit Nevermind, I misunderstood, you were having problems with proxmox giving the disks to truenas, not the HBA giving the disks to proxmox.
09-30-2015 02:16 PM
I know this thread is kind of old but I thought I would add my experience. I have serveral R730xd with PERC H730P Mini’s in them. On my systems it is not necessary to use HBA mode to get the operating system (ESXi in my case) to recognize the individual drives. You need to go into the PERC config though and mark each physical drive you want to be native accessible to the OS as a non-RAID drive. I have our systems configured with a RAID-1 virtual disk in the PERC and then the remaining 16 drives are configured as non-RAID so they all show up in the OS. In our case we wanted the drives running the ESXi OS to be redundant and then we wanted the other drives to be used and managed by VMware VSAN which needs to see the drives in their native mode. If your not seeing the ability to mark drives as non-RAID then I would suggest upgrading the PERC to the latest firmware and see if that capability shows up.
This is actually an excellent suggestion that I did not know about. I love esxi, but I don’t want to pay for licensing for a home server. I know you just using esxi as an example though. I wish vsphere was free, but oh well. The only thing I feel like I’m missing is dynamic hard drive sizing. I haven’t found that proxmox or truenas can do that. Thanks for your suggestions.