Dell PE VRTX: Unable to see shared LUNs in BIOS and during OS installation

Dell PowerEdge VRTX is a new concept of “blade systems” or shared infrastructure. All-in-one system ideally provides benefits of enterpise blade systems for small and medium organizations. Certified for Windows Server 2012/R2 and recommended for using in the WSFC (Windows Server Failover Clustering) configurations. Cluster can be build with up to 4 server nodes and shared SAS Perc 8 controller (can be in the optional fault-tolerance configuration) with up to 25 2.5” SAS HDDs.

Configuration of Dell VRTX is very easy for understanding , but has a limitation:

The Shared PERC 8 also cannot be supported as booting shared storage for operating system installation for the host. 

Let’s imagine, you create a few virtual disks and map to VRTX server slots, run Lifecycle controller (F10 during POST check) – Deployment OS. One is the biggest advantage of Lifecycle – it prepares your system for OS installation (it means that LC adds an additional volume which consists required drivers for specified OS). During OS installation you notice that SHARED LUNs are visible and you ABLE to “click next” and continue OS installation. BUT! SHARED LUNS ON DELL VRTX DOESN’T SUPPORT BOOT VOLUMES. If you will continue with shared LUN, there are some bugs and issues (OS cannot boot and something like this)

So, 1) shared luns only for data not for booting usage 2) use local disks on server slots or mirrored SD cards (only for vmware, not for Hyper-V)

Reference: PowerEdge VRTX: M520 and M620 Blades Not Able to See Shared PERC 8 Virtual Disk in host BIOS and LC

TIP: Configuration of Dell VRTX for Windows Server 2012 R2 WSFC will be available soon

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