[smartmontools-support] Getting smartctl for ESXi/VMWare

Schorschi Decker schorschi at dc.rr.com
Thu Apr 1 18:24:12 CEST 2021

Just for those that may read this thread in the future...

ESXi uses its own internal API.  Driver developers have access to this 
API (at a big $$$ expense).  This is by design, to ensure that only 
VMware qualified hardware vendors  develop drivers for ESXi.  There is 
no other option via VMware policy.

So, are their drivers for many SCSI adapters, yes, but only when the 
given SCSI adapter vendor is officially contributing such VIMs.  There 
is a dedicated website where you can query VMware for which hardware 
components, servers, storage solutions, etc., are supported by ESXi for 
a given version of ESXi.

The monitoring of ESXi, its storage, etc.  Is all focused on what 
vSphere vCenter supports.  This is also by design... if you have any 
production ESXi hosts, you are very strongly encouraged to use vCenter.  
This is why VMware offers vSphere including vCenter, as the production 
standard for using ESXi.

There is no open-source, or even 3rd party solutions that are not 
qualified and certified by VMware.  Only VMware deployed VIMs via their 
official VIM repo are published and supported.  No other repos are 
qualified by the VMware ESXi repo.  ESXi is a closed system, will always 
be a closed system, because stability and security of ESXi are paramount 
per VMware.

Not an VMware associate, just passing on experience and knowledge as a 
long term associate, retired, of a very long term customer of VMware.


On 03/31/2021 05:14, Marcin Szewczyk wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 30, 2021 at 08:08:03PM -0700, Schorschi Decker wrote:
>> Moreover, ESXi already has extensive monitoring explicitly designed to
>> integrate to vSphere vCenter in a production environment for such.  With
>> vSAN becoming the norm for may production installations, the actual storage
>> monitoring is NOT done by ESXi self but by the vSAN nodes themselves...
>> which are ESXi based but actually are not fully ESXi, in that the ESXi core
>> that supports vSAN was not expected (in production) to host VMs.
> Hi,
> sorry for a question more about ESXi than smartmontools but I would
> appreciate an answer as it would dot the I's.
> Regular ESXi seems not only unprepared for automated RAID disks SMART
> monitoring but also incapable of getting this kind of information at
> all. In my case I can't get it using:
>      esxcli storage core device smart get
> That is why I considered using smartctl.
> So has the vSAN variant more things built in? Like full MegaRAID support
> including disks SMART queries for every hardware piece listed in vSAN
> Compatibility Guide[1]? I suppose that for a regular ESXi I will need
> the StorCLI VIB installed for (in my case) Intel RS2BL040. Would I need
> to install it myself on vSAN with such RAID as well?
> [1]: https://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/pdf/vi_vsan_guide.pdf
> (Sorry for duplicate email. I missed I wasn't in the recipients list so
> my sender address didn't get rewritten when replying.)

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