[CentOS] R730xd & SD card identfication

Tue Mar 9 00:43:41 UTC 2021
me at tdiehl.org <me at tdiehl.org>

On Mon, 8 Mar 2021, Gregory P. Ennis wrote:

> On Sun, 7 Mar 2021 at 18:39, Pete Biggs <pete at biggs.org.uk> wrote:
>> On Sun, 2021-03-07 at 11:17 -0600, Gregory P. Ennis wrote:
>>> Everyone,
>>> We have migrated a platform to a Centos 8 host using kvm guest
>>> machines
>>> Recently I tried to copy one of the guests to the external SD card
>>> on
>>> the back of the Dell R730xd, but I have not been able to get the
>>> Centos
>>> 8 host to recognize the SD card.
>>> I can use DRAC interface of the R730xd to see that the SD card is
>>> being
>>> recognized and the status of the external SD slot is turned from
>>> inactive to active when the card is inserted.
>> I have a nagging feeling at the back of my mind that that slot is
>> associated with the iDrac system and not the main board.
>> In any case doesn't that need a vFlash card not a standard SD/SDHC
>> card? From Wikipedia:
> I think the SD card on the back of the IDRAC7 systems on the Dell 730xd
> are
> similar to this. They are accessible by the IDrac and dell software and
> are
> primarily there for emergency install of the hardware from known good
> media. I believe that vmware has a module which talks to the card so
> you
> can install software in vm's from said known good media.
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Simeon,
> You have anticipated what I am trying to do.  I have been using Centos
> 8 as a host on a 730xd machine, for some Centos 7 guests. With the end
> of life of Centos 8 only 9 months away I decided to try to migrate
> everything to vmware.  I purchased a sister 730xd to use as a lab
> computer, and am working on the skill sets necessary  to migrate
> everything to vmware. I have really grown to like kvm and am still
> disappointed RedHat/IBM is backing away from Centos.
> I certainly have not been able to get Centos 8 to recognize the SD
> card, and have also not been able to get vmware on the sister machine
> to recognize either the SD card in the back slot or even when I have it
> plugged into a usb converter.  The vmware problem is more likely
> related to my lack of experience with vmware; this is my first time to
> use it.

As was said above, the sd card on the back of the machine is ONLY for use
by the iDRAC. If you have iDRAC enterprise, it is not necessary to use it
to install vmware esxi or for that matter any OS. All you need to do is mount
the iso as a virtual disk using the iDRAC console. I do this all the time to
both upgrade/install esxi and install centos/Windows/whatever vm's.

Just do not try to mount the iso on a machine on a low bandwidth connection.
It will take forever. :-(

If you want to install vmware esxi on an sd card you need a isdm module.
Something like:
Keep in mind that Dell recommends that you do not install esxi newer than
6.7 on an sd card. They stopped offering the isdm modules on 14th gen servers
with esxi 7.0 installed. They claim they see too many failures of the sd cards
with 7.0.


Tom			me at tdiehl.org