vSphere 5–Unable to Create NetApp FC DataStore [Resolved & then Resolved AGAIN :)]

Here’s a pretty particular error that I ran into at a customer site.  Brand new ESXi 5.0 installs connected up to a NetApp filer with 4 700 GB LUNs presented to them.  After going through the motions of presenting the storage to the ESX servers, I was unable to create a DataStore on the LUNs.


Stumped, I opened a call with VMware Tech Support.  Here’s the troubleshooting sequence.

A look at the VMkernel log showed the following standout messages:

Vol3: 647: Couldn’t read volume header from control: Invalid handle
FSS: 4333: No FS driver claimed device ‘mpx.vmhba0:C0:T0:L0’: Not supported

Another quick look at the HBA card info, cat /proc/scsi/qla2xxx/8 | less revealed an outdated driver version in use.

QLogic PCI to Fibre Channel Host Adapter for HPAK344A:
        FC Firmware version 5.03.15 (d5), Driver version 901.k1.1-14vmw

Quick search on VMware’s site lead us to this newer driver.  After downloading the driver, I imported it into Update Manager for distribution to the ESX hosts.  For instructions on how to push drivers via Update Manager, check here.


Update: There also seemed to be a corrupted initiator group on the NetApp that allowed the ESX hosts to see the LUNs but not access them.  Recreating the NetApp group completely resolved the issue.