Working on Vsphere 6.0 beta

A project log for The HYDRA multiheaded virtual computer

The HYDRA is a computing platform using a small footprint Hypervisor to run 1-6 (or more) hardware assisted virtual machines of any x86 OS

ericeric 11/09/2014 at 05:120 Comments

First of all, before the Hydra was eliminated from the space trip contest, my attention was unfortunately entirely focused on income. This has been back-burnered since late July, with not much forward motion since. I didn't really expect to place or show, but entered for the publicity & collaborative interaction it promised. But at this point it's still just a hobby....

I downloaded 6.0 beta with the best of intentions, and it just sat in a folder, until Susie Felt from VMware called me and I asked her about PCI-Passthrough in 6.0, but she could not comment on it as it is still un-released. So I had to try for myself.....

I have been installing Digital Menu Boards for McDonald's lately, and the Hydra certainly could drive those 5 HDTV's. Maybe not for McD's, but there are MANY others who have not converted from cardboard menus yet. This would be a new market for VMware, and their interest would help to accelerate development.

I have been stuck on ESXi 5.0 build 768111 (this is 5.0 with some patches to fix VM auto starting) since ALL later builds break the ability to pass through onboard PCI devices. This made all the USB's unavailable, as well as any disk controllers (if I was inclined to try). 5.0 works, but how can I build a system that requires anything but the latest build?

In 5.1 they would revert back to not enabled for passthrough after the required reboot.

In 5.5 they would persist, and I could assign them to a VM, but the VM would not boot with these devices.

In 6.0 build 2159203 initial testing I have an XP VM using the AMD 4650 add in card, as well as 1 onboard USB. I have no reason to expect anything less than the functionality I had in 5.0 with the patches. VMware has a "bug hunt" contest, so I expect basic features like autostart to work as well.

I will be trying the PCIe switch next.....