Part2: GPU VDI deep dive – Installing GPU driver on hypervisor(ESXi)

Installing async drivers on ESXi 5.x (2005205)
Async drivers are developed by third-party vendors and are subjected to the VMware certification process. They are released in a ESXi software package called a vSphere Installation Bundle (VIB).
Recommended Method: Existing ESXi installation using esxcli and async driver VIB file
You can install async drivers on an existing ESXi host from an async driver VIB file. The VIB file is copied to the ESXi host using the datastore browser, and installed using esxcli in the ESXi shell.
Note: This requires remote ESXi network connectivity using the vSphere Client.
To install the async drivers:
Steps 1 to 3 are not required if you’re uploading the .VIB file onto the datastore (local/shared) of the ESXi host.
  1. Extract the contents of the async driver zip file.
  2. Identify the offline-bundle.zip file(s).
  3. Extract the contents of the offline-bundle.zip file(s).
  4. Identify the async-driver.vib file(s).
  5. Log into the ESXi host using the vSphere Client with administrator privileges, such as root.
  6. Using the Datastore Browser, upload the async-driver.vib file(s) to an ESXi host’s datastore.
  7. Enter the host into maintenance mode.
Else, you get the following error:
~ # esxcli software vib install -v /vmfs/volumes/LocalStorage14/NVIDIA-VMware-304.76-1OEM.510.0.0.802205.x86_64.vib
[MaintenanceModeError]
MaintenanceMode is required to remove: []; install: [NVIDIA_bootbank_NVIDIA-VMware_ESXi_5.1_Host_Driver_304.76-1OEM.51
0.0.0.802205].
Please refer to the log file for more details.
  1. Log in as root to the ESXi console through SSH or iLO/DRAC.
  2. 9.     Run this command to install drivers from the VIB file (this requires an absolute path):esxcli software vib install –v /path/async-driver.vibFor example:esxcli software vib install –v /vmfs/volumes/datastore/async-driver.vib
You get the following lines if driver installation is successful:
~ # esxcli software vib install -v /vmfs/volumes/LocalStorage14/NVIDIA-VMware-304.76-1OEM.510.0.0.802205.x86_64.vib
Installation Result
Message: Operation finished successfully.
Reboot Required: false
VIBs Installed: NVIDIA_bootbank_NVIDIA-VMware_ESXi_5.1_Host_Driver_304.76-1OEM.510.0.0.802205
VIBs Removed:
VIBs Skipped:
~ #
  1. Reboot the ESXi host.
  2. Exit maintenance mode.
Note: An ESX host can be updated remotely using the esxcli utility, which is part of the vSphere CLI. For more information on using esxcli, see the vSphere Command-Line Interface Documentation page.
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About cloudray

Predominantly based around Virtualization, but will include other technology related information and anything else I find interesting and feel the need to share with you. I also use this Blog as both a place to store useful information that I think that will come in handy to me at some point in the future, and also a place to help aid my learning. I find a great way to learn about something is to research about it and then write it up in my own words. I'm Pushpal Ray, from India. As a certified VCP3/4/5 professional, I am currently working as an Independent Consultant. Over 10 years of IT-industry experience, currently focused around the Desktop Virtualization(End-User Computing). I also have extensive experience in Windows Administration, Datacenter Migration, Workload profiling & benchmarking. At my leisure, I enjoy hiking, running, photography, spend hours in my fav coffee shop & spend quality time with my wife. Occasionally, catch up with few friends for a drink!
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4 Responses to Part2: GPU VDI deep dive – Installing GPU driver on hypervisor(ESXi)

  1. ela says:

    hello
    I have a Server Hp Dl580 G7 and I installed ESXi 5.5 on Server and Vcenter 5.5
    I have a GPU AMD Firepro S10000 and I want to install on this Server.
    Can I install the GPU on the Server ?
    Do I need any Driver for this GPU?
    Does a Server need any requirements for AMD Firepro S10000 ?
    Where do I get the (.vib) file?
    please help me because I have little time
    thanks a lot

    • cloudray says:

      Hi Ela,
      To get started with this combination — HP DL580 G7 (Server Hardware) + ESXi 5.5 (Hypervisor) + Firepro S10000 (GPU):
      1) You need to ensure that the GPU Card fits into the PCI Express (PCIe) slot in the server hardware (Check if DL580 G7 has x16 dual PCIe slot – if yes then you should be good)
      Firepro S10000 System Requirements:
      Available PCI® Express x16 (dual slot), 3.0 for optimal performance
      750W or greater power supply with two (2) 150W PCIe® AUX 8-pin power connectors
      2GB system memory
      Microsoft® Windows 8.1, Windows® 7, Windows Server® 2012 R2 and 2008 R2 SP1 and Linux® (32- or 64-bit)
      Internet connection for driver installation
      2) Once it fits, then you move to the next step that is installing ESXi 5.5
      Please note that Firepro S10000 does not support vSGA. It only supports vDGA. For reference:
      VMware Compatibility Guide — http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/search.php?deviceCategory=vsga
      AMD Compatibility Guide — http://fireprographics.com/vdi/hypervisors/vmware/ )
      3) Since Firepro S10000 only supports VDGA (1:1) so no VIB on ESXi hypervisor is required. Instead install the GPU driver on the Endpoint device (Windows7/8/2008/2012) from http://support.amd.com/en-us/download. Please ensure you enter the appropriate values:
      Step 1: Select the type of system that you have: Workstation Graphics
      Step 2: Select the product family your product belongs to: FirePro Server Series
      4) Once done, please install View Agent if you’re using Horizon View to access the endpoint device or directly run any 3D apps (refer this page for list of 2d/3d apps supported on S10000 + VDGA — http://fireprographics.com/vdi/hypervisors/vmware/) on the endpoint device.
      5) To test/validate if the GPU card is recognised by the Operating System (on Endpoint device), run http://www.techpowerup.com/gpuz/ and check if the S10000 is being recognised)

      VSGA is 1:many (Shared/Scalability with medium to normal performance)
      VDGA is 1:1 (Dedicated/Not Scalable with High performance)

      Hope this helps…good luck!

      • ela says:

        Do we need to install this driver(AMD FirePro – VMware Vsphere ESXi 5.5 Driver) on every virtual machine(VM)
        I did these steps for adding the amd: VCENTER ———> advance setting ———-> configure pass through ———> I added the gpu ——–> ok ————-> the system showed me the gpu————> I reboot the server

        for adding the gpu on virtual machine ————-> edit setting ————-> PCI device———–> I added the gpu

        in vmware for seeing the gpu ————> device management ———–> display adapters , but I can’t see how many Gig of gpu dedicated to our vmware,where can I see? and can I dedicate any amount of gpu(Gig) to my vmware by myself?

        thanks

      • ela says:

        Hi Cloudray
        can you help me ?
        I need to know about use VGA for virtual machine.
        thanks

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