Back in 2017 VMware changed their policy on VMKlinux Inbox Drivers. This has now come into effect from vSphere 7.0 and onwards.
Unfortunately this means that some otherwise supported hardware platforms, now are having support issue. And you might see the following error in vCenter Skyline Health:
Devices that are only supported in 6.7 or earlier by a VMKlinux inbox driver. This support has been removed in 7.0
This is the case for many Lenovo SR650 servers if they are booting from a SD card, as many will be configured with the Lewisburg SATA AHCI Controller.
You might experience some confusion, as there are currently some discrepancies in the VMware supported hardware guide. On one hand the server and hardware is supported according to the guide at the time of writing this post, and on the other hand, the Lewisburg controller is listes as a controller that is no longer supported.
Response from Lenovo/IBM
I contacted Lenovo support which is handled by IBM and this is their response translated into english:
There are two solutions to this problem:
- Stay on ESXi 6.7
- Replace the unsupported hardware
I hope this response saved you some time. Anyway as this controller is a SD card controller, one obvious resolution could be to buy internal disks for the server.
Announcement – https://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2017/08/vmware-plans-deprecate-vmklinux-apis-associated-driver-ecosystem.html
Description of impact – https://blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/2019/04/what-is-the-impact-of-the-vmklinux-driver-stack-deprecation.html
Lenovo SR650 compatibility – https://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/detail.php?deviceCategory=server&productid=44214&deviceCategory=server&details=1&releases=508&keyword=SR650&page=1&display_interval=10&sortColumn=Partner&sortOrder=Asc
Lewisburg SATA AHCI Controller compatibility – https://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/detail.php?deviceCategory=io&productid=43895&deviceCategory=io&details=1&VID=8086&DID=a1d2&page=1&display_interval=10&sortColumn=Partner&sortOrder=Asc
The specific health alarm – https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/77304
The list of removed devices – https://kb.vmware.com/sfc/servlet.shepherd/version/download/068f400000KdAw1AAF