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Since I was unable to find any info in the documentation or forums on this topic, I'm sharing my findings here. We did get boot to a M.2 SSD in RAID1 to boot ESXi on a new UCS Mini/FlashStack deployment with the new "UCS-M2-HWRAID Boot-Optimized M.2 RAID Controller". Unlike the previous method that wouldn't allow boot from a SWRAID M.2 SSD, we can now use hardware RAID with ESXi (like we used to in the old days with SATA disks and RAID controller). They are not much more expensive than SD cards so Cisco SEs have been recommending M.2 instead. Anyway...Similar to configuring C or S-Series, you've got to build Storage Policies & Profiles to create a LUN. Then UEFI is required along with the UEFI boot parameters. See screenshots for the config that worked. This article has some useful tips on UEFI boot, but is outdated when it comes to the new HWRAID module and being able to boot via RAID1. 

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Thanks !!

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Rock on and thank you for posting this! I searched and could find nothing helpful in the real Cisco docs!  Since I wanted one item for someone to view and you can't upload a word doc, here's a video of my steps start to finish. I'm not cool enough to video the steps live though...

Stefan Gruber
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Level 1

Hello What UCS Firmware Version does I need If I have UCS Manager managed Blades ore C Servers, that I Can Use that M2 Raid for ESXi?


And the Second Queston is how it works on stanalone Servers?

I Have a C220M5 with that Raid controller and two M2 Disks


I'm facing a similar issue.

I have B200 M5 blades with a Cisco Boot Optimized M.2 Raid Controller (UCS-M2-HWRAID) and 1 x 240GB M.2 6G SATA SSD (UCS-M2-240GB)

I don't see an option to configure as a JBOD, so configured as RAID0.

I cannot see the disk presented to the server when attempting to install ESXi 7.0.

However, if I add a disk to the controller, I can create a RAID1 configuration, and all works as expected.

Is there a requirement to have 2 SSDs?

I don't have enough to add 2 x SSDs per server, so I hope that is not the case (I can't image it would be).


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