Let me detail the current situation:
- VMware has approved the IBM driver for VAAI and we can now release it to the public. The IBM_VAAIP_MODULE plugin will be available shortly from the ibm.com website. When the release URL is available I will update this post. In the meantime you can get the driver from your XIV TA (Technical Assistant) or IBM Account Team. If they have somehow missed the news, get them to talk to their XIV Product Manager (or they can always talk to me!).
- The VMware Hardware Compatibility guide found here shows that VMware support the three VAAI primitives with XIV, if you are using ESX 4.1 or ESX 4.1 U1 and your XIV is on firmware release 10.2.4 or higher.
- XIV firmware release 10.2.4a is available for install. Installation of this firmware is non-disruptive (concurrent) and will be performed by IBM.
- The VAAI driver and installation of the 10.2.4a code are all supplied free of charge.
So what should your plan be?
- Ensure VAAI is disabled on your ESX hosts.
- Talk to your local XIV TA or IBM Service Representative (SSR) and arrange to have 10.2.4a firmware installed.
- When 10.2.4a code is installed, you can then begin installing the VAAI driver on each of your ESX 4.1 servers. You will need to reboot each server to install the driver.