FusionIO IODrive2 – How to Install drivers for ESXi

As a prequel to my upcoming FusionIO performance benchmarking articles I thought I would quickly demonstrate how easy it is to install the FusionIO drivers for VMware ESXi.

First you need to download the drivers from https://support.fusionio.com/downloads , you will need to register to access the support website.

Once you login you need to click the Downloads button and you will see the “Identify Product” section appear similar to the below. Select “IODrive2” , The suitable VMware ESXi version, and for option 3, the latest version.

Then you should see the below available downloads.

The file you need is the “Fusion-IO_libvsl-offline-bundle-%version%” file which is under “Utilities”.

Download the file and extract the zip file, and you should see similar to the below.

Now we need to either copy the vib file to a datastore OR use something like WinSCP to copy the file to the host.

The easiest way in my opinion is to copy the file to a datastore via vSphere client.

To do this, goto the “configuration” tab for your ESXi host/s , select “storage” under the “Hardware” section, then select your datastore.

Now right click the datastore and select “Browse Datastore”

Once in your datastore, click this icon  and you will see the below appear.

Select the VIB file and press “Open”

The file should now upload, and you will see a progress window like the below.

Once the file is in your datastore, make note of the path assuming you didn’t use the root of the datastore.

Now click “Security Profile” under the “Software” section (see below).

Now click “Properties” for the “Firewall” and you will see the below appear.

Ensure “SSH Server” is ticked like the above and press Ok.

Your now ready to SSH to your ESXi host using a program such as PuTTY.

Open PuTTY, enter the IP or hostname for your ESXi host, select SSH (Port 22) and press Connect.

You will be prompted for credentials, I am using “root” in this example.

After entering your credentials, you should see the below screen.

Now we use “esxcli” to install the VIB by using the following command

“esxcli software vib install -v /vmfs/volumes/*DATASTORENAME*/Fusionio_bootbank_block-iomemory-vsl_3.1.5.126-1OEM.500.0.0.472560.vib”

Once Installed, you should see something similar to the below.

Now to verify the driver has installed, we can use the “esxcli software vib list” command which should give us a result similar to the below.

Now if the driver appears like the above, reboot your host.

Once you have rebooted, SSH back to your host, and we now need to format the FusionIO card.

To do this use the below command.

Now you should be able to open the vSphere client, select your host and goto the configuration tab, Select “Storage Adapters” and you should see the FusionIO card show up like the below.

Now you can return to the “Storage” menu and use “add Storage” too format the card with VMFS.

Now your ready to use your FusionIO card.

11 thoughts on “FusionIO IODrive2 – How to Install drivers for ESXi

  1. I’m looking forward to your test results. I hope you plan on testing the Fusion IO Turbine software because my company is looking into this to boost read cache hits on database VMs as well as other possible use cases.

  2. It’s important to know when you “esxcli software vib install -v “, and it MUST be the full path. You cannot simply do a “esxcli software vib install -v whatever.vib” even if you are in the directory. I also found out you can simply upload the entire ZIP and use “esxcli software vib install -d /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/whateveryouzipfileis.zip”.

  3. VMware ESXi drivers for the Fusion-io VSL 3.2.6 release have obtained VMware certification and are available This now includes support for ESXi 5.5.

    • I know the team is currently working on ioTurbine support for ESX 5.5. I do know that the VSL 3.2.6 driver supports ESX 5.5 and ioTurbine support will be soon.