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Disable Intel VMD for drives being used for VMware vSAN

My recommendation is to please disable Intel VMD (Volume Manage Devices) and use the native NVMe inbox drive to mount devices for VMware vSAN going forward. To be clear Intel VMD is NOT a bad technology, but we do not need/want it in the I/O path for VMware vSAN going forward. It can be useful to do RAID on Chip for NVMe boot devices. In addition it was the only method to reliably get hotplug and serviceability (blink lights) prior the NVMe spec being “finished”, hence why it was sometimes used for some older early NVMe vSAN configurations.

Looking at the VCG a number of drive are only being certified using the Inbox driver and not the Intel driver.

To disable this you need to configure the Bios/UEFI. Here’s an example for Lenovo (who I think defaults to it enabled).

Jason Massae has a great blog that covers hoe to use Intel VMD in more details and Intel has their own documentation for non-vSAN use cases.