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Some notes on ESXi `smartinfo` throwing `error Cannot open device`

Posted by jpluimers on 2021/12/29

I wrote about the built-in smartinfo command before at NVMe and SATA health data on ESXi: some links to investigate.

It is at /usr/lib/vmware/vm-support/bin/smartinfo, which is not in the path. I used it recently after having trouble with some 2.5-inch SSD devices, of one which is listed below.

Some note on this error what smartinfo from ESXi throwed on some devices over time on various ESXi machines:

Failed to get SMART stats for t10.ATA_____Samsung_SSD_860_EVO_500GB_______________S3Z2NB0M529545P_____ error Cannot open device 
----------------------------------------------------- 

The same SSD sometimes had very big latency times:

2021-05-01T16:23:20.306Z cpu7:2097783)WARNING: ScsiDeviceIO: 1564: Device t10.ATA_____Samsung_SSD_860_EVO_500GB_______________S3Z2NB0M529545P_____ performance has deteriorated. I/O latency increased from average value of 59147
2021-05-01T16:23:20.306Z cpu7:2097783)WARNING: microseconds to 1274466 microseconds.
2021-05-01T16:23:20.306Z cpu7:2097783)WARNING: ScsiDeviceIO: 1564: Device t10.ATA_____Samsung_SSD_860_EVO_500GB_______________S3Z2NB0M529545P_____ performance has deteriorated. I/O latency increased from average value of 59150
2021-05-01T16:23:20.306Z cpu7:2097783)WARNING: microseconds to 2664445 microseconds.
2021-05-01T16:23:20.847Z cpu7:2097190)ScsiDeviceIO: 1530: Device t10.ATA_____Samsung_SSD_860_EVO_500GB_______________S3Z2NB0M529545P_____ performance has improved. I/O latency reduced from 2664445 microseconds to 526814 microseconds.
2021-05-01T16:23:38.477Z cpu5:2097783)ScsiDeviceIO: 1530: Device t10.ATA_____Samsung_SSD_860_EVO_500GB_______________S3Z2NB0M529545P_____ performance has improved. I/O latency reduced from 526814 microseconds to 116553 microseconds.
2021-05-01T16:24:01.380Z cpu9:2097674)NMP: nmp_ResetDeviceLogThrottling:3586: last error status from device t10.ATA_____Samsung_SSD_860_EVO_500GB_______________S3Z2NB0M529545P_____ repeated 1 times

[Wayback] “smartinfo” “error Cannot open device” – Google Search delivered mainly results around the old smartinfo.sh tool that is now replaced by the smartinfo binary:

[Wayback] “ESXi” “smart” “error Cannot open device” – Google Search returned no relevant results.

I think an 860 EVO 2.5-inch SSD is not on par running half a dozen Windows VM’s that have regular write actions, but I will later give this a try, though I doubt it will help as this is on a VMware 6.7 update 3 based system which should not have the vmw_ahci driver slowness:

[Wayback] NVMe SSD Fast, but SATA SSD slow ! – VMware Technology Network VMTN (hyphen fixes mine):

I have done the esxcli system module set --enabled=false --module=vmw_ahci and rebooted, and I got a small performance increase.  But still not what I thought.

It refers these other posts:

The system with this behaviour is on these versions:

# esxcli software vib list | grep ahci
sata-ahci                      3.0-26vmw.670.0.0.8169922             VMW     VMwareCertified   2021-04-03
vmw-ahci                       2.0.7-2vmw.670.3.143.17700523         VMW     VMwareCertified   2021-04-04

–jeroen

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