VMware

Raspberry Pi Cluster

After successfully installing ESXi on Arm, I decided to do a Raspberry Pi cluster.

Use case for the Raspberry Pi cluster, learning, going deeper into vSphere and again learning.

My Raspberry Pi Cluster

Having the knowledge of how to install ESXi on Arm fling, I prepared everything to get started. I did not expect anything to be challenging. But … – you guessed it, there was a challenge.

I used the Raspberry Pi Imager to create a microSD with Raspberry Pi OS. Inserted the card but not much happened. It took a few moments before an error message showed on the screen.

Error message shortend:

error on dev mmcblk0

One assumption was that the eeprom got corrupted. Looking up how to check, I found the blog of James A. Chambers – Legendary Technology Blog. Making sure all USB devices – including keyboard and mouse – were disconnected and the microSD card taken out, I restarted the Raspberry Pi. As mentioned in James A. Chambers – Legendary Blog, I checked the green light. And – the light showed that the eeprom was corrupted.

Following the recommendations, I used the Raspberry Pi Imager and created a recovery microSD card. After keyboard was plugged back in and the microSD inserted, another restart of the Raspberry. Recovery completed successfully. Rebooted the Raspberry with Raspberry Pi OS. Still the same error showed.

A first assumption was that maybe the microSD card adapter coming with the rack was not working. Inserting the microSD in the local slot on the Raspberry Pi had the same result – the above-mentioned error message showed.

Researching further about the error message, I found a post on github which referred to an issue with low cost microSD cards. Decision was made to pick up new microSD cards. Prepared the new microSD card with Raspberry Pi OS and going thru the previous routine. The result – with the microSD card adapter – was, successful operations!

Now that all Raspberry Pis were set up with the UEFI* boot loader* on to the new microSD card each, I went ahead and installed the ESXi on Arm fling on all of them.

Installation completed. Now putting the Raspberry Pis into the rack.

Next step – adding the Raspberry Pi cluster into my home lab.

Additional Information

UEFI

The Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) is a specification that defines a software interface between an operating system and platform firmware.
Source: Wikipedia

Boot Loader

When a computer is turned off, its software‍—‌including operating systems, application code, and data‍—‌remains stored on non-volatile memory. When the computer is powered on, it typically does not have an operating system or its loader in random-access memory (RAM). The computer first executes a relatively small program stored in read-only memory (ROM) along with a small amount of needed data, to access the nonvolatile device or devices from which the operating system programs and data can be loaded into RAM.

The small program that starts this sequence is known as a bootstrap loader, bootstrap or boot loader.
Source: Wikipedia

Author

I am an entrepreneurial and innovative technical; presales; and customer success professional equipped with a Master’s in Business Administration. I am working as a Technical Account Manager at VMware Inc., Zweigniederlassung Deutschland. My early career with Novell involved a promotion to Presales Systems Engineer after having worked on a team of 4 anti-piracy, licensing and intellectual property specialists situated in legal.

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