IBM xSeries 3550 – not supported on ESX 3.0.1?

Our main virtualization platform of choice has been IBM xSeries servers, specifically xSeries 3850. We have 5 remote offices that are now being deployed domain controllers and decided to use a smaller model (x3550) instead. Upon first load of the OS, we get the following error message:
0:00:00:12.996 cpu0:1024)PCI: 1650: failed for 000.08.0
I called VMware support, and they point to the System Peripheral Bus after enumerating the PCI bus using lspci. I call IBM tech support and ask about supported firmware version due to all 5 systems seeing the same problem.

This is where it gets interesting. I eventually escalate the call to Back Office engineers, who tell me despite what the Systems HCL List ( says, only 3.0 is supported not 3.0.1. She said the only reliable document on support is
(which does not list any 2.5.x variants either). I am frustrated right as it would seem my whole environment while supported via VMware is unsupported according to IBM. I could believe a front line tech getting supportability wrong, but with back office should at least have the correct information. She said I had to downgrade to 3.0 before she could support me. I installed 3.0 and still got a similar error message (0:00:00:12.974 cpu0:1024)PCI: 1655: failed for 000.08.0), so at least the 5 systems are consistent. :-)

Is anyone else having the same error message as I?

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No comments yet to IBM xSeries 3550 – not supported on ESX 3.0.1?

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  • Niwrad

    Hey, love the site! Sorry, I am using MS Virtual Server 2005 R2. I am very interested in what you aredoing with the remote DCs and virtualization..? Not sure I understand? Are you deploying hosts in the remote offices?
    Sorry, I have no suggestions, but it is interesting.

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  • Emiliano

    Yes I’ve got the same problem with an Intel Dual PRO/1000 PT Network card.
    The system doesn’t assign any IRQ on any ports and I haven’t no network support…
    If I move that card in a different slot, I solve the problem.
    I think the problem is how kernel enumerate the IRQ numbers!
    But the other slot is filled with another card and I cannot move this.

  • Emiliano – the good news is that the updated BIOS was just released and it fixed our issue. It might fix your issue too.

  • [...] Just an update on a previous post about ESX incompatibility with x3550, the solution from IBM was to install 3.0.2 or install a BIOS patch, which was not released (at that time) yet. Fortunately, it was released ahead of schedule, and the patch eliminated the aesthetic error message. We have deployed the latest BIOS on the UpdateExpress v4.05, and we aren’t bothered by the error message. [...]

  • ESX 3.01 is running fine using IBM Server xSeries x3500 Model 7977K1G, x3500 is Tower Model, x3550 is Rack Modell.

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