As many storage controllers are not pass-through enabled, you must create RAID-0 devices to use existing or new disks. This can be performed in the firmware/option-ROM by rebooting the host and interacting the RAID controller configuration utility via a physical or remote console.
Some RAID controller manufacturers provide tools that can be installed on an ESXi host to help interact with the RAID controller. In some cases, this can enable you to configure RAID groups from the ESXi command line, potentially avoiding the need for reboots and subsequent rebuilds for certain maintenance operations.
Third-party utilities are neither supported nor endorsed by VMware. Documentation for third-party utilities is provided by their respective suppliers.
For HP servers using the HP SmartArray controllers, consider using the HP custom installation image for ESXi. Their custom images typically include everything from the
hpssacli extensions to the
esxcli command framework. This utility can be used to query the controller and perform certain operations from within ESXi.
For controllers based on the popular megaRAID and SAS Fusion controller chipsets from LSI/Avago, there are utilities called
storCLI, which can be installed on ESXi servers. This standard management toolkit was ported to ESXi, and can be used to query details about the controller and RAID groups, as well as perform certain operations from within ESXi.