So as I’ve gone through this journey of home automation I just want to throw out my experiences mainly regarding ESXI and ZWAVE. First of all I am running ESXI on a Dell optiplex 780 with 16gb of ram and 2 350gb HD not in a raid setup just independent of each other. I started with having pfsense as my main firewall and DHCP server because I didn’t want to use the Verizon fios router as my default router.
(First lesson, unless you want future headaches separate your DHCP server from your ESXI setup)
Even though the setup wasn’t the best it still worked very well. My media server is through Logitech which has never had any problems. So essentially I only had 3 VM’s PFSENSE, LMS, and HASS. My problems started when I wanted to setup my ZWAVE motion sensors.
I have the Aeotec Gen5 Z-Stick for my ZWAVE devices. I bought this because the only other real options were to get a full blown hub like Smartthings or Vera. I think I read almost every post regarding Zwave and I litterally had no clue why it was working and because ESXI hadnt really messed anything up previously I had never thought about that being the issue.
My Zwave devices would show up and work for about 2 minutes then they would no longer report what was happening. Stuck in sleep mode forever but I could tell that the sensor was still functioning properly. I thought to use the open zwave control panel to fix this issue but this still did the same thing. So eventually I gave up.
After a while it gets frustrating having to tell Alexa to turn on your living room lights when you enter the house or want to turn on the hallway light :-(…
So I though “Hey im smart I KNOW I can figure this out somehow” I happen to stumple upon a post http://floating.io/2017/02/openhab-a-z-stick-and-esxi-6-5/ his issue sounded exactly like mine.
(Second lesson, If you do not have a dell server DO NOT use the dell customized ESXI image because it will not allow you to disable the new vmkusb driver (Well it didnt let me at least) I ended up having to start my ESXI server configuration from scrtach, which honestly wasnt that bad because it was installed on a USB thumb drive)
So here is the main point of this post. If you are using Aeotech Zwave Z-Stick gen5 and are running ESXI 6.5 you need to disable the Newer (vmkusb driver) because this driver doesnt play well with the z-stick. You need to enable the legacy driver. Easy want to do this is to enable SSH on your ESXI server and start an SSH session enter “esxcli system module set -m=vmkusb -e=FALSE” (without quotes) then enter “esxcli system module list” (without quotes) and verify that the VMKUSB driver is set to FALSE. Reboot the ESXI host and start the ssh session one more time to verify that the driver is still sent to FALSE. Then all of your ZWAVE headaches will go away.