He has found (thanks Google) Christopher Glemot's blog post describing other issues with LSI 12Gb SAS HBA. However the key point was that mpt3sas driver should be used and not msgpt3 driver which was on these particular ESXi hosts.
The solution is relatively easy:
- Uninstall msgpt3 driver - esxcli software vib remove –n lsi-msgpt3
- Download the latest mpt3sas driver (currently mpt3sas-10.00.00.00-6.0-2803883.zip)
- Unpack and upload mpt3sas driver to ESXi host
- Install mpt3sas driver on ESXi host - esxcli software vib install –d /path/mpt3sas-10.00.00.00-6.0-offline_bundle-2803883.zip
- Restart ESXi host