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HP Smart Array p400i: Are Logical Volumes Necessary?

 
epretorious
Regular Advisor

HP Smart Array p400i: Are Logical Volumes Necessary?

I've installed 6 HDD's into my Proliant DL365 G1 and plan to join all six of the bare HDD's together into a software RAID5 configuration (using Linux Software RAID - md).

In this sort of configuration is it necessary to configure each of the drives as logical volumes in the Smart Array p400i controller? I really hate to give up the 5-7% capacity if there's nothing gained by doing that!

TIA

Eric Pretorious
8 REPLIES
Torsten.
Acclaimed Contributor

Re: HP Smart Array p400i: Are Logical Volumes Necessary?

This controller cannot provide the HDDs directly.

IMHO a software RAID makes no sense and it needs a lot of CPU power.

Consider to create a hardware RAID using the controller utility (SSA).

If you really need the certain HDDs directly, you need to create a RAID0 per disk.


Hope this helps!
Regards
Torsten.

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epretorious
Regular Advisor

Re: HP Smart Array p400i: Are Logical Volumes Necessary?


Torsten. wrote:

This controller cannot provide the HDDs directly.

IMHO a software RAID makes no sense and it needs a lot of CPU power.

Consider to create a hardware RAID using the controller utility (SSA).

If you really need the certain HDDs directly, you need to create a RAID0 per disk.


 

Thanks, Torsten:

But that's just not an option.

My comfort zone exists inside of Linux and...

  1. The Linux Software RAID is more-than-capable while consuming minimal resources.
  2. I prefer not to rely on the limited capabilities of the unsupported and poorly-documented HP Array Configuration Utility for Linux.

Please correct me if my understanding of the HP Array Configuration Utility for Linux is incorrect - I'd like to learn more about it if others think that it's a superior solution.

TIA

Eric Pretorious
Jimmy Vance
HPE Pro

Re: HP Smart Array p400i: Are Logical Volumes Necessary?

The command line Smart Array configuration tool for Linux has been around for many years and works well. Documentation is available from HPE along with many tech and blog guides on the Internet showing command line examples using both the older hpacucli and the newer hpssacli utilities.

I think the biggest issue you will run into here is the driver (cciss) for that old controller has been depricated and is not included in most current Linux distributions. The first gerneation DL365 was retired in 2008

Untill recently, HBA mode was not an option for Smart Array controllers.




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epretorious
Regular Advisor

Re: HP Smart Array p400i: Are Logical Volumes Necessary?


wrote:

Torsten. wrote:

This controller cannot provide the HDDs directly.

IMHO a software RAID makes no sense and it needs a lot of CPU power.

Consider to create a hardware RAID using the controller utility (SSA).

If you really need the certain HDDs directly, you need to create a RAID0 per disk.


 

Thanks, Torsten:

But that's just not an option.


 

The p400i reports that configuring the four individual 300 GB HDD's as RAID0 LUN's results in four 279.4 GB HDD's. (93.1% efficiecy)

I discovered afterwards that the p400i has configured the four 300 GB HDD's that are/were installed into a RAID5 configuration by default and used up 62 GB in the process (i.e., four 300 GB HDD's in a RAID5 configuration should, ideally, produce a 900 GB LUN. However, the p400i reports that the actual LUN is 838.1 GB in size [93.1% effeciency]. Linux reports the actual, usable space as 858 GB, though!)

I suppose that I'll partition the LUN to create a small partition for the O/S and reserve the rest for use as an iSCSI LUN.

Thanks, Torsten!

Eric Pretorious
epretorious
Regular Advisor

Re: HP Smart Array p400i: Are Logical Volumes Necessary?


wrote:

The command line Smart Array configuration tool for Linux has been around for many years and works well. Documentation is available from HPE along with many tech and blog guides on the Internet showing command line examples using both the older hpacucli and the newer hpssacli utilities.

I think the biggest issue you will run into here is the driver (cciss) for that old controller has been depricated and is not included in most current Linux distributions. The first gerneation DL365 was retired in 2008

Untill recently, HBA mode was not an option for Smart Array controllers.


 

Thank you, Jimmy - I'm pleased to learn that HP ACUCLI works well!

I seem to be finding inconsistent information spread across the Internet about the status of the HP ACUCLI. Is there one, authoritative source for instructions? Or will I just need to wad through it all and determine for myself What's Obsolete/Out-of-Date and What's Current? e.g., One document that I found says that only RHEL and SLES are supported. And another document says that Debian is supported!

Thanks, again!

Eric Pretorious
Jimmy Vance
HPE Pro

Re: HP Smart Array p400i: Are Logical Volumes Necessary?

Over the course of time the utilty has changed names. The core functionality and CLI commands have pretty much stayed consistent.

For the originally Smart Array Controllers, the Linux driver was a block device 'cciss' the tool was called cpqacucli and later renamed hpacucli.

When the Smart Array driver was re-written to be a SCSI device driver 'hpssa' instead of a block device 'cciss', the tool was renamed hpssacli

The latest release of the tool, it is simply called ssacli

URL's for latest versions of each. There is a text file with each version that lists supported controllers and other information

hpacucli
HP Array Configuration Utility CLI for Linux 64-bit RPM
https://support.hpe.com/hpsc/swd/public/detail?swItemId=MTX_9a45caa3b8be46398c1bd4d016

hpssacli
HPE Smart Storage Administrator (HPE SSA) CLI for Linux 64-bit RPM
https://support.hpe.com/hpsc/swd/public/detail?swItemId=MTX_04bffb688a73438598fef81ddd

ssacli
HPE Smart Storage Administrator (HPE SSA) CLI for Linux 64-bit RPM
https://support.hpe.com/hpsc/swd/public/detail?swItemId=MTX_5530b3f5b38b4e0781e6bf9c74

I don't think the debian versions were ever released to the web as individul packages, all the debian tools were shipped in a mamagement pack image.

The individual debian files can be found on the HPE SDR site under MCP
https://downloads.linux.hpe.com/SDR/repo/mcp/debian/pool/non-free/

 




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epretorious
Regular Advisor

Re: HP Smart Array p400i: Are Logical Volumes Necessary?


@ wrote:

Over the course of time the utilty has changed names. The core functionality and CLI commands have pretty much stayed consistent. For the original Smart Array Controllers, the Linux driver was a block device 'cciss' the tool was called cpqacucli and later renamed hpacucli. When the Smart Array driver was re-written to be a SCSI device driver 'hpssa' instead of a block device 'cciss', the tool was renamed hpssacli. The latest release of the tool, it is simply called ssacli

URL's for latest versions of each. There is a text file with each version that lists supported controllers and other information

hpacucli
HP Array Configuration Utility CLI for Linux 64-bit RPM
https://support.hpe.com/hpsc/swd/public/detail?swItemId=MTX_9a45caa3b8be46398c1bd4d016

hpssacli
HPE Smart Storage Administrator (HPE SSA) CLI for Linux 64-bit RPM
https://support.hpe.com/hpsc/swd/public/detail?swItemId=MTX_04bffb688a73438598fef81ddd

ssacli
HPE Smart Storage Administrator (HPE SSA) CLI for Linux 64-bit RPM
https://support.hpe.com/hpsc/swd/public/detail?swItemId=MTX_5530b3f5b38b4e0781e6bf9c74

I don't think the debian versions were ever released to the web as individul packages, all the debian tools were shipped in a mamagement pack image.

The individual debian files can be found on the HPE SDR site under MCP
https://downloads.linux.hpe.com/SDR/repo/mcp/debian/pool/non-free/


 

Thanks, Jimmy:

I've read the text file that's provided for each tool. And, if I'm understanding correctly, HPACUCLI is the only tool that supports the P400i controller that is present in my Proliant DL365 G1 servers:

  1. HP Array Configuration Utility CLI for Linux environments (HPACUCLI)
  2. HPE Smart Storage Administrator CLI (HPSSACLI)
  3. Smart Storage Administrator CLI (HPESSACLI)

Are there any tutorials that you'd recommend that I read? Those documents (above) don't provide any guidance.

TIA,

Eric Pretorious
Jimmy Vance
HPE Pro

Re: HP Smart Array p400i: Are Logical Volumes Necessary?

I don't have anything with that old of a controller sitting around anymore, so I can't comment if the newer versions still support the older controller but I'd think they would.

Here is a guide for for the older utilities Google found for me. This guide explains the CLI commands, starting on page 45 https://support.hpe.com/hpsc/doc/public/display?docId=c00729544 . As I've already said, even though the tools name has changed, the functionality has pretty much remained the same as far as the commands go

 

 




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