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Little help with ML370 and 6400 Smart Array Controller

PWolf
Occasional Visitor

Little help with ML370 and 6400 Smart Array Controller

Greetings,
Please pardon my post if it is not complete this is my first one and unfortunately, I don't have a lot of information with me. I may have to get more info if necessary the next time I go on site. I have a few questions regarding configuring the array. I know it's wordy, but I wanted to include as much information as I had.

I am about to inherit an ML370. It is a production machine for about 30 users and has been functioning fine for 5 months. Here is what I currently know about it. It is currently under support with HP. It has a Smart Array 6400 controller in slot 4. (ACU says so). Last August, it crashed. I am told by the former admin that after a few attempts to repair it, HP came on site and replaced the RAID cage, a drive or two, the cable and I think (but not sure) the controller. For whatever reason the machine was rebuilt with what I consider a poorly though out disk plan and I would like to fix it.

The machine has 5 drives in it. 0,1,2,3 & 5.
Drives 0 & 1 are 2 72gb drives, are RAID 1 and are the OS (SBS 2003 Ent).
Drive 2 is a standalone 146 gb drive. RAID 0.
Drives 3 & 5 are 2 146 drives and are RAID 0.

Slot 4 is empty.

According to Windows Disk Manager:
Partition C is the OS.
Partition E is drive 2.
Partition F is a 136 GB logical drive carved out of array C.
Partition G is a second 136 GB logical drive carved out of array C. (It also says this is a page file).

I would like to:
A. Make 2 backups of all the data on E, F & G .
B. Then add another 146 drive, and install it in slot 4.
C. I would like to keep (and hopefully not have to reinstall) the OS on the first two drives (0&1).
D. Then I want to reconfigure the array controller to Make a RAID 5 array out of 3 of the remaining 4 146 gb drives, and keep the last 146 gb as an online hot-swap.

Questions:
1. Is the 6400 a hot-swappable controller, and are all the drives (72 and 146) hot swappable?
2. Is it an auto fail-over system?
3. If so, can the 146 hot swap be used if needed to auto-fail-over for EITHER a 72 (RAID 1) or 146 (RAID 5)? Is the controller and firmware "smart" enough (no pun intended) to format the 146 as a 72, and rebuild it from the remaining 72 gb drive should it fail.
4. Can the controller be configured to notify someone if an array has been compromised?

I presume like most array controllers the process is pretty straightforward. Are there any tips, tricks or "gotcha's" I should be aware of before attempting this. Is there anything I should be on the lookout for? I plan on doing it on a weekend, but it IS a production machine and *will* have to ready by Monday.

Any suggestions, comments or thoughts welcome.

Thanks again for putting up with my noobie-ness.

P......
5 REPLIES
Johan Guldmyr
Honored Contributor

Re: Little help with ML370 and 6400 Smart Array Controller

Ah bollox, wrote a really long reply and then something broke and now all is gone :s

1. Controller is cold-swappable. Raid config is stored on ctrl and disks. Disks are hot-swappable.
2. Means? If you do set up a spare then yes it will put that in the array with a broken disk and start rebuild.
3. Yes it will work. Looks like that anyway in the reference guide.
4. See the link below and do a little search on this forum. Some do this with the help of HP SIM. Couldn't find SNMP/SMTP mentioned in the ACU user guide or reference guide.

http://h30499.www3.hp.com/t5/ProLiant-Servers-ML-DL-SL/SNMP-array-monitoring-for-DL380G5/m-p/4205704#M79166


Also, another thing you can do is to delete the R0 arrays and re-create them as R5. This may be a lot faster than expanding an array (15min/GB) - suppose the same value applies when changing raid type..

Steven Clementi
Honored Contributor

Re: Little help with ML370 and 6400 Smart Array Controller

"3. Yes it will work. Looks like that anyway in the reference guide."

Yes, this is what happens. Though you will not have access to the differential space, but you probably assumed that anyway.


"4. Can the controller be configured to notify someone if an array has been compromised? "

If you install the management agents onto the server, you should be able to configure them to send basic alerting information. I don;t remember exactly where, but I though the server agent or storage agent had a place to specify smtp information for alerting. (I could be dating myself here..)


Steven
Steven Clementi
HP Master ASE, Storage and Clustering
MCSE (NT 4.0, W2K, W2K3)
VCP (ESX2, Vi3, vSphere4, vSphere5)
RHCE
NPP3 (Nutanix Platform Professional)
PWolf
Occasional Visitor

Re: Little help with ML370 and 6400 Smart Array Controller

Steven and Johan, thank you for the quick and informative replies. Johan, yes I knew the controller itself was not hot swappable. What I meant to ask was did it SUPPORT hot swappable drives. And yes, Steven, I do realize that there is no hope of accessing the differential space on the 146 if it is "rebuilt" to a 72. But thank you for the clarification.

Johan, I guess I don't understand this part:

"Also, another thing you can do is to delete the R0 arrays and re-create them as R5. This may be a lot faster than expanding an array (15min/GB) - suppose the same value applies when changing raid type"

I am planning on taking drives 2,3 & 5 and making them one RAID 5 array (thus wiping out whatever is on them).

My main goal is to keep array A (OS) intact.
Second, make drives 2,3 & 5 a RAID 5 array (I presume it will be "B".
Third, Have the spare 146 configured as a hot swap for both arrays
Fourth, Set up some means of notification of array issues.

Can either of you (or anyone) advise me on what CD's or software/utilities (revisions) I should have on hand before embarking on my task? Are there any other "tasks" to take into consideration while I have the opportunity to start the array from scratch?

Thanks again for all your help.

Paul...
Steven Clementi
Honored Contributor

Re: Little help with ML370 and 6400 Smart Array Controller

I think it was just a mis understanding. I had to re-read your original post, but it makes sense now. Delete the other arrays (NOT Array A) and re-create Array B with 3 146's and add in a hot spare.

Everything you need is probably already on the system.

Some things to check:

Latest ACU (Array Configuration Utility) installed (Along with ACU CLI and ADU).

Latest firmware on the SA Controller.
You should not need these things, but if you get into a situation where you need HPSupport... you may get asked to install/update these items.

Best bet would be to download the latest Support Pack for you server. it will have the management agents in it as well for setting up notification. if I geta chance, I will check on one of my servers to see if I can find/remember where I seen it.


Other thing to keep in mind is..

An Array on a Smart Array Controller has no "RAID". It is more like "AID", Array of Independant Disks. The logical drives you create within an array have a "RAID" setting.. you can mix RAID 0, RAID 1+0 and RAID 5 logical drives in the same array. You are not limited to 1 RAID type per Array.


Steven
Steven Clementi
HP Master ASE, Storage and Clustering
MCSE (NT 4.0, W2K, W2K3)
VCP (ESX2, Vi3, vSphere4, vSphere5)
RHCE
NPP3 (Nutanix Platform Professional)
Johan Guldmyr
Honored Contributor

Re: Little help with ML370 and 6400 Smart Array Controller

Hey Paul.

Then we meant the same thing - delete and re-create the arrays.

What I think you should do beforehand is go through the user guide and reference guide of the ACU. This will explain the different settings you can make in regards to the RAID controller and for the raid sets.

For example rebuild priority, stripe size, etc.
You may be able to optimize them for the services running on the machine. Or default might be fine as well.

You should be able to use a smartstart CD. But as you have an older generation of the ML370 you may not be able to run the latest one.

http://h20180.www2.hp.com/apps/Lookup?h_pagetype=s-001&h_client=S-A-R163-1&h_page=hpcom〈=en&cc=us&h_lang=en&h_product=12169&h_cc=us&h_query=ML370&x=0&y=0

For link to the ML370 on hp.com.

Chose your generation, your OS, then under Software - CD.

About the agents that Stephen mentioned, I went to the above link, ML370 (first G), windows 2003 and then I found this "HP Insight Management Agents for Windows Server 2003/2008".

If that's your generation and OS you can go to it, then to the tab "release notes" and in there is a user guide for it, and it appears to be exactly what you needed.

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/SoftwareDescription.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&prodTypeId=15351&prodSeriesId=254940&swItem=MTX-c6a766ee19bc461a8e7e15980f&prodNameId=341569&swEnvOID=1005&swLang=8&taskId=135&mode=4&idx=2

Is the link to those release notes - appears it does not require HP SIM so should do the trick :)

Don't forget about the points ;)