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SmartArray, disks and migrations

 
Gandalf123
Occasional Advisor

SmartArray, disks and migrations

Hi to all,

i'm new to HP and SmartArray controllers.

I have some (maybe stupid) questions:

1) can I use my favorite disks vendor with SmartArray or only certified drives labelled "HP" are supported? I have a bounch of Seagate SAS disks that I would like to use.

2) In SmartArray data sheed I've read that disks could be moved across all SmartArray controllers with no data loss as RAID configuration is compatibile for the whole family. Is this backward compatibile? In example, can I move a RAID-6 disks created with a SmartArray p440 to a p840 and viceversa, from p840 to a p440? In this also true for older generation controller like a very old Smart Array P400?

I'm asking this because we don't change servers/controllers very often, so, in case of a big mess, would be easier for us to move all disks from a failed server to a temporary server that could have a different controller (always smartarray) waiting for the replacement part for the broken server. In same corner cases, the temporary server could have a controller older than the original one.

3) Are SmartArray controller supported on all Proliant Server, obviously if the host interface is supported, or are there any constraint, like SmartArray P400 not supported on newer generation and viceversa, SmartArray P840 not supported on a very old DL380G5 ? Having, in house, a single SmartArray controller available for replacement sharing multiple servers, would greatly decrease the maintenance costs.

4) is Debian supported? We only use Debian or XenServer in our environment. Will I be able to do firmware updates from debian ?

3 REPLIES
Jimmy Vance
HPE Pro

Re: SmartArray, disks and migrations


Gandalf123 wrote:

Hi to all,

i'm new to HP and SmartArray controllers.

I have some (maybe stupid) questions:

1) can I use my favorite disks vendor with SmartArray or only certified drives labelled "HP" are supported? I have a bounch of Seagate SAS disks that I would like to use.


Only HPE drives are supported by HPE. Use of non HPE drives is at the customers discretion.


2) In SmartArray data sheed I've read that disks could be moved across all SmartArray controllers with no data loss as RAID configuration is compatibile for the whole family. Is this backward compatibile? In example, can I move a RAID-6 disks created with a SmartArray p440 to a p840 and viceversa, from p840 to a p440? In this also true for older generation controller like a very old Smart Array P400?


The RAID information is stored in what is known as the 'RIS' area on each drive.  You can move drives from an older controller to a newer controller, but generally not the other way around.  For moving drives between same controller models, the controller firmware needs to be the same version or newer on the controller the drives are moving too.


3) Are SmartArray controller supported on all Proliant Server, obviously if the host interface is supported, or are there any constraint, like SmartArray P400 not supported on newer generation and viceversa, SmartArray P840 not supported on a very old DL380G5 ? Having, in house, a single SmartArray controller available for replacement sharing multiple servers, would greatly decrease the maintenance costs.


You would need to look at the quickspecs of the server and the controllers to see what controllers are supported. For your example, a P840 is not supported in a G5 server. Older controllers are generally not supported in newer servers, as the next gen servers usually have enhanced features in new controllers.  Using newer in older or older in newer might work but is not a tested configuration so it isn't supported.


4) is Debian supported? We only use Debian or XenServer in our environment. Will I be able to do firmware updates from debian ?


Debian is supported with the 'P' series Smart Array controllers, these drivers are open source and are provided to kernel.org. Pretty much every Linux distributions includes the drivers for 'P' series controllers. Drivers for the 'B' series Dynamic Smart Array chipset controllers are closed source drivers and only available from HPE for Red Hat and SUSE.

Tools for Debian/Ubuntu are available from the HPE SDR (Software Delivery Repository) at http://downloads.linux.hpe.com click the mcp link. Firmware files are available in .deb format. They can be accessed from the SDR under the fwpp link. A valid warranty or support contract is required to access firmware files.

 




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Gandalf123
Occasional Advisor

Re: SmartArray, disks and migrations

Thank you for the prompt response
Probably i wasn't clear enough

With "supported" i meant at hardware level not supported by tech support from HP

in example, what if i plug a stock sas disk not branded by hp? Will i be able to use it or the controlled would refuse to bring it up? Some other vendors controllers will mark the disk as unsupported or show the raid as degraded because the disk is not certified

The same for a newer controller on an older server. will it work if the pci slot is the same or the older server refuse to use an unsupported storage card?

The configuration stored on RIS, is the same and compatible for the whole smartarray family or only between near models? In example, a 7-8 years old smartarray configuration is supported on this year controller? Between the two there was multiple controller models released.

Is possible to have a log on what controller is doing? In example, all LSI megaraid controlled has a FWTermLog command that show what controllers is doing or did previously like check consistency or patrol read execution status. Is this the same on smartarray?

How can i know the exact status of scheduled scan like the progress of the ongoing scan process or if the scan has found inconsistencies or bad sectors?
Jimmy Vance
HPE Pro

Re: SmartArray, disks and migrations


Gandalf123 wrote:
Thank you for the prompt response
Probably i wasn't clear enough

With "supported" i meant at hardware level not supported by tech support from HP

in example, what if i plug a stock sas disk not branded by hp? Will i be able to use it or the controlled would refuse to bring it up? Some other vendors controllers will mark the disk as unsupported or show the raid as degraded because the disk is not certified

I don't think the controller will refuse to bring it up, but I think a warning is logged. I have no way to test this as all the drives I have access to are HPE branded.



The same for a newer controller on an older server. will it work if the pci slot is the same or the older server refuse to use an unsupported storage card?

Again, as I stated in my last repsponse "Using newer in older or older in newer might work but is not a tested configuration"  I can say I use P410 and P420 and a few other controllers in a Gen8 Microserver without issue, they are not supported controllers for that server.


The configuration stored on RIS, is the same and compatible for the whole smartarray family or only between near models? In example, a 7-8 years old smartarray configuration is supported on this year controller? Between the two there was multiple controller models released.

Unless something has changed that I'm not aware of, newer model controllers can read the RIS data from older controllers as they are backwards compatible even across models as long as they are 'P' series controllers. This doesn't include the chipset based SATA controllers until the B140i model (which is moot in your case of Debian usage) Arrays created on a B140i can be moved to a 'P' series controller without data loss


Is possible to have a log on what controller is doing? In example, all LSI megaraid controlled has a FWTermLog command that show what controllers is doing or did previously like check consistency or patrol read execution status. Is this the same on smartarray?

How can i know the exact status of scheduled scan like the progress of the ongoing scan process or if the scan has found inconsistencies or bad sectors?

I'm not aware of a logging facility for the controller, but I've never looked for one.  The HPE SSA Diagnostics Utility CLI will show a lot of detail about the status/health of the controller and drives.

You can look at the manuals users guides here for more detailed information. Look at the HP Smart Storage Administrator User Guide

http://h17007.www1.hpe.com/us/en/enterprise/servers/solutions/info-library/index.aspx?cat=smartstorage

 




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No support by private messages. Please ask the forum!      I work for HPE

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