eliRa
Contributor
Contributor

RAID with "HP Smart Array Controller B120i"

Hello,

I have a problem with the "HP Dynamic Smart Array B120i" controller and the customized HP image:


Server: ProLiant MicroServer Gen8

Tried following images: "VMware-ESXi-6.0.0-Update1-3073146-HP-600.9.4.34-Nov2015.iso" and "VMware-ESXi-5.1.0-Update2-2000251-HP-5.69.2-Nov2014.iso"

The vSphere client recognizes the Smart Array but if I want to add the array to ESXi storage it is only possible to add single physical discs instead of the raid array.
Take a look at the pictures for more details.

Can anybody please explain how to use the B120i controller with ESXi 6. The customized image doesn't seem to solve the problem?

Is it even possible to use this raid controller with ESXi?

Thanks!

17 Replies
JarryG
Expert
Expert

If you created raid-array and despite of that in ESXi you see individual disks, it means it is software- (bios-/fake-, etc) raid controller. Not true hardware controller. These are generally not supported in ESXi, for a few very good reasons.

_____________________________________________ If you found my answer useful please do *not* mark it as "correct" or "helpful". It is hard to pretend being noob with all those points! 😉
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eliRa
Contributor
Contributor

Ok, thought so.

Is it recommendable to pass-though it  to a VM and then install there the specified driver?

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ArnisR
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

It seems that You didn't configured any RAID arrays in HP SSA.

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eliRa
Contributor
Contributor

No, I created a RAID 1 array.

The array is correctly recognized during the boot process of the server.

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ArnisR
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

ILO (System info->Storage) shows array (logical drive)? Under Software tab is scsi-hpvsa driver listed?

There is no  Logical volume in ESXi Configuration tab->Health->Storage?

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JinuV
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

You have to install HP ssa ..the add the disk to array ..then add disk will started showing a unused space...this can takes 12-24hours depends on the size of the disk..once this complted ..add the required space yo logical drive...then you have to add the space to database from vpshere vconsole

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johnnyknoxville
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

As first step I would suggest to run latest available SPP (service pack for proliant) for your server model to update the BIOS and all firmware (in case you didn't do it so far)..

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MKguy
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

This controller is not officially supported by VMware as it''s not on the HCL:

VMware Compatibility Guide: I/O Device Search

http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/pdf/vi_io_guide.pdf

But most importantly, like it's brother the B140i (Trouble installing ESXi 5.5u3 on RAID-1 Setup (HP DL380 Gen9 / Intel B140i)), it's a fake-RAID controller and not a real hardware RAID controller.

ESXi does not and has never supported software RAID aka fake-RAID controllers. This is the kind of cheap onboard controller you find in desktop motherboards, which are not real RAID controllers. They rely on specific controller drivers and the OS to do the actual work in software and don't present an abstracted a logical volume to the OS as a real RAID controller would do. This is why you still see 2 individual disks even though you created a RAID1 mirror.

It will probably work more or less reliably if you use the controller without any RAID setup in JBOD mode, but it will remain unsupported.

-- http://alpacapowered.wordpress.com
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cshannahan
Contributor
Contributor

Hey guys! I'm new to VMware and I'm running into the same issue.  I have a volume created with this HP B140i raid controller.  From what I'm reading, it's software and doesn't work or shouldn't be used.

My questions is this.  As of right now we're going to going to be running 2 Windows VMs on this.  I have 2 1TB drives.  I will use one for the ESXi 6 installation.  What are my options for backups etc.  I wanted a hardware raid1 (mirror) just in case we lost a drive. 

Any recommendations for my setup?

Thanks

Chris

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douglasarcidino
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Your array controller is a software SATA controller. Not supported in the HCL. You need to put a real RAID controller in there. This would be a P series SAS controller in the HP world.

If you found this reply helpful, please mark as answer VCP-DCV 4/5/6 VCP-DTM 5/6
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cshannahan
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks.  I'm not sure if I will be able to get a raid controller now.  Once I install ESX, what are my options for backups, etc.?  Can I take a snapshot of the VMs and store them someplace, etc?

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douglasarcidino
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

You can use something like VeeamZip to back them up. Do you have a paid vSphere license or are you just using the free host license? Snapshots are not backups by their very nature and a long snapshot tree would be less than ideal for a stable and healthy environment.

If you found this reply helpful, please mark as answer VCP-DCV 4/5/6 VCP-DTM 5/6
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cshannahan
Contributor
Contributor

We have a paid license.  I'm just trying to get a plan together before I install ESXi 6 on my server and then continue on with my Windows installations. 

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douglasarcidino
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

The reason that I asked is you could use the vSphere Data Protection Advanced and put that VM on your second disk as a backup as well. Not a great solution but it is a solution.

If you found this reply helpful, please mark as answer VCP-DCV 4/5/6 VCP-DTM 5/6
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cshannahan
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks, I may just go get this controller.  We will see.  If I can't get the extra funds I will just have to try what you said or investigate other vm backup options.

http://www8.hp.com/us/en/products/iss-controllers/product-detail.html?oid=7274889

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ttsvetanov
Contributor
Contributor

Evrything here is a false information. The controller works fine even with ESXI 6.7.0 U3.

The problem: Turns out that for some reason the HPVSA driver for ESXi has some issues.

You need the old driver. You can get it from this official Hewlett Packard Enterprise page here:

http://h20564.www2.hpe.com/hpsc/swd/public/detail?swItemId=MTX_dcfe1ad1b6ae442e8ed665c595

The solution:

  1. Open an SSH session to your ESXi server installation and log on as root.
    Same password as for the web interface / console.
  2. Go into "Maintenance mode". Note that all virtual machines must be stopped first.
    esxcli system maintenanceMode set --enable true
  3. Allow outgoing HTTP requests through the ESXi firewall, to retrieve the necessary file.
    esxcli network firewall ruleset set -e true -r httpClient
  4. Go into /tmp folder so we don't leave a mess.
    cd /tmp
  5. Use wget to download the .zip file from HP website. Note that I'm using http:// and not https://.
    You can also use a program such as WinSCP to copy the file directly from your desktop PC to the ESXi server.
    wget http://downloads.hpe.com/pub/softlib2/software1/pubsw-linux/p1749737361/v98767/hpvsa-5.5.0-88.zip
  6. Unzip the file so we can get the .vib driver file we'll need.
    unzip hpvsa-5.5.0-88.zip
  7. Copy the file to a location where the installer can find it easily.
    cp scsi-hpvsa-5.5.0-88OEM.550.0.0.1331820.x86_64.vib /var/log/vmware/
  8. Uninstall the currently installed scsi-hpvsa driver. Be patient. Takes a minute.
    esxcli software vib remove -n scsi-hpvsa -f
  9. Install the old driver we just downloaded. Be patient. Takes a minute.
    esxcli software vib install -v file:scsi-hpvsa-5.5.0-88OEM.550.0.0.1331820.x86_64.vib --force --no-sig-check --maintenance-mode
  10. Now reboot your server.
    reboot

If you still have problems, then:

If you run into a problem where the RAID arrays are not visible anymore; don’t worry, the data is still there. It’s just a matter of convincing the hpvsa driver to load properly. One issue I’ve found is that when I look under Storage > Adapters, that my hard drives were listed there, but not as RAID drives. Just as standard SATA/AHCI drives. In the column ‘drivers’ I saw that it wasn’t using the hpvsa driver that I downgraded, but was using vmw-ahci instead. What I did to resolve that was disable the vmw-ahci driver with this command:

esxcli system module set –enabled=false –module=vmw_ahci

(ps: above command is with two dashes not a single dash – wordpress messing up the formatting)

And uninstall the hpvsa .88 driver and rebooted.
Then I reinstalled the hpvsa .88 driver and rebooted again.

Then hpvsa loaded properly and my datastores became visible again.

Also, I found that I had to update to 20170404001-standard (build 5310538) for this to work at all; on an older build it wouldn’t load the hpvsa driver no matter what I did.

Anxionbaby
Contributor
Contributor

This helped, thanks, but now i dont have Datastore and I cannot create it, I am getting error, Could you help me?

Failed to create VMFS datastore Disk_1 - Cannot change the host configuration. - dismiss

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