SCMHenry
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

VSAN issues using HP P440ar and SAS HDD>2TB

I have been attempting to configure a two-node VSAN cluster using a pair of HP DL380 Gen 9 servers with P440ar array controllers.

I have confirmed that all of my hardware is on the HCL, but was unable to get vSphere to detect the 4TB SAS HDD when the P440ar controller is configured in HBA(pass-through) mode.

After considerable time on the phone with HP support, and opening a case with VMware support in parallel, we stumbled upon an HP Customer Bulletin..

  http://h20564.www2.hpe.com/hpsc/doc/public/display?docId=emr_na-c04650584&sp4ts.oid=7796454


In a nutshell,‌ there is no permanent solution, but HP suggests configuring in RAID0 mode as a workaround.


I have configured it according to HP's suggested workaround, and VSAN appears to work, but the VMware engineer I have been communicating with is suggesting that RAID0 is not a supported configuration for this P440ar.


1.  Can anyone advise whether a RAID0 based configuration is supported or not?   The HCL seems a bit vague on this issue.


2.  Should I be concerned about using RAID0 mode rather than pass-through?  Are there performance implications of doing so?







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3 Replies
zdickinson
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Expert

Good morning, the HCL only lists pass through, so the engineer is correct; RAID 0 is not supported.  I would have two concerns with you using RAID 0, it's not supported and you cannot hot swap failed drives in RAID 0.  Not supported doesn't mean won't work, but...  It would depend on what I'm using vSAN for.  If it's my production, I would make sure all is on the HCL.  Anything and I would be fine using RAID 0 in your case.  Thank you, Zach.

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SCMHenry
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

A solution to this predicament seems elusive...

1.  VSAN 6.x cannot discover SAS HDD greater than 2TB, when connected to most HP SmartArray controllers in HBA / pass-through mode.

2. Using the P440ar SmartArray in RAID0 mode exposes the individual HDD to vSphere, and VSAN 6.2 seems to work OK, but VMware says that RAID0 mode is not supported on the HP controllers.

3. VMware has not added any HP SATA HDD to the VSAN HCL for VSAN 6.x.  These SATA devices are supported for ESXi 5.5, but not VSAN6.x

Short of ordering different hosts, my workaround options appear to be limited to the following:

1. Use the 4TB SAS HDD in RAID0 mode as recommended by HP (unsupported by VMware)

2. Replace HDD with 4TB SATA HDD (unsupported) , and operate the P440ar in HBA/pass-through mode.

3. Reduce my storage capacity by replacing the 4TB SAS with something smaller than 2TB. Although I can add a few more drives to the chassis, I cannot provision a 20TB capacity tier in this configuration.

Option 2 seems the preferred workaround, as I already have an existing cluster in service that is almost the same configuration (VSAN 6.0), and has been working fine.

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zdickinson
Expert
Expert

Good morning, can use a different storage card?  We have had good luck with the LSI 2308 and they are less than $200.  Thank you, Zach.

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