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Manage an HP Smart Array directly from VMware ESXi

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In my lab I’m using a Proliant DL380 G5 filled with disk as a storage server, running some VSA on top of the volume I created  and formatted with a vmfs filesystem.
I was running into performance issues, storage was performing poorly, and I needed to check for usual problems like for example cache battery status, since on a P400 raid card, write back is by default disabled if the battery has a low charge, thus lowering performances to a minimum.
My problem however was, I was running on top of this server all my iscsi shared storage, so it was not so easy to poweroff the server to open up the raid card Bios anche check. Also, every reboot cycle is really time consuming. So, since HP has always had management software for their raid controllers available for windows or linux, I went to check if there was some possibilities also for VMware ESXi.
First, I checked on HP website and there was some promising download:

Look, a VIB file! :)
I downloaded it and installed in the usual way on my ESXi 5.1 server (even if the package is officially listed for ESXi 5.0…).

I also installed the utilities to manage the several HP components, since the first one was only the driver. If you want to install only the Raid utility, look for the hpacucli vib file.

And I finally reboot the server in order to complete the installation, hopefully for the last time…
After reboot, I checked the components were installed correctly:

From here, let the fun begin! There are many commands you can run on the raid controller by running /opt/hp/hpacucli/bin/hpacucli, I’m going to show you some of them:

First, I identified the controller. Remember is in slot 3, this will be needed in the next commands.
As I said, my problem seemed to be related to the cache battery, so I went to check its status:

The status seems to be ok, but I went to enable anyway the cache, the command is:
1ctrl slot=3 modify dwc=enable forced
there are many commands as I said, and I found this page with many example. Go to check it. As a last example, a fun stuff:

First, I identified the physical disks in the controller (pd), then I enabled the led on every single disk. This is the result :)






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