Manage HPE Smart Array in VMware ESXi 6.7

HPE Smart Array Controller

The HPE Smart Array Controller provides enterprise-class storage performance, increased internal scalability with SAS Expander Card, and data protection for HPE ProLiant rack and tower servers.

There is a built-in tool for managing the Smart Array Controller in HPE Proliant servers. We can access it during the the server boot time to configure the disk arrays. However if we already have ESXi installed on the server and we want to monitor or update the array configuration directly from ESXi’s shell, we can use the offical softwares from HPE.

Install Driver & Utilities

The driver and utilities can be downloaded from HP’s offical website. Following is the hot link you can use.

HP Smart Array driver download

You must install these softwares from ESXi’s shell so SSH service must be enabled. If you haven’t enabled it yet, login into ESXi Web UI -> Host -> Manage -> Services -> TSM-SSH -> Start to start SSH service.

In this example, I am gonna use esxcli command to install the driver and ssacli command utility to manage the HPE Smart Array. Use WinSCP software or scp command to copy .vib files to ESXi’s /tmp directory and install them. Please make sure you copied them to /tmp otherwirse you won’t able to install successfully.

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[[email protected]:~] esxcli software vib install -v /tmp/nhpsa-2.0.30-1OEM.670.0.0.7535516.x86_64.vib
Installation Result
Message: The update completed successfully, but the system needs to be rebooted for the changes to be effective.
Reboot Required: true
VIBs Installed: HPE_nhpsa_2.0.30-1OEM.670.0.0.7535516
VIBs Removed:
VIBs Skipped:

[[email protected]:~] esxcli software vib install -v /tmp/ssacli-3.25.4.0-6.5.0.vib
Installation Result
Message: The update completed successfully, but the system needs to be rebooted for the changes to be effective.
Reboot Required: true
VIBs Installed: HPE_bootbank_ssacli_3.25.4.0-6.5.0.4240417
VIBs Removed:
VIBs Skipped:

We will need to reboot the server for the changes to be effective. Let’s reboot it…

Once server is up, login into ESXi’s shell again and verify the software is installed.

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[[email protected]:~] esxcli software vib list
Name Version Vendor Acceptance Level Install Date
----------------------------- ------------------------------------ --------- ---------------- ------------
ssacli 3.25.4.0-6.5.0.4240417 HPE PartnerSupported 2018-11-25
nhpsa 2.0.30-1OEM.670.0.0.7535516 Microsemi VMwareCertified 2018-11-25
...

Using ssacli command

With ssacli command we get the HPE Smart Array Controller’s config information, disk status, temperature, etc. It is helpful for the monitoring activity. The command also help us to be able to configure the arrays directly from the ESXi’s shell without rebooting server to use HPE Smart Array Configuration Tool.

Following is an example of showing the HPE Smart Array config.

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[[email protected]:~] /opt/smartstorageadmin/ssacli/bin/ssacli ctrl all show config

Smart Array P420 in Slot 2 (sn: PDSXK0ARH5I1YR)
Internal Drive Cage at Port 1I, Box 1, OK
Internal Drive Cage at Port 2I, Box 0, OK

Port Name: 2I
Port Name: 1I

Array A (SAS, Unused Space: 0 MB)
logicaldrive 1 (279.37 GB, RAID 0, OK)
physicaldrive 1I:1:1 (port 1I:box 1:bay 1, SAS HDD, 300 GB, OK)

Array B (Solid State SATA, Unused Space: 0 MB)
logicaldrive 2 (476.91 GB, RAID 1, OK)
physicaldrive 1I:1:2 (port 1I:box 1:bay 2, SATA SSD, 512 GB, OK)
physicaldrive 1I:1:3 (port 1I:box 1:bay 3, SATA SSD, 512 GB, OK)

SEP (Vendor ID PMCSIERA, Model SRCv8x6G) 380 (WWID: 50014380261188AF)

There are several helpful commands can be used:

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# Show configuration
/opt/smartstorageadmin/ssacli/bin/ssacli ctrl all show config

# Controller status
/opt/smartstorageadmin/ssacli/bin/ssacli ctrl all show status

# Show detailed controller information for all controllers
/opt/smartstorageadmin/ssacli/bin/ssacli ctrl all show detail

# Show detailed controller information for controller in slot 0
/opt/smartstorageadmin/ssacli/bin/ssacli ctrl slot=0 show detail

# Rescan for New Devices
/opt/smartstorageadmin/ssacli/bin/ssacli rescan

# Physical disk status
/opt/smartstorageadmin/ssacli/bin/ssacli ctrl slot=0 pd all show status

# Show detailed physical disk information
/opt/smartstorageadmin/ssacli/bin/ssacli ctrl slot=0 pd all show detail

# Logical disk status
/opt/smartstorageadmin/ssacli/bin/ssacli ctrl slot=0 ld all show status

# View Detailed Logical Drive Status
/opt/smartstorageadmin/ssacli/bin/ssacli ctrl slot=0 ld 2 show

# Create New RAID 0 Logical Drive
/opt/smartstorageadmin/ssacli/bin/ssacli ctrl slot=0 create type=ld drives=1I:1:2 raid=0

# Create New RAID 1 Logical Drive
/opt/smartstorageadmin/ssacli/bin/ssacli ctrl slot=0 create type=ld drives=1I:1:1,1I:1:2 raid=1

# Create New RAID 5 Logical Drive
/opt/smartstorageadmin/ssacli/bin/ssacli ctrl slot=0 create type=ld drives=1I:1:1,1I:1:2,2I:1:6,2I:1:7,2I:1:8 raid=5

# Delete Logical Drive
/opt/smartstorageadmin/ssacli/bin/ssacli ctrl slot=0 ld 2 delete

# Add New Physical Drive to Logical Volume
/opt/smartstorageadmin/ssacli/bin/ssacli ctrl slot=0 ld 2 add drives=2I:1:6,2I:1:7

# Add Spare Disks
/opt/smartstorageadmin/ssacli/bin/ssacli ctrl slot=0 array all add spares=2I:1:6,2I:1:7

# Enable Drive Write Cache
/opt/smartstorageadmin/ssacli/bin/ssacli ctrl slot=0 modify dwc=enable

# Disable Drive Write Cache
/opt/smartstorageadmin/ssacli/bin/ssacli ctrl slot=0 modify dwc=disable

# Erase Physical Drive
/opt/smartstorageadmin/ssacli/bin/ssacli ctrl slot=0 pd 2I:1:6 modify erase

# Turn on Blink Physical Disk LED
/opt/smartstorageadmin/ssacli/bin/ssacli ctrl slot=0 ld 2 modify led=on

# Turn off Blink Physical Disk LED
/opt/smartstorageadmin/ssacli/bin/ssacli ctrl slot=0 ld 2 modify led=off

# Modify smart array cache read and write ratio (cacheratio=readratio/writeratio)
/opt/smartstorageadmin/ssacli/bin/ssacli ctrl slot=0 modify cacheratio=100/0

# Enable smart array write cache when no battery is present (No-Battery Write Cache option)
/opt/smartstorageadmin/ssacli/bin/ssacli ctrl slot=0 modify nbwc=enable

# Disable smart array cache for certain Logical Volume
/opt/smartstorageadmin/ssacli/bin/ssacli ctrl slot=0 logicaldrive 1 modify arrayaccelerator=disable

# Enable smart array cache for certain Logical Volume
/opt/smartstorageadmin/ssacli/bin/ssacli ctrl slot=0 logicaldrive 1 modify arrayaccelerator=enable

# Enable SSD Smart Path
/opt/smartstorageadmin/ssacli/bin/ssacli ctrl slot=0 array a modify ssdsmartpath=enable

# Disable SSD Smart Path
/opt/smartstorageadmin/ssacli/bin/ssacli ctrl slot=0 array a modify ssdsmartpath=disable
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