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Using HP's ACU with a MSA1000 in an ESXi Environment

Posted on 2008-06-25
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Last Modified: 2011-09-28
Hello experts.  Im in the process of setting up my MSA1000 SAN that will be used to provide storage for a VMWare ESXi server.  Im having a hard time configuring the MSA1000 via the command line and was wondering if there is a way to use HPs ACU (Array Configuration Utility) to set it up.  I plan to set up a RAID 10 with 2 arrays, the Array included in the MSA1000 and an external array.  

Thanks.
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Question by:chilemoore
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23 Comments
 
LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:CJRODRIG
ID: 21869710
We made something like you mention but using MSA1000 NAS (a small concept of SAN). In the NAS ACU there is a switch called "Selective Presentation". It enables you to present a set of disks (an array) in your external enclosure to an specific host. You should enable this option and input the IP address of the ESX Server.
You must connect your ESX server to your MSA fiber switch using an HBA Card.

In the ESX Console Manager you should see in the storage tab the disk you presented. Configure it in your ESX console and then you can use it to assign it to a VM or set of VMs.  

It is working like a charm in our VMWare environment right now.
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Author Comment

by:chilemoore
ID: 21869766
Thanks.  I've made some progress but it seems the QLE220 FC HBA cards I got as part of the MSA1000 G2 package are not supported for ESXi.  Trying out some drivers right now.  Right now my only option to configure the MSA1000 is to use the serial port on the device via a Hyper Terminal session.  I will see if I can set up that feature via the command prompt.  
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Randy_Bojangles
ID: 21872565
The drivers for the QLogic cards may be ok - it may be the firmware that needs updating on the HBAs in order for the ESX drivers to "see" them

You can flash firmware after booting from a DOS disk

You'll need to create the LUNs etc from CLI as the ACU is windows based (unless you have a spare windows box with a HBA that you can do the config from)

the CLI setup should be relatively simple for ESX as you dont need to worry too much about Selective Storage Presentation (SSP) as you actively WANT the LUN to be seen by two (or more) hosts if you want it to be used for HA / VMotion. The VMFS locking will take care of issues to do with overwriting etc
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:VirtualSimon
ID: 21883610
Boot one of the SAN attached servers from the StorageWorks CD included with your MSA1000 and you can run the Array Configuration Utility from there.
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Author Comment

by:chilemoore
ID: 21883775
I will try though I read somewhere that didn't work with the model adapter I was using.  I just receved a FC adapter that is on the VMWare compatability list and that may work with the ACU CD.  I will try and let you know.  Thanks.
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:CJRODRIG
ID: 21884073
Excellent. for sure, it will work with ACU CD.
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:VirtualSimon
ID: 21885336
chilemoore,

I have successfully used the ACU on the StorageWorks CD provided with the MSA 1000, in an ESX environement with PCI-X HBA's.  Booting off the CD, it loaded the drivers and I could configure my arrays using ACU.  So the only problem I can see is if you are using newer PCI-e HBA's, which although supported by ESX may not be supported by the StorageWorks CD.  You may also try booting from the latest SmartStart CD which will have the ACU, but I have found mixed results with it loading the HBA drivers - this is obviously a requirement for the ACU to see the SAN storage.

Let me know how you get on.
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Author Comment

by:chilemoore
ID: 21887189
I installed the QLogic 2460 card booted and was able to see the card via the VMWare Infrastructure Client and the FC switch also saw the connection.  I then booted from the Smart Start 7.91 CD and ran ACU (7.85.18.0) but was only able to access the local SCSI controller.  Just in case I popped in the QLogic QLE220 and connected it, ran ACU from SmartStart but it wasn't detected either.  Any suggestions?
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:CJRODRIG
ID: 21887297
Access ACU from WIndows, not booting and from CD... I'm doing it right now and can see SSP options as I told you.

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Author Comment

by:chilemoore
ID: 21887331
Was trying to avoid that but I will set up a VM but will halfto use the loca host HDs.  I will let you know once I'm done.
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LVL 1

Accepted Solution

by:
VirtualSimon earned 50 total points
ID: 21887875
You cannot run the ACU from within a VM to configure arrays attached to fiber HBA's.  ESX is arbitrating the hardware layer.  The VM only sees virtual hardware presented to it by the hypervisor.
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Randy_Bojangles
ID: 21889792
As VirtualSimon says - you cant do this from a VM as it doesnt even know it has a HBA, it thinks its disk is on a normal SCSI controller as thats what ESX presents it with (makes compatability so much easier)

This means that CJRODRIG's comment will not be of use to you unless you have a spare windows box (not VM) that has a HBA in it different to the ones you want to use for ESX

You'll need the two connected at the same time so the windows box can see the other HBA and provide Selective Storage Presentation info for it to the MSA

Otherwise its the command line - its not that bad honest !!!!
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LVL 2

Assisted Solution

by:CJRODRIG
CJRODRIG earned 50 total points
ID: 21890899
Randy / VirtualSimon, I never suggested to run ACU from a VM... In my environment we have a DL380 running windows and connected to the MSA1000 box so we can run ACU from it. In THAT way you can see the SSP options, make the presentation and verify that HBA is working ok from NAS point of view...

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LVL 13

Assisted Solution

by:Randy_Bojangles
Randy_Bojangles earned 50 total points
ID: 21897986
I wish I had a spare server to run ACU on to save me from the CLI ;-)

A lot easier with the new MSA2000 which runs an embedded web server that you can connect to from any browser on the LAN
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Author Comment

by:chilemoore
ID: 21898438
I have a fes FC cards so will install one and give that a try.  Thanks.
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LVL 56

Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 21908714
The CD that is supplied with the MSA1000 doesn't have the drivers for the new cards on it, you have to download the more recent CD from HP's web.
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Author Comment

by:chilemoore
ID: 21940176
A quick update.  (Ive been out of the office so pardon my failure to respond quickly).  I swung by and tried installing the SQL220 on another server with PCI Express slots but for some reason the QLE220 doesnt quite fit.  Tried it on several with no luck.  Dont want to resort to using pliers to cut the tab that is in the way.. Strange&  I guess I will half to use the command line.  To top it all off I set up an older server I use for testing with serial cable to the MSA but it's not responding so I will half to drive in to the office to see what is going on and then hopeful be able to set up my RAID 10 via the command line.  Need to get these VMs going.

Thanks.
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LVL 56

Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 21940595
Not using the serial cable for a Brocade switch by chance? It fits in the serial port socket of the MSA1000 but doesn't have the same pins connected.
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Author Comment

by:chilemoore
ID: 21973195
Finally back in the office.  I can access the comand line fine so will go that route.  Found an article on http://lackof.org/taggart/hacking/msa1000-setup/ which details the process.
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Author Comment

by:chilemoore
ID: 21985116
I was finally able to set everything up via the command line.  The smart start nor the Rom update CD never did detect the MSA1000 nor the attached MSA30.  I had to use the command line to update the MSA1000 and still trying to figure out how to update the MSA30 (will open another thread for this one) without having to connect it to another server.   I appreciate the input from everyone.
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LVL 56

Assisted Solution

by:andyalder
andyalder earned 50 total points
ID: 21985316
I wouldn't worry much about the MSA30 (but I would worry about the disk firmware level) the MSA30's firmware is just environmental monitoring i2c stuff. Are you using the ESXi USB stick version of VMware?

Did you find the updated MSA1000/1500 CD on HP's web? It took ages for us to find it (we mainly install bare hardware in our config lab so rely on these rather than an OS based firmware update method)
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Author Comment

by:chilemoore
ID: 21985551
Using the ESX installable (insalled in on a DL380 G5).  I got the MSA1000 bios updated but when running the Firmware update CD (v8.10) it dosn't see the MSA1000 nor the attached drives.  To update the MSA1000 firmware I used the I used the Tru64 UNIX 5.x link to get the msa700b1500.bin.  
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Assisted Solution

by:TTGSINEO
TTGSINEO earned 50 total points
ID: 22208951
You can 100% configure the MSA1000 from the command line interface over the serial cable.   That's what we do with an MSA1000 at a client site.   You can do selective-storage representation (They call it "access control lists" in the CLI) you can set up arrays, luns, paths, everything.

The only thing you can't do is recieve alerts if a disk fails, so just visit your MSA1000 every day or so to make sure nothing is blinking.
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