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How do I manage Adaptec RAID 5805 on singleESX server

Posted on 2009-12-25
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Last Modified: 2012-05-08
Hello,

It is a single server with 2x Adaptec 5805 RAID controllers. This server will run ESX 4.0 (if required by Adaptec's ASM or maybe backup software) or ESXi and will be co-located in data center. The important detail I missed is how will I manage these RAID controllers remotely? I can access the server (Supermicro X7DCX with SIMSO+ card) remotely but not the RAID controllers.

As far as I know I can't install Adaptec Storage Manager on ESXi as was planning initially, so I adjusted my plans and now I can get a ESX. Please remember, it is a single server so the storage disks will be on the same server (no shared storage, just local). I do not have any option to use second physical server or shared storage.  

The most important part is how can I get a notification about disk failure? I'll be running multiple virtual machines on this server but as far as I know I can't use Adaptec's Storage Manager to access their controller from guest OS as described on page 5 here: http://download.adaptec.com/pdfs/readme/ASM_readme_v5_20.pdf :

"The Adaptec Storage Manager agent on the VMware ESX Server cannot be monitored from a guest operating system".


So, is there any other option I can use to access ASM on ESX or ESXi? Can I connect to it from remote computer, say, from my office PC? All I need is to get a notification about hard drive failure or at least be able to check the status of RAIDs every few days. I am going to use RAID6 and RAID10 so I can survive after one disk failure on each controller.

Any suggestions or advise?

Thank you.
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Question by:MACROLEVEL
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by:ryder0707
ID: 26123581
If i remember correctly, there is an option to send email notification based on event type
Did you try that?
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by:MACROLEVEL
ID: 26123595
I do not have anything installed yet, I am just preparing and if there is no benefit of using ESX, i'll go with ESXi instead.

Are you actually talking about ASM client that it is installed on ESX? Are you sure that it is the same as ASM software you can have installed to manage local storage on physical servers?
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ryder0707 earned 2000 total points
ID: 26123649
Yes, i used the client before to connect to ASM remotely and can see the email notifcation settings
Basically from other machine/pc, use the client to connect to ASM agent on the remote host
esxi is a better product in terms of performance(smaller memory foot print, less overhead) & security(no service console to patch)
But ofcoz the features offered are the same, only the way we manage esxi can be different especially, for example if you want to run script, since there is no service console, we use vmware vMA instead
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by:ryder0707
ID: 26123661
One thing you need to check is the compatibility of the ASM agent with the latest esx4
But you should have no problem isntalling the controller on esx/esxi4 host as it is fully supported by vmware
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by:MACROLEVEL
ID: 26123672
The controllers worked fine on both ESX/ESXi4 without problems. I am having problems with integrated DVD-ROM which does disappears in the middle of installation (and I can't complete it as ESX/ESXi installer cannot find the installation CD after I choose the time zone - not a problem with ESXi 3.5 however) but if I install from expernal USB DVD-ROM everything works OK.

Unfortunately, we can't install ASM on ESXi so if there is no other option to get notifications, I'll go with ESX. If you're positive that I can connect to ASM agent on ESX box from remote computer and see the status/set email notifications, it will be a way to go for me. I can't test it right away as there is more reading about ESX involved (I am still learning) but at lest I will know that ESX4 will be used.
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by:ryder0707
ID: 26123688
What is your server brand/model?
The ASM agent that i connected before was esx3.5
If the same agent can be installed on esx4 and i dont see why you cant use the client to connect to it to manage it, the email setup is pretty simple, just add smtp server and address of recipient
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by:MACROLEVEL
ID: 26186697
It is Supermicro server chassis + mobo, my build.

So I have to install ASM agent via ESX console and then use ASM client software from my PC to connect to ASM client, right? Do you remember how the client searches for ASM agent located somewhere in the cloud? Should be probably by ESX's management console IP address which probably will open a hole. Is there an option to assign an IP address to ASM client that is different than ESX's IP address?  
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by:ryder0707
ID: 26186783
In the cloud? You could do 1-1 NAT, but not sure if this is a good idea
I only used it on LAN
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by:MACROLEVEL
ID: 26186805
As I said, it is single ESX host located in datacenter many kilometers away from my home office, that's why I need these notifications and access to ASM console so I can check the status of RAID arrays. Do I have any other option, like SSL VPN to ASM?
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by:ryder0707
ID: 26186812
I think VPN should be fine if you can actually reach it
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by:MACROLEVEL
ID: 26300636
Just found that I can manage RAID controllers via Supermicro SIMSO+ IPMIview client - the only problem is that I have to restart the server to get into RAID cards BIOS via IPMI console. So in case the ESXi is used there is a inconvenient but still a way to check the status of arrays by powering down all VMs and rebooting the server. For notifications and other extras I guess I should go ESX route with ASM agent as ryder0707 proposed :-)
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by:ryder0707
ID: 26301236
Good luck :)
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