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HP ML350e G8 Raid Controller P222, 4x SAS 1TB Raid 5, DVD SLES SP1

Posted on 2013-10-26
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Last Modified: 2013-11-05
During installation of Novell SUSE Linux sles11 sp1 while SUSE is checking components I get an error that no hard disks are available. Funny because it installs the partition and reboots and copies files to the raid drive during intelligent provisioning. I used the F10 and choose SUSE Linux OS and disc install.  Raid 5, 4 sas drives 1TB in one logical volume on a HP P222 raid controller. After reboot DVD sles11 disk installs components and comes up to the install page. Click next a couple of times and it checks devices and etc and error pops up. Would love video or detailed instructions to install raid drives or etc.
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Question by:UtahTN
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dlethe earned 260 total points
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Most likely proper RAID drivers don't exist in your distribution.  When installing LINUX then it boots a quite forgiving and device-rich kernel.  It is when it finally boots the kernel you installed … then you are running the drivers.  

Go to support.hp.com and see if drivers exist for your flavor of linux … if they don't, then you won't be able to run that kernel they mention.
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I suspect it's because you're presenting it with a logical disk greater than 2 TiB (2.2TB). Use intelligent provisioning to access the Array Configuration Utility and delete the current logical disk, then create a small one for boot and the OS. You can create a second large logical disk later for data.
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by:UtahTN
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Current array is 2.7TB. Let me try and see.
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More current linux kernels have the necessary fixes in fdisk & diskpart to prevent such things from happening in the first place. For what it is worth, the limit is FFFFFFFD 512-byte blocks, so you can use your handy-dandy hex to decimal calculator to convert that to bytes.    Anything larger won't work unless you have an Itanium CPU or use a UNIX variant instead of LINUX.
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by:UtahTN
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Creating a small raid 0 of 333GB made no difference. As I see now dlethe predicted. I'm looking at the P222 drivers, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 (AMD64/EM64T).

* RECOMMENDED * HP ProLiant Smart Array Controller (AMD64/EM64T) Driver for SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 11 (AMD64/EM64T) (American, International)  (multi-part download)       
3.4.2-4 10 Sep 2013
3.2.0-3 19 Feb 2013
      
hpsa-kmp-default-3.4.2-4.sles11sp1.x86_64.rpm       0.047               
hpsa-kmp-default-3.4.2-4.sles11sp2.x86_64.rpm       0.047               
hpsa-kmp-default-3.4.2-4.sles11sp3.x86_64.rpm       0.047               
hpsa-kmp-xen-3.4.2-4.sles11sp1.x86_64.rpm       0.047               
hpsa-kmp-xen-3.4.2-4.sles11sp2.x86_64.rpm       0.047               
hpsa-kmp-xen-3.4.2-4.sles11sp3.x86_64.rpm       0.047

From the Novell site it appears mine is sles11sp1, surprised they don't have me download sp2 or sp3, curious way?
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by:UtahTN
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Description       Current version       Size (MB)       Previous version       Download
* RECOMMENDED * Supplemental Update / Online ROM Flash Component for Linux - Smart Array P220i, P222, P420i, P420, P421, P721m, and P822 (American) 4.68 10 Sep 2013
3.54 8 May 2013 Obtain software
* RECOMMENDED * Supplemental Update / Online ROM Flash Component for Linux – HP Gen8 Server Backplane Expander Firmware for HP Smart Array Controllers and HP HBA Controllers
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by:andyalder
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> (AMD64/EM64T).
That's the AMD driver but the server is Intel based.
Firmware for the controller won't harm but shouldn't be needed.

There isn't an expander on the backplane for that machine, HP's cross-reference table must be up the spout again.

Are you trying to use Intelligent Provisioning to do the install? There's specific mention of your OS in the release notes vis

 Linux-specific issues
• If SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP1 is updated using the base operating system image in Intelligent Provisioning, the connected operating system media will be scanned as Valid media, but after booting connected media hard disk will not be detected.
Suggested action: When installing SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP1 via Intelligent Provisioning, a kISO (kernel update ISO) must be used.

Don't know what that means but it looks the same as your issue.
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by:UtahTN
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Andyalder:

Original download: SLES-11-SP1-DVD-x86_64-GM-DVD1.iso      2.8 GB (3036372992)
Current download: SLES-11-SP2-DVD-x86_64-GM-DVD1.iso      3.0 GB (3324467200)

Well I found this before I read your reply but it appears you are correct. I had already started downloading the SP2 so I can give it a try from the Novell site.

See the website I found earlier:

http://h20565.www2.hp.com/portal/site/hpsc/template.PAGE/public/psi/swdHome/?sp4ts.oid=5194887&spf_p.tpst=swdMain&spf_p.prp_swdMain=wsrp-navigationalState%3DswEnvOID%253D4049%257CswLang%253D%257Caction%253DlistDriver&javax.portlet.begCacheTok=com.vignette.cachetoken&javax.portlet.endCacheTok=com.vignette.cachetoken#Firmware%20-%20SAS%20Storage%20Disk
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SLES-11-SP2-DVD-x86_64-GM-DVD1.iso      3.0 GB (3324467200) solved the issue installed like a champ.

I have 4 1TB drives, should I delete the array and just go back to a 4 drive raid 5 or should I install the SUSE on the 1TB drive by itself without any raid protection and use the other 3 drives for my raid 5.

I'm tempted to buy two smaller drives and do a raid 1 for the OS.
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by:andyalder
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Certainly easier for maintenance to have a separate pair of OS disks but you can still use the space that's left over in the current setup just by creating another logical disk on it and treating it as a second disk.
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by:UtahTN
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I deleted the Array and went back to the 4 disk Raid 5 and reinstalled and everything went well. Now it is back to Novell and the OES partitioning and setup. Thanks guys.
By the way there is a little bug in the CDROM detection in the G8 Intelligent Provisioning. Sometimes you have to click four or more times before it will find and mount the CDROM drive. It does this with the internal SATA and also with the external USB. It also says the eth0 does not detect a connection to the network cable but if you ignore the error and continue it finds it and setups.
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No, use the md driver to do host-based RAID1.  heck you can even configure it to do 4-way mirroring of the /boot partition and then go RAID5 with another slice of those same disks, or something in the middle.

Personally, if this was my system I would go with md0 = RAID1 of 50GB on two disks (/boot & /) , md1= RAID1 of 50GBon two more (the 2nd one can be /tmp & swap, then use the remaining 950GB of the 4 disks to be a large RAID10 for everything else.
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by:UtahTN
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Dlethe,

I wiped out the Raid 5 and create two 1+0 200GB logical drives and one Max drive.

Please look at the photo and advise of any other changes I should make. Several options listed on the right in the ACU interface.
Raid-G8-4x1TB-drives.JPG
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No, i would let the O/S do the RAID with the md driver.  Configure the controller to present 4 disk drives. Reason is that the O/S will do a better job of distributing the I/O load, and it certainly has more caching capability.  RAID1/10 has effectively no overhead and LINUX RAID will do read load balancing (as the HP will).

But the HP RAID will not balance the I/O as well because the O/S is privy to knowing how you use your data. Plus it can set block sizes to match the I/O of the md driver.   You're going to be doing 4KB I/O at the disk in some partitions, 64KB in others, you have that flexibility with the MD driver.  But with the HP you have all I/Os to the disk same block size, perhaps 64KB whether you need to write that much data or not.
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The controller (well the driver really) is privy to the data and will re-order it in conjunction with the controller. You do not have to have all I/Os to the disk at the same size since you can create several logical disks with different RAID levels and strip sizes. If you meant all I/Os to the logical disk have to be the same size then that's correct.

I would leave it as you have it, disabling RAID on a Smart Array controller isn't possible on a ProLiant (well it is but you would have to temporarily put into an Itanium based Integrity server to do that) and it would be a bit messy having 4 RAID 0s.
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I'm going to let the P222 Raid controller handle the Raid(paid $500 for this fancy card with battery backup write back cache) but it surprises me it does not give me the option for Raid 10, but instead only 0, 1, 1+0, 5, 6(ADM). I would rather use Raid 10 instead of Raid 1+0.
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RAID 1+0 is RAID 10 at least under the terminology currently used by HP. The old Compaq controllers/ACU used to call it RAID 0+1 erroneously but it was still RAID 10 really.
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RAID 0+1, 10, 1+0 have all hopelessly been munged by marketeers.  They are effectively the same in the sense that all do striping and mirroring together.
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Correct, but the whole reason for Raid is to protect the data and redundancy and 10 is a little bit better than 1+0.  But unless I lose two or more drives at once there is really not much difference. The reason I was using four drives instead of 3 for Raid 5 when I ordered this server was because I have had bad experiences with Raid 5 when you drop back to two drives until the hot spare kicks in. My server started rebooting and acting crazy.
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There is absolutely no difference between RAID 10 and RAID 1+0 under the most common usage of the terms. You are probably thinking of what most people call RAID 0+1. Even when Compaq (erroneously) offered 0+1 in the ACU and documentation their algorithm was actually RAID 10.

Under the common usage of the terminology RAID 1+0 is a stripe of mirrors which is what RAID 10 is defined as.

What is less reliable is what is most commonly called RAID 0+1 where you stripe before you mirror. No server RAID controller I know uses that algorithm, the only hardware controller I know of that could use 0+1 was the HSG80 which could do both. The only software I know that does 0+1 is Solaris Volume Manager which can also do both but will automatically treat a volume setup as 0+1 as 1+0 if disk sizes allow.

http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E19683-01/806-6111/about-mirrors-7/index.html explains the difference and how Solaris Volume Manager works around the 0+1 reliability problem if it can.


As far as hot spares are concerned one just burned my customer's data vis: 3 disk RAID 5 plus spare, one predictive failure and one disk that kept going offline. Reboot and the controller decided to take the predictive failure disk offline and rebuild onto the spare. Disk that kept going offline went offline so volume died whereas it would still be working on one good disk and one predictive failure. It didn't work with one good disk and one half-built spare.
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No, UtahTN .. you are under the assumption that the only possible fault is a catastrophic drive failure.   All it takes is just one unreadable block on one of the surviving drives in a RAID1,10,5 situation and you have partial data loss.  (Even if only one disk failed).

RAID6 is only mechanism from choice above that has 100% of the data protected by double redundancy.
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So in summary I should use Raid 6? It was the recommended default on this P222 controller.
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P222:
Increased performance, scalability and data protection, with reduced initial setup time
Up to 3x performance improvement over past generation, using DDR3-1333 cache memory
Greater scalability for explosive growth with up to 4 internal; 100 drives external
Long term data retention with 512MB flash back write cache (FBWC) offered as a standard feature
Support for RAID 0/1, 10, 5, 50, and RAID 6 and 60 with additional advanced features are upgradable by Smart Array Advanced Pack 2.0
New predictive spare activation for improved rebuild and maximized uptime
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by:dlethe
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I have no idea what you should do.  RAID6 has a performance penalty, but the flip side is that it has advantages in data integrity & availability.  There is no general right answer.  

Ask yourself what it costs if you lose data and have to restore from a backup vs. a 0-25% performance hit over RAID5 (depending on a lot of variables)
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by:andyalder
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I'd stick to RAID 10 in most cases with that controller, it does a background surface analysis when the disks are otherwise idle so unless it's busy 24x7 it's unlikely you'll suffer from a failed disk plus bad blocks although admittedly they can develop at any time.
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by:dlethe
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Maybe a better analogy is a simple one. At some point a HDD will fail (you have 100% probability).  So when this happens, will you be sweating and hoping that you don't lose a 2nd drive and all of your data, and have to restore from backup?

Or do you want to be able to tell whomever calls you that you'll worry about it Monday or whenever you get back from vacation and that they can still lose one more drive before they are exposed for data loss.
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If you're that worried about it then buy more disks and use 3-way mirroring which gives even greater data protection without the performance loss. Both RAID 6 and Advanced Data Mirroring require the Advanced Pack license.
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