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Replacing drives in a HP P2000 G3 SAN

Posted on 2013-12-18
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Hi All,

I need to replace the first 16 drives in our newly inherited san. They are 300G 10K 2.5 SAS drives and I would like to replace them with the 1.2T version. I am seeing some priced around 450-500$ and then some at 700$+. Looking at HP’s specs I see two groups, the cheaper seems to be HP 1.2TB 6G SAS 10K rpm SFF (2.5-inch) Dual Port Enterprise 3yr Warranty Hard Drive 718160-B21 while the more expensive seems to be HP MSA 1.2TB 6G SAS 10K 2.5in Dual Port Enterprise 3yr Warranty Hard Disk Drive E7W47A or compatibles.

Anyone know what the difference is other than the first is listed as PL and the second as MSA?

TIA,
Dave
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Question by:Daveatwork
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 125 total points
ID: 39729914
HP MSA 1.2TB 6G SAS 10K 2.5in Dual Port Enterprise 3yr Warranty Hard Disk Drive HP Part Number are designed for MSAs (Storage Products) - E7W47A.

HP 1.2TB 6G SAS 10K rpm SFF (2.5-inch) Dual Port Enterprise 3yr Warranty Hard Drive HP Part Number are designed for Servers. 718160-B21

They are not interchangeable.

If purchasing for your P2000, I would recommend you purchase and use Storage drives for your storage product.

e.g. this p/n - E7W47A
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by:Philip Elder
Philip Elder earned 125 total points
ID: 39729938
This is a wonderful marketing ploy to pay a bit more for the same thing! ;)

One need only verify with the vendor to see that both drives are on the hardware approved list for the MSA ... and that is the key as far as having warranty support in the product.

Typically, the designation means that one is directed towards pedestal/rack servers while the other is directed towards storage units.

Canadian Disti has the following:
 * $1,200 E7W47A
 * $1,500 718160-B21

Please verify the pricing and purchase from an HP approved vendor to maintain warranty.

Philip
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by:andyalder
andyalder earned 125 total points
ID: 39730283
There's not even a firmware difference as far as I know and HP certainly used to support taking disks out of a ProLiant and putting it in an MSA2000 after erasing it. If you search for firmware for DG146BAAJB for example you'll find firmware updates for it for both Windows/ProLiant and MSA2000 (and HP-UX/Integrity).
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by:Daveatwork
ID: 39730809
Thanks, I will look into the HCL. Also confusing is that on the 300’s I see both listed, one under the model and the other under the part number, see attached.
300GSAN-Drive.JPG
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by:andyalder
ID: 39731200
That label shows the bare disk part number, the one we and hp spares use is on the front of the caddy
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ID: 39731284
Intresting to see how this plays out, because we've a current Support Case in with HP, and an P2000 G3, where three disks all died at the same time. Causing the SAN to fail outright, and all (VMs lost). Because this was considered unusual, an Engineer was sent to site (in fact, 3 Engineers in the end), because of high disk failure.

After new driver were supplied, there was an issue with Support, because they had found that these drives they were shipping out, were supposed to be for a ProLiant Server, and not MSA disks.

This client, had purchased an P2000 G3, and then populated with disks from older ProLiant Servers, in a move from DAS to SAN storage, they decided why purchase new disks, we can just re-use old (in ProLiant Servers) less than 3 years old.

They got the disks replaced, because they told support they had come from the Servers, so were replaced under warranty, but we currently have a stalemate with the Engineers and HP because...

HP have stated the following:-

They are not interchangeable, however, clearly in the Quickspecs, you can see both parts listed!

Unfortunately, we do not have any "MSA disks" to prove they are the same part number and disks etc

Just my $0.02

As for Client, we've loaned them a NetApp Filer!
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by:Philip Elder
ID: 39732250
Note the Seagate part number on the label and the custom firmware indicated.

A side-by-side of both drives to see if the firmware is indeed different would be a big plus.

As far as setting up a storage shelf would it not be in one's best interest to populate with same drive/same firmware grade? At least that is what we prefer to do.

We have seen where different firmware levels on the same drive set can cause inconsistent behaviours in our lab settings where we do this. We do not do this in production settings.

Philip
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by:andyalder
ID: 39732365
HPDF is the latest firmware for that disk, it may already have it of course since flashing it doesn't re-write the paper label, but it's ProLiant firmware that's listed on HP's website when you enter EG0300FAWHV as your product. Enter P2000 G3 as your product instead though and the same drive comes up and again HPDF is the latest firmware for it. (I picked W2008 R2 as my OS each time since they tend to list most of the firmware under that OS)

One reference I use all the time is This matrix and it doesn't differentiate except between EVAs and other uses so HP can only be telling from the serial number.
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by:Philip Elder
ID: 39732616
@Andy

Given the example what would a drive look like from say a G6 or G7 ProLiant which is probably the generations for the drives in your example?

@Dave: Sorry for hijacking the thread ... Andy we could take this offline if you like. I am interested in exploring this further.

Philip Elder
MPECS Inc
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by:andyalder
ID: 39732657
They look identical Philip, The Gen8 have new caddies but the G5, 6 & 7 have the same caddy for the SFF disks because for the SFF expansion enclosure they use the same one that you can attach locally to a Smart Array controller (similar to using a MD1000 on a MD3000). The LFF caddies are different because they use the generic Dot Hill caddies who HP OEM the MSA2000 from.
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by:Philip Elder
ID: 39732708
@Andy

But the catch would be that the drives in those caddies may or may not be the same manufacturer and there may be hardware and/or firmware revision differences as well.

If in a consulting position and the client suggested pulling 24 drives from various sources to install into a DAS I'd be extremely apprehensive about that.

@Dave

A call into HP may be the best route to go to get a definitive answer on which drive to use in the P2000.

Philip
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by:Gerald Connolly
ID: 39732764
Are you looking to do a 1:1 replacement?
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ID: 39732788
HP told us the correct part is the E.... Series part.
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by:Philip Elder
ID: 39732837
Then that seals it. Stick with the drives designated for the platform.

Philip
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by:andyalder
ID: 39733362
There is no firmware difference Philip, the spare part matrix confirms that, it must just be a marketing/support status difference.

That HP told hanccocka that you should use the StorageWorks sales part numbers rather than the ProLiant sales part numbers means they are tracking serial numbers though which makes sense economically since they offer bundles where you may get discounted controllers so long as you pay an inflated price on the disks etc. StorageWorks division and the servers division come under separate vice presidents so marketing strategies differ.

The 3 years warranty for everything in the server was always an oddity, you could put 5 year old disks in a brand new server and claim they were under warranty still in the past.

There's even instructions to order different disks for the D2700 depending whether they are going to be attached to a server or a MSA, but I assure you it's just marketing strategy and a rather negative one at that. http://h18000.www1.hp.com/products/quickspecs/productbulletin.html#spectype=worldwide&type=html&docid=13404
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by:Philip Elder
ID: 39733980
@Andy,
It does not surprise me. In all our years building custom server and cluster solutions when we went to Tier 1 to build reference systems the disks were always heart-stoppingly huge in price. Any way to make a few more dollars on that disk is something I would not put past HP at all.

Thanks guys for the backstory.

Philip
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by:Daveatwork
ID: 39767241
Well I thank you all for your replies. I think we have all the cheaper (labled) drives in now and I will update the fw before using them.

This reminds me of way back when I was a consumer electronics tech. The difference between VCR model A and model X was only the remote that it was packaged with. It was cheaper in the long run to buy model A and then buy a replacement remote for model X.

Yes I have done many supercomputing clusters as well. All the dollars is in memory, disks and a bit on the CPU’s.

Anyway, I will post back with my experience and award points. NP with the hijack either ¿

Thanks,
Dave
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by:andyalder
ID: 39770717
HP must have had a rethink, the Quickspecs now say "HP MSA P2000 G3 Arrays support both the HP ProLiant Server SFF Hard Disk Drives and HP MSA SFF Hard Disk Drives" and go on to list both sets of part numbers.
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by:Daveatwork
ID: 39811238
Sorry, I am not abandoning my thread!

Yes, there are boxes within boxes stacked within my cube now, I don’t get to the office much.
I think this is 2+ weeks out before I am ready to perform the upgrade as I am in the middle of a VCenter handover, and then a migration from one cab to another in the DC.

I will keep all posted as to how it goes.

Thanks,
Dave
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by:Daveatwork
ID: 40184498
Ok, well change of plans, we ended up getting another d2700 and I racked it on the 4th.

Sure enough, the hdd's that were provided to me were with the G8 caddys and I only had 2 of the G7 versions, pulls from failed drives, but swapped them out and have been running just fine since, so 5 days now.

I have 14 more caddys on order now so it is looking like you pay 2-4X more for the msa label.

Cheers!
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by:SelfGovern
SelfGovern earned 125 total points
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>  ... it is looking like you pay 2-4X more for the msa label.

The MSA label, and the MSA firmware, and all the testing HP does to make sure that the drives work in the supported RAID configurations...
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by:andyalder
ID: 40185148
But they haven't really done any of that, the firmware for the MSA disks is the same for the ProLiant ones. Plus they probably got DotHill to do all the testing.
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by:Daveatwork
ID: 40189887
All 16 new drives are in now with the g7 caddy’s. The 14 I just did came right up and were recognized by the controller w/o issue.

SelfGovern, the goal given to me was to create as much space as possible for the least amount of $$, that is all. The drives that I was provided cost 1/3 to 1/4 of the MSA equivalent.
They may not be MIL-STD or MIL-SPEC but they work are working, just fine. We just don’t have pockets that deep, and sometimes you just have to make it work with what you have been given. With that said, I am sorry to hear that you feel that HP/Seagate have crippled the drives for their server, such a shame as we have racks full of them as well :-\

Andyalder, I always thought that CPU’s, RAM and disks were commodity items, like you I think.

If manufacturers want to keep their edge, it is within their custom baseboards and software, that is where the ‘bucks’ are and not in re-branding others hardware like drives.
Really, do you think Seagate makes different shells, platters and heads differently for the MSA to my laptop drive? Then they slap a different controller on the bottom which gives it some self-identity. Just how much I do not know, but I guess I will see.

Maybe it is still just a bunch of inexpensive and/or independent disks, if you want to cover it over with ‘cloud’ sugar and fairy dust so be it.

Thanks!
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by:Gerald Connolly
ID: 40190019
@Daveatwork, re disks, i think you are missing the point. Generic drives are designed to work in a multiplicity of scenarios warts and all.

What happens when these drives are included into a Manufacturers branded product is that they are tested intensively , the drive microcode is blueprinted against the SCSI spec and usually in conjunction with the Drive manufacturer a particular version of the microcode is chosen and the RAID controller firmware is tweaked to handle all the idiosyncrasy's of the drive so it does what the RAID controller expects. One important drive microcode difference for drives destined for RAID controllers is that the error recovery, does not go into deep recovery mode that a desktop drive would.

I am not defending the price premium that manufacturers charge for these drives, just that its not just a case of saying they are the same drives, they might well be, but the manufacturer has done a lot of work qualifying "their" drives to improve overall reliability. If you have ever been involved in qualifying a piece of equipment, you will appreciate the amount of time and money that is involved.
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by:andyalder
ID: 40190805
They're not exactly commodity disks since HP do apply their own firmware on the ProLiant ones just as they do with the MSA ones. That they charge different prices for similar firmware tweaking and post-production re-qualifying depending on whether they are destined for ProLiants or MSAs (or EVAs) is really down to marketing since the work's the same in either case.
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by:Gerald Connolly
ID: 40191890
@andy - Not sure that its HP firmware in the drives, its more likely to be a specific versionof the drive manufacturers firmware, tweaked specially for HP. Of course this happens for Dell, IBM, NetAPP, Uncle Tom cobbley and all - so they all have different firmware, (probably), the only people who really know are the drive manufacturers and they are usually tight lipped about it.
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by:andyalder
ID: 40192114
I'm sure you're right on that, HP wouldn't know how to write the low level stuff, they just tell the manufacturers what tweaks they want. HP firmware updates for disks come out a few weeks after the generic one in most cases. They might have told Dot Hill to tweak the MSA2000 firmware so that it supports both MSA qualified and ProLiant qualified disks too although I don't think there's any real difference between them.

The 1.2TB 10k don't seem to be in The Matrix yet, at least not completely since only the Smart Caddy version is listed. It is a different bare drive model no in the MSA matrix but as the quickspecs list both then the cheaper ones can be used.
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by:Daveatwork
ID: 40206035
@Gerald, no I am not missing the point. My last point was to try to explain to mgmt the difference between these two items for sale on the internet.

Then I tried to sperate the brick from the board (in this case the lable as well) regarding the hdd's in question.

Yes, I have been burning code into eproms/eeproms since the late 70's, thats where I started. Heck I started (first language) decimal, then octal and then hex and 8080 machine language. Along the way there was 9T, punch cards and paper tape to save my work. My first pc was an Altair 8800a, not the turn key version, programing was a bitch and without a ups it was easily lost.

So with all this work behind us, what is the collective concensus? Is the brick the same? Is the board the same? Is it that only the code is different?

Can not this code be loaded to any ctrlr board?

Maybe I have lost control of this thread. My intentions are to stick another 9 drives into this shelf very shortly.

Thanks All!
Dave
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by:andyalder
ID: 40206093
It is only the firmware that is different. It can be cross-flashed to any drive if you have the software to do it but it is very unlikely you can get hold of that software. What HP supply will only flash HP firmware onto HP branded drives.

Since the quickspecs now say "HP MSA P2000 G3 Arrays support both the HP ProLiant Server SFF Hard Disk Drives and HP MSA SFF Hard Disk Drives" and 718160-B21 is listed in the quickspecs you may as well use them if they're cheaper.
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by:Gerald Connolly
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I agree with Andy, its likely that the only difference is the firmware and the fact that it identifies itself as an HP disk.

Why do HP have what looks like identical disks but different part numbers and prices, i expect its because the MSA disks and the server disks were purchased and qualified by different product groups within HP, the ownership of the small storage boxes have bounced between the server group and the storage group for years.  Each group will have qualified a specific model of the disk and very specific versions of the firmware from the manufacturer, certainly initially - ongoing qualification may well have extended the qual matrix.

On another point, don't separate the HDD from its attached board as modern disk drives use PRML to Guess the data on the disks and the lookup table for THAT disk is stored on a prom on the board.
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by:Philip Elder
ID: 40206656
Myself, I would make sure my backups were good, then test the new drive setup thoroughly prior to bringing the new drives into production.

Philip
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by:Daveatwork
ID: 40216199
LOL, I didn’t me decimal, I meant binary as the first.

Well, there is no data. It is a new shelf with new disks.

Just an fyi, I have bought many old disks just for the pcb/rev level and if needed flashed it to where needed.  I was actually able to recover client data (non-raid) 100% of the time.

Kind of reminds me of the difference between a Camaro and a Firebird. Only a front and rear clip and some interior splash differences. What about the Cimarron? Well it was just a Cavalier with some ‘more’ plastic chrome and a Name Plate.

Really feeling that this is just ‘sticker’ shock.

Thanks all!
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by:Gerald Connolly
ID: 40216384
re Kind of reminds me of the difference between a Camaro and a Firebird. Only a front and rear clip and some interior splash differences. What about the Cimarron? Well it was just a Cavalier with some ‘more’ plastic chrome and a Name Plate.

Sorry cultural disconnect, this doesnt travel well!  :-)

re Just an fyi, I have bought many old disks just for the pcb/rev level and if needed flashed it to where needed.  I was actually able to recover client data (non-raid) 100% of the time.

With disks using PRML, you cannot depend on this, its not about board rev levels its about specific disks characteristics for an individual disk that are stored on a PROM on the PCB. Swapping the PCB may work 99% of the time, but you cannot depend on it .
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by:andyalder
ID: 40216529
Breeds of dog if I'm not mistaken.

Swapping the ROM that contains the HDA specific parameters from the failed board to the donor one isn't that hard. I don't have a rework station so I wreck the dead board getting the chip off it and cut the legs off the chip on the donor board before desoldering to avoid damaging good ROM and good board.
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by:Philip Elder
ID: 40217714
@Daveatwork You may be dating yourself with the Camaro/Firebird reference since at one time Pontiac did have its own engine lines. :)
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by:Daveatwork
ID: 40358728
Yes sir I did date myself, I had a Pontiac front clip on a Chevy when I was younger :)

I also had a de-soldering/re-work station as well, basically an expensive soldering station with a bunch of tips for qfp’s and a vacuum pump. The trick was to apply enough heat to all the pins without separating the traces from the board. But hey I started doing both when I was about 16/17.

Regarding the drives…

All 16 have been in and running for some time now without issue, other than they arrived with the g8 trays. I am getting ready to start some data collects with the help of emc, so we will see there.

As far as point assignment and replies, I really do appreciate all the responses.

Thanks All!
Dave
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