Help Me Reconfigure RAID on HP StorageWorks MSA1500CS

Hi all.
We have an HP MSA1500 with some hard drives in it.
Attached to this are 2 controllers (MSA1000).
This stuff was already configured before I started but the environment has now changed and we aren't using it anymore.
I want to set this up as a temporary dumping grounds of sorts.
There is a fiber connection going to an HP ProLiant server running ESXi 5.1. This server isn't really in production so I can shut it down as needed.
As it stands now, I can see the datastore that was originally created from within vCenter but I'd like to change the RAID configuration.
I tried installing one of the HP array utilities from one of the VMs on the ESXi host but it won't install on a virtual machine and I'm unsure how I'm supposed to access this SAN so I can reconfigure it.
There's a console port on each of the 2 controllers on the front but there is no way to connect this thing to the network so I can access through a web interface.
Any help would be appreciated.
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homerslmpsonAsked:
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andyalderCommented:
Boot SmartStart CD and access the ACU that way.
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homerslmpsonAuthor Commented:
SmartStart 8.70 doesn't see the SAN. It only sees the built in P410i controller.
Is there a specific version of the SmartStart CD I need to use?
I know it's not the newest product but I can't find any information on the HP website.
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andyalderCommented:
Oh of course it hasn't got the HBA drivers on SmartStart CD, I forgot that.

There is a MSA1500cs support CD but I can't find it on HP's web.

Two other options...

1. connect a Windows or Linux server to it via fibre channel and use the ACU with that.

2. get hold of the serial cable and manage it through the CLI. The cable is non-standard, there's a picture of the end at http://www.markwilson.co.uk/blog/2006/07/configuring-hp-msa1000-using-serial.htm. There's a link to the CLI guide at http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1249.

Not even sure MSA1500cs works with VMware 5.x, certainly isn't in the compatibility guide.
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homerslmpsonAuthor Commented:
I managed to find the SmartStart CD that was available for download back in 2006 on the MSA1500 support section of the HP website but...but my HP ProLiant server is too "new" I guess because it gives me an error when I try and boot from it.
I didn't find this on the HP website and had to go to an alternative site to get it.
I was going to use an old HP ProLiant server just to try and get all of this done but the old server doesn't have a PCI-e slot so I can't use the HBA I have.
Oh and the MSA1500cs most definitely isn't on the VMware HCL but my plan was to use this for non-critical / non-production data so I didn't think it would be too big of a deal.
I just checked and found the cable! Yay!
The SAN in its current configuration DOES show up as a datastore so I guess worst case I could just delete the data that's on it and use it as-is.
Oh and my MSA1500cs has 2 MSA1000 controllers. What's the point of 2? Just redundancy? Or are they able to somehow perform separate tasks?
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andyalderCommented:
2 controllers for active/passive redundancy initially although there is active/active firmware available on HP's website. Active/active lets one controller deal with one array and the other deal with another.

There's several different I/O options in the back, you can have FC pass-through, 3 port FC hub or FC switch depending on how many hosts you want to connect. It's not fast and the VMs will crash if you try to run too many as it just can't keep up but for low I/O non-critical data it's still a good box. Spare disks are dirt cheap as there were so many made. Cache batteries are about $70 for the pair - each controller has two and they last up to 5 years.
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homerslmpsonAuthor Commented:
I have an HP StorageWorks 4/8 SAN switch connected to the MSA1550cs.
Is this what you are referring to when you mention an FC switch?
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andyalderCommented:
External switch so you have pass-through in the MSA, it can have switch cards in the rear slots to save rack space although they cost more than external rackmount ones.
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homerslmpsonAuthor Commented:
OK well I'm looking through the CLI documentation and they mention a few different RAID configurations but not RAID1+0.
It looks like 0, 1, 5 and 6 are the only options mentioned.
If this is the case, I guess I'll just leave everything as-is.
This whole thing was pointless I guess lol.
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andyalderCommented:
Quite likely they mean RAID 1+0 when they mention RAID 1, Compaq have always had a thing about them being the same; two disks in RAID 1 in the ACU for example is shown as 1+0 (or 0+1 in really old versions).
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homerslmpsonAuthor Commented:
Yeah I guess you're right.
Looks like the standard RAID1 config is meant for 2 drives only.
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andyalderCommented:
No, I said the opposite of that, RAID 1 encompasses RAID 10, they're just lazy and do not differentiate between RAID 1 and 10. See http://lackof.org/taggart/hacking/msa1000-setup/ for example.

"add unit 5 data="DISK107 DISK114 DISK207 DISK214" raid_level=1" creates a RAID 10 of 4 disks.
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Thomas RushCommented:
Andy's giving you great info and advice on this older storage system.  Kudos to him.
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homerslmpsonAuthor Commented:
I hate the idea of RAID5 but after using a RAID calculator it looks like the only way I'm going to be able to get a halfway decent amount of storage is by using it (or RAID0).
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homerslmpsonAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the help!
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andyalderCommented:
It's got RAID 6 available (RAID ADG) for better redundancy at the expense of write performance.
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