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ruhkus
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Hard drive Predictive failure questions

I have an HP Proliant DL380 with a drive that is indicating predictive failure (RAID 6). I'm fairly certain I can just go ahead and hot swap the drive with one that I already have in the office. However, before I do this, I wanted to confirm if there is likely to be any issues if the firmware of this new drive is lower than what is in the system.


Is there anything else I should be concerned about as well? I'm running VMWare ESXi on this server, so I don't have direct insight into the array, and wasn't sure if I should shut down the production VMs to boot into the array management, or if the hot swap is fine.


Thanks.

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)

8/22/2022 - Mon
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rindi

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)

if you have HPE version of ESXi and you should the array utils are included!
andyalder

Running ESX doesn't mean you can't use tools to monitor and manage the array. Recent generations of HPE server let you get to the array via iLO and HPE SSACLI is available for ESX. It's just a bit harder than using a GUI.
Philip Elder

If possible, update the firmware on the drive to the same level as the existing ones prior to running the hot swap procedure.

If there's an open bay, then plug it in there and use the HPE utility/ies to update the drive's firmware and then designate it a hot spare. Pull the predictive bad one. The "new" one should take over.

Then, pick up another drive, plug it in to the now vacant slot, and update the firmware if needed.

Depending on the RAID Controller, it may automatically kick in a rebuild to the just inserted drive. Once that's done it would designate the original replacement as the hot spare.

Done.
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William Peck
andyalder

HPE Smart Arrays use hot spares temporarily, once you replace a disk that has been spared it copies the spare to it and the original spare is a hot spare again. Can be annoying but does make sense when there are two arrays with different capacity disks.
Philip Elder

andyalder It's been a while but LSI/Avago/Broadcom behave similarly as I recall.
andyalder

Indeed, LSI/Avago/Broadcom all behave the same I prefer their way of making spares permanent members to HPE's temporary sparing method. Of course it may be a Broadcom card as HPE now allow the choice rather than forcing a Smart Array controller on you.
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ruhkus

ASKER
Thanks everyone. I do have the HPE Customized Image installed, but I'm not sure what I'm able to do with it as far as the array goes.

If I'm understanding the hot spare discussion, is it almost doubling the workload on the drives, to make the spare part of the rebuilt RAID, then the new drive, and maybe isn't worth it, especially when more drives are at risk of failing soon?
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andyalder

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert PRO / EE Fellow/British Beekeeper)

If the drives are all of the same age, time to purchase a few as spares! Make sure you get a backup of VMs as well. (or check your backups!)