Ramblings From The Litter Tray of Life

Posts Tagged ‘MSA70’

Expanding a VMWare Array on HP kit

Posted by graycat on 2 May 2009

Greetings on this wonderfully sunny Saturday! Yes, it’s Saturday and Captain Graycat is being rushed into service once more!

[cue cut away to a battlefield somewhere on an unknown planet]

“Captain!” screams Major VMware with increasing urgency as he ducks incoming laser and projectile fire

“WHAT?” replies our intrepid hero, sparing only the most minute of attention away from his continued effort to track down that darn laser bunker. “Well, tracers work both ways, old boy” he mumbles as he drills a reply volley into the nest with alarming accuracy.

“Captain! We need an array expanding and you’re the only one for the job!” cries the Major in mild dispair as he throws himself down next to Capt. Graycat

“You need a what doing to who?” replies our slightly distracted hero.

“An array expanding! We’ve already sent in Lieutenant Ears but he just panicked and is now a gibbering mess.”

“Oh dear lord, not again.” mutters Graycat ducking into cover to discuss with the Major “Ok, what’s so difficult about this one that needs me?”

“It’s an impossible missing, sir! It just can’t be done on an HP system like that but we must have it or the battle is lost!”

“There isn’t a system built that I can’t give a good kicking to, son. Watch and learn!” cries our hero as he shoulders his firearm of knowledge and leaps over the cover to charge into his latest mission

“Wow, that’s some kinda guy” mutters Major VMware as he watches the legend that is Capt Graycat disappear into the fog of war and tries not to think about his slightly soiled underwear that requires changing very soon.

[cue cool opening credits to The Adventures of Captain Graycat]

Ok, so it’s not really all that glamorous but it does need doing every now and then. Expand an array as well as changing your underwear!

It’s a bit of a good news / bad news situation for us really. Good news – you can run ESX server on HP kit. Bad news – there are no plugins for HP kit so you can’t control it via the GUI.

According to HP support the only way you can do this is using their SmartStart CD so I’ll go through that method first.

  1. Download the latest CD from here (Link)
  2. Extract iso and then burn boot disc
  3. Shutdown all your VMWare machines, kick the ESX server into “maintenance” mode, slap the boot CD in and reboot
  4. When the HP SmartStart menus come up wander through to the Maintenance section and then Array Configuration Utility
  5. Have it scan for the controllers and pick the one you want (mine has an onboard P400 for the internal drives and a P800 for the MSA70 external array)
  6. You should now see some extra drives not included in your RAID array or logical disc. Select Extend on the right hand window and select the extra drives to add to the array
  7. Select Extend and enter the final RAID / logical partition size you want. There will be a maximum available size listed so I just plumped for that. (See later for array / logical drive sizes info).
  8. L0cate the save button, hit it and watch all the pretty lights flash as the array extends and expands to cover the new drives.

HP sugest that it’ll take 15 minutes per Gb so if like me, you’re got a 1Tb+ logical drive now well you’re going to be in for a bit of a wait whilst it sorts itself out.

You can check on the progress by selecting the logical drive and hitting “More Information” in the righthand window. It’ll then show you rhe progress at the bottom of that page.

Just one word of warning though – VMWare can not deal with logical drives larger than 2Tb, I’m told. So stay lower than this for the moment. I think it’ll be resolved for later versions though which’ll be great!

Another method I’ve heard of but don’t have the balls / skills to try is do ssh onto the ESX server itself, download the command line version of the Array Configuration Utility for Redhat linux and then use that to do the expansion. It looks viable but as ESX is not a “proper” linux installation (eg: wget is missing completely) and this is a production machine for me …. I’m going to leave that one to braver people than I!

Well, I’m off to check on my server and see how the expansion is going. Toodle pip!

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