P410i RAID Controller support

Issues related to hardware problems

P410i RAID Controller support

Postby rurounijones » 2011/02/22 02:25:25

Hello everyone.

I am a developer who has has been hijacked into setting up a server (already bought) and I was hoping I could check a few things.

The server in question is an HP DL380 with a P410i RAID Controller.

After doing a lot of searching it appears that the P410i does support CentOS' parent so CentOS should be fine too. However:

I have seen various options on how to get it working:

1. Get the driver from HP (http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/Te ... nvOID=4004) stick it on a floppy and install it at install-time.

2. Use the CCISS driver from (http://cciss.sourceforge.net/) which says it supports the P410i. I would prefer to use this since it says it has been rolled into the mainline kernel since 2.6.33 (Dec 18, 2009).

I know CentOS uses relatively old kernels but they have fixes etc. back-ported into them so my question is:

Does anyone know if the current CentOS 5.5 Kernel has the cciss drivers back-ported into them which allows you to use the P140i RAID controller without any extra messing about?

I am not exactly sure where I can find this information since I am not really a sysadmin by trade.

Any help would be much appreciated.

RJ
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Re: P410i RAID Controller support

Postby AlanBartlett » 2011/02/22 04:19:41

I don't have a definitive answer to hand, so let's see what I can find out by asking a system --

Code: Select all
[ajb@Build32R5 ~]$ find /lib/modules/*/kernel -name \*ciss\* | grep 194
/lib/modules/2.6.18-194.26.1.el5/kernel/drivers/block/cciss.ko
/lib/modules/2.6.18-194.32.1.el5/kernel/drivers/block/cciss.ko
[ajb@Build32R5 ~]$ /sbin/modinfo /lib/modules/2.6.18-194.32.1.el5/kernel/drivers/block/cciss.ko
filename:       /lib/modules/2.6.18-194.32.1.el5/kernel/drivers/block/cciss.ko
license:        GPL
version:        3.6.20-RH4
description:    Driver for HP Controller SA5xxx SA6xxx version 3.6.20-RH4
author:         Hewlett-Packard Company
srcversion:     D7FCFF5E2715B57D70725AC
alias:          pci:v0000103Cd*sv*sd*bc01sc04i*
alias:          pci:v0000103Cd0000323Asv0000103Csd0000324Bbc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v0000103Cd0000323Asv0000103Csd0000324Abc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v0000103Cd0000323Asv0000103Csd00003249bc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v0000103Cd0000323Asv0000103Csd00003247bc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v0000103Cd0000323Asv0000103Csd00003245bc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v0000103Cd0000323Asv0000103Csd00003243bc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v0000103Cd0000323Asv0000103Csd00003241bc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v0000103Cd00003230sv0000103Csd0000323Dbc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v0000103Cd00003230sv0000103Csd00003237bc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v0000103Cd00003238sv0000103Csd00003215bc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v0000103Cd00003238sv0000103Csd00003214bc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v0000103Cd00003238sv0000103Csd00003213bc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v0000103Cd00003238sv0000103Csd00003212bc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v0000103Cd00003238sv0000103Csd00003211bc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v0000103Cd00003230sv0000103Csd00003235bc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v0000103Cd00003230sv0000103Csd00003234bc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v0000103Cd00003230sv0000103Csd00003223bc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v0000103Cd00003220sv0000103Csd00003225bc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v00000E11d00000046sv00000E11sd0000409Dbc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v00000E11d00000046sv00000E11sd0000409Cbc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v00000E11d00000046sv00000E11sd0000409Bbc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v00000E11d00000046sv00000E11sd0000409Abc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v00000E11d00000046sv00000E11sd00004091bc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v00000E11d0000B178sv00000E11sd00004083bc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v00000E11d0000B178sv00000E11sd00004082bc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v00000E11d0000B178sv00000E11sd00004080bc*sc*i*
alias:          pci:v00000E11d0000B060sv00000E11sd00004070bc*sc*i*
depends:        scsi_mod
[i]<snip>[/i]

That looks encouraging to me. What I'd suggest you do is to compare the above description --

Driver for HP Controller SA5xxx SA6xxx version 3.6.20-RH4

-- with what you know about the P410i controller.

The other thing you could try would be to obtain a copy of the current CentOS LiveCD, boot it and see if the RAID controller is recognised. If the latter proves to be problematic for you, the simplest thing would be to execute --

Code: Select all
[b]/sbin/lspci -n[/b]

-- and post its output.

Finally, we have a few wizards who are familiar with identical / similar hardware and, once awake & have read this thread, will be able to give you a more definitive answer.
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Re: P410i RAID Controller support

Postby rurounijones » 2011/02/22 05:56:06

Thank you very much for your reply.

Unfortunately the system hasn't actually been delivered yet otherwise I would have just stuffed a live CD in and seen what happened. :-)

However getting to the server is a real hassle and rather time-consuming (physical security) so I am trying to find out as much as I can before actually going and installing.

Thank you for the output, I shall see what I can find out.
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Re: P410i RAID Controller support

Postby AlanBartlett » 2011/02/22 18:51:13

However getting to the server is a real hassle and rather time-consuming (Physical security) so I am trying to find out as much as I can before actually going and installing.

Understood. I seriously hope the Organisation will provide you with an "Access All Areas" pass for the first few months whilst you are provisioning / configuring / fettling the hardware . . . :-o
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Re: P410i RAID Controller support

Postby mmurayama » 2011/02/28 01:45:52

The standard cciss driver which is included in the CentOS 5.5 kernel (3.6.20-RH4) supports P410i, but I would recommend using the latest cciss driver from HP.

The cciss driver has been included into the mainline kernel for quite a while. The driver which was added to kernel 2.6.33 is the hpsa driver.
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Re: P410i RAID Controller support

Postby rurounijones » 2011/03/01 11:52:29

Oops, my mistake, Thank you for the correction.

The HP drivers were updated in October 2010 so I guess they are the best options in terms of "latest version". The one thing that gives me pause is that they appear to support a very limited number of kernels.

From ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/softlib2/software1 ... .dd.gz.txt

The kernels of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 (AMD64/EM64T) supported by this driver diskette are:

2.6.18-128.el5 - Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Update 3 (AMD64/EM64T)
2.6.18-164.el5 - Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Update 4 (AMD64/EM64T)
2.6.18-194.el5 - Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Update 5 (AMD64/EM64T)

From what I understand this means that if I update the kernel after installation then this driver stops working and it would revert to the mainline drivers? A CentOS test VM I have right now is running 2.6.18-194.11.1.el5. Are these minor point releases enough to stop the HP driver?

Thank you for your patience and understanding with this.
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Re: P410i RAID Controller support

Postby AlanBartlett » 2011/03/01 18:28:40

I understand your concern. To allay your worries, I have downloaded the installation driver disk from the HP ftp server and inspected its contents.

As you have said, it will provide the current, upstream, driver for the installation kernel. So that the driver is "carried over" to any updated kernel, I have taken the contents of that driver disk and re-packaged it into a kABI tracking, kernel independent kmod-cciss package for the ELRepo Project. The packages have been uploaded to the elrepo-testing repository, from where they can be installed onto your system by usage of yum.

I have performed basic sanity tests on the packages and am happy to confirm that the cciss.ko driver module is valid for all releases of RHEL 5.5 and RHEL 5.6. Hence the kmod-cciss package is also valid for CentOS 5.5 / CentOS 5.6. In other words, it supports all kernels from 2.6.18-194.el5 upwards.
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Re: P410i RAID Controller support

Postby rurounijones » 2011/03/02 00:16:50

Holy moley!

Thank you very much for the work, that is some exceptional community support! And thanks to everyone who has chimed in so far.

So just to make sure I am not being abnormally stupid:

At install-time, use the original HP driver floppy disk to install the system.
After installation add the ELRepo repositories then install the kmod-cciss RPM using yum?

Or is the best way to copy the kmod-cciss RPM file to the install DVD and it will be picked up automatically during install time?

I will be using a kickstart script to install everything so can easily make additions to that.

Again sorry for the questions. My experience with Linux is limited to home systems where this kind of thing doesn't pop up.
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Re: P410i RAID Controller support

Postby AlanBartlett » 2011/03/02 02:10:15

Again sorry for the questions. My experience with Linux is limited to home systems where this kind of thing doesn't pop up.

There's no need to apologise. You stated your experience and status, up-front, in post #1. And you had done your "homework", as best you could, before asking for help, :-)

Let me make things quite clear. I have not been able to test the driver delivered by the kmod-cciss package, as I do not have the hardware. My testing has been limited to the fundamental sanity testing -- Does it install? Are the requisite sym-links in place? etc. So you will be the testing guinea-pig, if you install it.

At present, I have only built the 64-bit packages -- for the standard & xen kernels. I still need to do some more work to include the packages for the three 32-bit kernels -- standard, PAE & xen.

At install-time, use the original HP driver floppy disk to install the system.
After installation add the ELRepo repositories then install the kmod-cciss RPM using yum?

Yes, you've got it. ;-)

(1) Create the driver-disk floppy disk, as detailed in the HP documentation.
(2) Boot the CentOS 5 install meedium.
(3) At the # prompt, type linux dd and press .
(4) Proceed with the installation, at some point you will be asked about the driver required.
(5) Post installation, after first system boot but before performing a yum update, enable access to the ELRepo repositories (section Getting Started) and install the kmod-cciss package --

Code: Select all
[b]yum --enablerepo elrepo-testing install kmod-cciss[/b]

(6) Re-boot the system and ensure that it still works. :-o
(7) At this point I would be interested to see the output returned by --

Code: Select all
[b]depmod -v | grep cciss
modinfo cciss
find /lib/modules -name cciss.o | grep -E 'extra|weak' | sort[/b]

(8) Now perform a post install yum update.
(9) Re-boot, ensuring the latest installed kernel is booted.
(10) Repeat step (7). Analyse the result and tell me what you can deduce.
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Re: P410i RAID Controller support

Postby mmurayama » 2011/03/03 00:02:34

If you update the cciss driver using the ELRepo repositories after you install CentOS to your machine, you don't have to create a driver disk when installing CentOS. You can use the standard CentOS cciss driver and then update the driver after you finish the installation.
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