We've been asked to evaluate the possibility to use HP ProLiant DL380 G7 server with HP Smart Array P410i controller for small capacity storage.

Although we don't recommend to use such hardware for data storage it happened to be possible with some caveats.

The overall impression regarding building storage system on HP ProLiant DL380 G7 is miserable.

As expected HP Smart Array P410i is not supporting RAID6 and it is not transparent to operating system i.e. HDDs will be visible to operating system only as logical devices after they are configured in controller. One of the obvious drawbacks of this is filtering S.M.A.R.T. interface so health monitoring will not be possible. Another problem that HDD adding or replacing should be done through HDD controller interface first. The latter is available through BIOS menu on boot or using proprietary HP software which is available for Debian from the following address:

deb http://downloads.linux.hp.com/SDR/downloads/ProLiantSupportPack/debian/ stable/current non-free

Obviously we want to use at least Linux kernel 3.2 which has new hpsa driver (successor of old cciss).

Unfortunately it was not possible to use hpacucli utility with Linux-3.2 without the following workaround (alternatively one may use uname26 utility):

# setarch x86_64 --uname-2.6 /usr/sbin/hpacucli ctrl all show

If everything goes well the above command will return something like

Smart Array P410i in Slot 0 (Embedded)    (sn: 50014380175C3490)

Examples of using hpacucli command include:

setarch x86_64 --uname-2.6 /usr/sbin/hpacucli ctrl all show
setarch x86_64 --uname-2.6 /usr/sbin/hpacucli ctrl all show status
setarch x86_64 --uname-2.6 /usr/sbin/hpacucli ctrl all show config
setarch x86_64 --uname-2.6 /usr/sbin/hpacucli ctrl all show config detail

Command similar to the following may be used to configure physical HDD in order to make it available to operating system:

setarch x86_64 --uname-2.6 /usr/sbin/hpacucli ctrl slot=0 create type=ld drives=1I:1:3 raid=0

As soon as disk becomes visible to operating system it may be used by mdadm (software RAID) as usual.


Considering the above problems with hardware and non-free software that is required to operate HP controller, HP offers only overpriced low capacity HDDs. Using 3rd party HDDs may violate the warranty therefore such lock-in combined with poor hardware and software leaves no choice but to recommend looking for alternatives rather than considering HP ProLiant for reliable storage solution.


It may be necessary to load generic SCSI module:

# modprobe -v sg

See also: