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Community Forum > HP 385p G8 p420i HBA mode solution suggestions

Hi... i have recently acquired an HP Proliant DL385p G8 with 25 bays. it has a built in p420i smart raid controller that supports HBA mode. I tried to set it up with HBA mode on.
The problem is.. i can install Quantastor on the first disk ... but it wont boot off it. I think these servers only look for Raid logical disks to boot off when its on the Raid controller.

I would also like redundancy for the OS ideally hardware raid 1 for the first 2 disks would be good... but the raid controller will only support either RAID mode or HBA mode... not mixed.

I also installed a H220 internal HBA SAS controller. I can put both two SAS cables from the Raid controller ports to the HBA controller ports.. and i see all the disks... and i'm able to boot off the first disk. But i don't have redundancy.

So... i put the first SAS cable on the P420i raid controller and the other SAS cable on the H220. Now the first 13 bays are on the P420i and i can set up the logical disk for the OS on the first 2 bays.... leaving the other 11 bays unused. The last 12 bays are standalone disks that Quantastor sees.

I feel like there has to be a better solution where i can use all 25 bays and have redundancy for the OS drives
Theres also an internal SD card slot. but its not redundant.

Any suggestions?

July 5, 2017 | Registered CommenterJack Chen

Hi Jack,
Another option would be to internally mount 2x SSDs or SATA-DOMs for mirrored boot and connect them to the P420i via a SAS 8087 break-out cable. That way you could connect all the disks on the front plane to the H220.

Another idea.. if you have 2x unused PCI slots you could turn them into 2.5" hot swap bays then connect them to the P420i. Newegg:


July 5, 2017 | Registered CommenterSteve

Hmm thanks for the reply steve.. w/ the sata-doms i would need some kind of adapter for the SAS-8087 connector... they are both the same female connectors. Then theres the issue of where to get the power source from.

I do have 2 unused PCI slots. but i think with that visiontek bay.. i still need to connect a power source.. i have to do some more research on where to get sata power on these proliant servers

July 6, 2017 | Registered CommenterJack Chen

Hey Jack, just checking in to see if you found a solution to the boot drive issue.

September 5, 2017 | Registered CommenterSteve

...maybe a dumb suggestion, but why don't you make a software raid1 for the boot/OS?
That's not a big issue nor that complicated. With a little "handwork" you can relatively easy do that once you install the QS software on the first disk (as I remember the installer won't let you make a raid volume during install).

The easiest way is to first manually create the mirror with two partitions on it (for boot and root or lvm) booting from a "live cd".
Then you start the install normally. It's possible the installer will auto detect the raid and let you use it (I'm not sure, did not try exactly with quantastor install but I did with others).
If the raid is not autodetected then you can "reactivate" it later (probably easiest with the live cd again, but it's possible with the QS itself) just do not "repartion/erase" the drives during install but choose manual partioning and use existing partitions.

It's not "professional" but it could be done... (I managed to transform a normal, single drive installs to "raid1 drives" more than once. If you have LVM in place its even easier)


November 23, 2017 | Registered CommenterM.Culibrk

Agreed, we've discussed it a bunch internally and are looking at enabling ZFS RAID1 mirrored boot as an option sometime next year when we move up to a 16.04 LTS underlying distro. In the interim one can setup software RAID for the boot using standard techniques one would use on Ubuntu Server LTS 14.04 like LVM and MDRAID like you mentioned. The disk replacement process is much more involved vs hardware RAID for boot so we've kept with that for production deployments due to the operational simplicity. That said, there's much value to the software RAID approach for the boot drives especially as NVMe for boot is cheap and common now.

November 27, 2017 | Registered CommenterSteve

yes i wound up using the PCI slot bays for the boot drives using the onboard raid controller. Thank you for your suggestion.

December 17, 2018 | Registered CommenterJack Chen