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I have two HP DL380 Gen9 Servers with H240ar RAID controllers. One is for production and the other is for dev/staging.

I'd like to build up two physical drives in RAID 1 on the dev server then put those drives in the staging server and have that server recognize the logical drive. If this worked, this would require the least amount of down-time to deploy files. Is this possible?

As I experiment with swapping in different drives, the controller doesn't recognize the drives unless it's the same drives. Does anyone know what data is stored on the controller? I thought it might save the logical drive letter and the associated drive locations (Port, Box, Bay), but then other RAID 1 drives built from the same controller should work, but instead I get an warning as the computer boots up and the two drives show as unassigned.

UPDATE: If you put the two physical drives in another computer with an H240ar, the logical drive will not appear based on the data on the physical drives. So, I think there is some metadata being stored on the controller.

I used ssacli to create a new logical drive with the same two physical drives that were used in the other system and the partitions and file systems were in tact on the other system.

I still worry that without a good understanding of the metadata and where it is stored, I will not be able to predict what I can and can't do reliably.

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The HP H240ar isn't a real RAID controller. It's a basic HBA with some RAID functionality. For true hardware RAID (and all of the value-adds like portability and advanced features), you should be using the P440ar controller on that server.

I would not try what you're doing with the setup you have. Just build the secondary server anew and copy the data.

  • I can start the HP Smart Storage Administrator from the system BIOS and change the card from Host Bus Adapter (HBA) mode into RAID mode. In this mode, the physical drives do NOT show up in the operating system, only the logical drive. I see that the H240ar doesn't support flash backed write cache (FBWC) like the P440ar. When the card is in this mode, what is missing that makes this card fall short of a "real" RAID controller? – Chad Skeeters Dec 11 '17 at 17:28
  • It's not an HP RAID controller. If you want HP RAID controller features, you can use the P440ar. – ewwhite Dec 11 '17 at 18:19
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To answer your question as written, the controller doesn't store anything about the RAID volume configuration. All of that information is stored on the drives themselves. You should be able to transplant a RAID 1 pair from one RAID controller to another and the volume should be recognized.

As for the cause of your specific problem, ewwhite is correct. The H-series controllers are HBAs, and any RAID functionality is done in software. To do what you're trying to do, you need a true hardware RAID controller (one of the P-series cards).

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