HP HPSA driver 5.x.0.58-1 can cause ESXi 5.x PSOD

A few days ago i received a call from one of my old customers who asked for advice regarding a VMware ESXi 5.5 Purple Screen Of Death (PSOD) situation. He had already created a VMware service request but wanted a chat while waiting for a reply.

I quickly searched the HP support center web site and found out a HPSA driver update is available for their HP Proliant DL380 G7 servers.  The information and release notes, found here (same link can be used for downloading the VIB),  states the following fixed issues for the new HPSA driver:

  • Fixed a memory leak associated with device rescans resulting in out of memory conditions and a potential  PSOD.
  • Fixed a null pointer dereference in error handling code that can cause a PSOD in rare cases when device inquiries fail.
  • Restore LUN numbering policy to start with 1 instead of 0, avoiding potential issues with Raw Device Maps.
  • Enable 64bit DMA mapping instead of default 32bit mapping.
  • Improve null pointer checks in device rescanning code, avoiding a potential PSOD.
  • Restore maximum outstanding command count, removing artificial limitation that could impact performance.
  • Restore support for legacy HP Smart Array P700m controller.

So this is what i advised to upgrade the ESXi hosts HPSA driver to the latest version:

  • Identify the Storage controller you are using and that can easily be done via the vSphere Web Client by going to an ESXi server -> Monitor -> Hardware Status -> Expand the Storage Sensor.Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 08.04.41
  • Identify existing HPSA driver version by running the following command
    • cat /proc/driver/hpsa/hpsa0 | grep Driver
      Change hpsa number to match your system.
    • The output returned “Driver Version: HP HPSA Driver (v” meant the affected software driver was used.
  • Put ESXi host in maintenance mode
  • Copy the VIB to the ESXi host by using the following command
    • scp scsi-hpsa- root@ESXi-FQDN:/tmp
  • Install the VIB by running the following command:
    • esxcli software vib install -v /tmp/scsi-hpsa- –no-sig-check
      The expected output should be:
      Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 08.28.10
  • Reboot the ESXi hos
  • Verify the latest driver version by running the following command
    • cat /proc/driver/hpsa/hpsa0 | grep Drive
      Change hpsa number to match your system.
  • Exit ESXi host Maintenance mode.

No more PSOD after the HPSA driver upgrade.

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