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Advisory: (Revision) HP Smart Array Controllers - CUSTOMER ACTION REQUIRED for Certain HP Smart Array Controllers to Ensure Pending Writes to Storage Devices Complete Properly if Attempting to Use the Linux Kdump Facility on ProLiant Servers

SUPPORT COMMUNICATION - CUSTOMER ADVISORY

Document ID: c02758009

Version: 3

Advisory: (Revision) HP Smart Array Controllers - CUSTOMER ACTION REQUIRED for Certain HP Smart Array Controllers to Ensure Pending Writes to Storage Devices Complete Properly if Attempting to Use the Linux Kdump Facility on ProLiant Servers
NOTICE: The information in this document, including products and software versions, is current as of the Release Date. This document is subject to change without notice.

Release Date: 2012-05-02

Last Updated: 2012-05-02


DESCRIPTION

Document Version
Release Date
Details
3
05/02/2012
Updated Resolution section with updated version of the driver
2
07/08/2011
Updated Resolution section with updated version of the driver
1
03/17/2011
Original Document Release.
IMPORTANT : Pending writes to storage devices may not complete properly as detailed below if the kdump facility is used. Using the kdump facility could leave the server in an unstable condition, which could potentially result in an inconsistent filesystem state. By disregarding this notification, the customer accepts the risk of incurring potential related errors.

The Linux kdump facility fails to execute properly when used on HP ProLiant servers running Linux and configured with certain Smart Array controllers using certain versions of the cciss device drivers.

Kdump is a facility for capturing a system memory image when a kernel panic occurs. These memory images are useful for debugging. Kdump loads a special kernel into a reserved memory area. When a panic occurs in the main kernel, control is transferred to the kdump kernel. As the memory image dump process begins, storage device drivers reset their associated controllers to clear all pending I/O activity before starting the memory dump activity, including pending writes to storage devices.

When kdump is executing on the affected Smart Array controllers, the reset process does not work as expected, and commands that were issued to the controller prior to the kdump kernel beginning execution may complete during the kdump process, potentially disrupting the kdump kernel's I/O, and potentially leading to a corrupt kdump image or inconsistent filesystem state.

This problem occurs on Smart Array controllers that do not support the PCI power management reset method. In these cases, the needed reset never occurs. In some cases, if no I/O was pending at the time of the system panic, the missed reset may go unnoticed, and the kdump process may appear to work normally.


Messages similar to the following may be displayed on some but not all controllers having this problem:

<4>cciss 0000:19:08.0: Unable to successfully reset controller. . .

SCOPE

Any HP ProLiant server configured with any of the following HP Smart Array controllers:

  • HP Smart Array P400 controller
  • HP Smart Array P400i controller
  • HP Smart Array P800 controller
  • HP Smart Array E500 controller
  • HP Smart Array P700m controller
  • HP Smart Array E200 controller
  • HP Smart Array E200i controller

And running any of the following versions of the HP Smart Array driver (cciss):

  • For Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, Version 3.6.28-7 (or earlier)
  • For SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10, Version 3.6.28-6 (or earlier)
  • For Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, Version 4.6.28-6 (or earlier)
  • For SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11, Version 4.6.28-6 (or earlier)

RESOLUTION

To ensure this issue does not occur, do not use the kdump facility to dump the memory image on the affected Smart Array controllers when using the cciss drivers listed in the Scope section.

Kdump will not function correctly on any server configured with the affected controllers, even if other, kdump-compatible controllers are configured as the boot and/or kdump target device. The kdump process will hang when the driver attempts to reset the affected controllers unless the recommended firmware and driver updates are applied, the only way to successfully use kdump on these servers is to remove or disable the affected controller. This workaround is not an option when the affected controller is used as the boot device for the server.

To eliminate the potential for lost data if the kdump process is used on the affected Smart Array controllers, use the following versions of the HP Smart Array driver (cciss):

  • For Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, Version 3.6.28-12 (or later)
  • For Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, Version 4.6.28-12 (or later)
  • For SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11, Version 4.6.28-12 (or later)
  • For SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10, updated driver does not solve issue. As a workaround, change the kdump configuration to use an alternate storage device for the dump, or use the net dump method. Refer to the kdump manpage for additional information.

Only the Smart Array controllers listed in the Scope section are affected by this issue. Other Smart Array Controllers use an alternative method for resets, and do not require the PCI power management reset method to successfully complete a kdump process. As a result, no other Smart Array Controllers are affected.

Perform the following steps to obtain the latest version of the driver for the HP Smart Array Controller:

  1. Click on the following URL:

    http://welcome.hp.com/country/us/en/support.html?pageDisplay=drivers

  2. Enter the server in the "for product" field and click on search .
  3. Select the appropriate operating system .
  4. Select the category Driver - Storage Controller .
  5. Select the Download button next to the description, HP ProLiant Smart Array Controller Driver .



RECEIVE PROACTIVE UPDATES : Receive support alerts (such as Customer Advisories), as well as updates on drivers, software, firmware, and customer replaceable components, proactively via e-mail through HP Subscriber's Choice. Sign up for Subscriber's Choice at the following URL: http://www.hp.com/go/myadvisory

NAVIGATION TIP : For hints on navigating HP.com to locate the latest drivers, patches, and other support software downloads for ProLiant servers and Options, refer to the Navigation Tips document .

SEARCH TIP : For hints on locating similar documents on HP.com, refer to the Search Tips document .

To search for additional advisories related to Linux, use the following search string:

+Advisory +ProLiant -"Software and Drivers" +Linux


Hardware Platforms Affected: HP ProLiant BL280c G6 Server Blade, HP ProLiant BL2x220c G6 Server Blade, HP ProLiant BL460c G6 Server Blade, HP ProLiant BL460c G7 Server Blade, HP ProLiant BL465c G5 Server Blade, HP ProLiant BL465c G6 Server Blade, HP ProLiant BL465c G7 Server Blade, HP ProLiant BL490c G6 Server Blade, HP ProLiant BL495c G5 Server Blade, HP ProLiant BL495c G6 Server Blade, HP ProLiant BL620c G7 Server series, HP ProLiant BL680c G5 Server series, HP ProLiant BL680c G7 Server series, HP ProLiant BL685c G5 Server series, HP ProLiant BL685c G6 Server series, HP ProLiant BL685c G7 Server series, HP ProLiant DL120 G5 Server, HP ProLiant DL140 G3 Server, HP ProLiant DL145 G3 Server, HP ProLiant DL160 G5 Server, HP ProLiant DL160 G5p Server, HP ProLiant DL180 G5 Server, HP ProLiant DL180 Server, HP ProLiant DL185 G5 Server, HP ProLiant DL320 G5 Server, HP ProLiant DL320 G5p Server, HP ProLiant DL320s Server, HP ProLiant DL360 G5 Server, HP ProLiant DL365 G5 Server, HP ProLiant DL380 G5 Server, HP ProLiant DL385 G2 Server, HP ProLiant DL385 G5 Server, HP ProLiant DL385 G5p Server, HP ProLiant DL580 G5 Server, HP ProLiant DL585 G2 Server, HP ProLiant DL585 G5 Server, HP ProLiant DL785 G5 Server, HP ProLiant DL785 G6 Server, HP ProLiant ML310 G3 Server, HP ProLiant ML310 G4 Server, HP ProLiant ML310 G5 Server, HP ProLiant ML310 G5p Server, HP ProLiant ML350 G5 Server, HP ProLiant ML370 G6 Server, HP Smart Array E200 Controller, HP Smart Array E500 Controller, HP Smart Array P400 Controller, HP Smart Array P700m Controller, HP Smart Array P800 Controller
Operating Systems Affected: Red Hat Enterprise Linux (Itanium), Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 (x86), Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 (x86-64), Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 (x86), SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 (AMD64/EM64T) SW(Standard HP Product), SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 (x86) SW(Standard HP Product), SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 (AMD64/EM64T)(Standard HP Product), SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 (x86)
Software Affected: Not Applicable
Support Communication Cross Reference ID: IA02758009
©Copyright 2012 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.
Hewlett-Packard Company shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein. The information provided is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. To the extent permitted by law, neither HP or its affiliates, subcontractors or suppliers will be liable for incidental,special or consequential damages including downtime cost; lost profits;damages relating to the procurement of substitute products or services; or damages for loss of data, or software restoration. The information in this document is subject to change without notice. Hewlett-Packard Company and the names of Hewlett-Packard products referenced herein are trademarks of Hewlett-Packard Company in the United States and other countries. Other product and company names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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