Heads Up! HP Smart Array Driver Issue

hp-logoWe’ve seen a spate of incidents recently related to the HP Smart Array Drivers that are shipped as part of ESXi 5.x. Worst case scenario – this is leading to out of memory conditions and a PSOD (Purple Screen of Death) on the ESXi host in some cases. The bug is in the hpsa 5.5.0.58-1 driver and all Smart Array controllers that use this driver are exposed to this issue. For details on the symptom, check out VMware KB article 2075978.

HP have also released a Customer Advisory c04302261 on the issue.

This was a tricky one to deal with, as one possible step might be to roll back/downgrade the driver to an earlier version. Unfortunately, not only is this not supported (or documented), but you might also find that an older driver may not work with a newer storage controller. The good news is that HP now have a new version of the driver available which fixes the issue. Customers should upgrade to HP Smart Array Controller Driver (hpsa) Version 5.0.0.60-1 (ESXi 5.0 and ESXi 5.1) or Version 5.5.0.60-1 (ESXi 5.5). Details on where to locate the driver and how to upgrade it are located in their advisory. Think about doing this as soon as possible.

8 thoughts on “Heads Up! HP Smart Array Driver Issue

    • Nah – its working. It’s just that HP’s KB/advisory site is soooo sllooowwww. Alternatively, just google for the HP advisory number.

  1. If you’re trying to figure out how to check the driver version, “vmkload_mod -s hpsa”.

  2. We currently use http://vibsdepot.hp.com/hpq/hpq-index.xml as a download source in Update Manager. I saw that several June 2014 updates were added to the patch repository, so I applied them to a host but the host was still running the old 5.5.0.58-1OEM driver.

    Does anyone know if HP drivers are supposed to be updated via Update Manager? Or do we have to apply them in a one-off fashion like this one?

    I now see that there’s a second xml file in the vibsdepot called hpq-index-drv.xml; do we need to add that as a download source in Update Manager to keep up-to-date with the current HP drivers?

    Any help is appreciated!

  3. Hi,

    Can a diskless ESXi still encounter this issue?
    If the SmartArray is on board and is loaded on boot (even without disks), it can cause an issue. Does it?