RAID is nothing but Redundant Array of Independent Disks. Its a technology which gives fault tolerance and reliability through redundancy. In a RAID, multiple hard disk drive are combined to one logical drive hence data is distributed across multiple hard drives. Hardware RAID is one of the basic function you will expect from any Server. Most of the HP Servers are shipped with HP Smart Array Controller which allows you to configure different RAID levels on your Server. If you need to setup RAID on your Server, you need to use a utility which enable you to do it. HP Array configuration Utility is one of the HP utility which helps you to configure RAID on your Server. ACU provides easy to use graphics user interface which will allow you to configure/change RAID levels of your HP Server.
You need to ensure that you create a Hardware RAID on your Server using HP ACU or ORCA before you try installing any OS on your Server. If you wish to know how to install Windows OS using SmartStart CD, consider reading our step by step guide at:
Let us come back to ACU now. ACU works only with HP Smart Array controllers. It will not work with entry level Embedded SATA controller installed on your HP Server. ACU helps you to Create an array, Create a logical drive, Delete logical drives, Delete array, Expand an array, Extend an array, Migrate Raid level of the array and Spare drive management.
HP Array configuration Utility (ACU) is available in both Online and Offline version. You can launch this application within Windows OS. But if you are installing OS for the first time, then you need to configure RAID using Offline ACU or using ORCA. ACU is tool available in HP SmartStart CD and you can launch it by booting to SmartStart CD.
In this post, we are sharing how to configure RAID on your Server using ACU (Offline). We will boot the server from SmartStart CD, then need to launch the ACU. Lets do it!
Configure RAID using HP Array configuration Utility (ACU):
1. Boot the server using HP SmartStart CD (this might take some time!) 2. Select language as English (US), keyboard layout as US English and click Next button 3. Accept HP End User License Agreement by clicking Agree button. 4. Now you will be at the Main Page of HP SmartStart CD.
Note: If there is no Logical Drive is present on your server, then the SmartStart CD home page will look the one provided below. Both Install and Run Saved Installation option will be unavailable as there is no Logical drives defined. You can create a logical drive using HP ACU now.
5. Click on Maintenance from the main page of HP SmartStart CD
6. Click on HP Array Configuration and Diagnostics from the Maintenance Option.
7. HP Array Configuration Utility (ACU) will open now.
8. Select the HP Smart Array Controller from the list.
Note: If there are multiple Storage controllers available, select the right controller from the list. Example of Array Controllers are HP Smart Array E200 Controller, HP Smart Array P400 Controller etc
9. Now the main HP Array Configuration window will open.
10. You could find the available Hard Drives in the list in the left pane of the window.
11. Click on Create Array
12. The Screen will like the one provided below.
Note: In our case, we only have 1 Hard drive connected to the Server. Hence you will find only one hard drive listed.
13. Select the Hard Drives from the list and click OK. The Array will be created.
14. Now we need to create a logical drive.
15. Click on Create Logical Drive.
16. Select the RAID level (Fault Tolerance), also ensure that Array Accelerator is Enabled.
17. Click on Save button to create the logical drive.
Note: As we have only one HDD, the only available RAID level is RAID 0, if we had 2 HDD, then we will get the RAID 1 option as well. If 3 HDDs are installed, then you will find RAID 5 listed in this window.
18. Success, now you have created RAID 0 logical drive.
19. Click on Exit ACU button to exit ACU.
Note: I also wrote following articles (and more) related to ACU and RAID, please check as it will help you further:
- Guide: How to find HP Hard drive Backplane Firmware Version
- Guide: How to migrate RAID on your HP Server
In Windows you can launch ACU by Clicking Start –> Programs ->HP System Tools –> HP Array Configuration Utility. ACU also allows you to expand, extend and migrate RAID levels on your Server. Please check this blog to find more articles
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