Install HPE Management Components on CentOS

Last week I was tasked with expanding the raid array on some of our serveres running CentOS on a Hewlett Packard Enterprise ProLiant DL380 Gen9 platform. Here is what I have found.

As the CentOS was deployed from a custom vendor image, no HPE tools had been installed. In order to complete the task I had to install the Smart Storage Administrator (SSA) utility. Initially I opted for the CLI version, but since I’m not the only one who would be using it, it made sense to install the GUI version as well.

For this purpose, I had to install the System Management Homepage (SMH) as it is a prerequisite to accessing the SSA.

NOTE: SSA does not require SMH as it provides a “-local” feature that makes it accessable from the local system, provided that you have a GUI installed – if not or if you need access from the network, then you need to install SMH.

I have installed the SMH and SSA (also before it was called SSA) many times over the years, but only on windows for some reason (although I have done it on vmware as well), so this was the first time on a *nix system.

The procedure is actually very easy and in parts described in the user guide and HPE website, but I found a couple of “gotchas” that I thought validated a blog post.

As software and links change, this procedure is current and tested as of December 2017 with CentOS 7.3 and HPE Management Component Pack version 10.50

Installing the tools

On the HPE site, you can find tools for Windows and RHEL but for CentOS and other *nix distributions they link to their Software Delivery Repository.

On the page you will find the installation procedure – follow them and you are good to go.

Below I have described the procedure that have been testet and works. It also includes the steps required to enable check the code signing in order to verify the authenticity of the package, which is recommended in a production environment.

So lets get startet!

  1. Find your CentOS version (used to find the correct software)
    rpm --query centos-release
  2. Make a new repo file
    sudo vi /etc/yum.repos.d/mcp.repo
  3. Include the repository information in the file and change it accordingly (check with the HPE guide)
    [mcp]
    name=Management Component Pack
    baseurl=http://downloads.linux.hpe.com/repo/mcp/dist/dist_ver/arch/project_ver
    enabled=1
    gpgcheck=1

    Get the correct path by browsing the HPE repo here https://downloads.linux.hpe.com/SDR/repo/mcp/
    Choosing “current” as project_ver will always get you the latest packages.

  4. Import the HPE package signing keys
    rpm --import http://downloads.linux.hpe.com/SDR/hpPublicKey2048_key1.pub
    rpm --import http://downloads.linux.hpe.com/SDR/hpePublicKey2048_key1.pub
  5. Check that it’s working (List the packages included in the repo)
    yum --disablerepo="*" --enablerepo="mcp" list available
  6. Install the desired packages
    yum install <package>

It should be straight forward and you don’t have to be a *nix expert to do it (though basic knowledge of the VI editor is always good – or just google it)

For this specific task I installed hpsmh ssa ssacli ssaducli but you chose the packages needed for your project.

Configuring the System Management Homepage

Once we installed the packages, the SMH will automatically be started. By default it be listening to all IP’s but you can choose to bind it to a specific IP through the smhconfig tool if needed.

From the start the SMH will actually work and allow you to login using the root credentials of the OS.

Sometimes you don’t have access to the root account so you need to either include your own account to access the SMH or create a new limited account for this purpose (recommended).

If you opt-in for the latter, go ahead and create the new user (adduser) and assign a password (passwd).
By default the user will be member of a group by the same name, so now we just need to include that in the SMH configuration xml file – to do that we will use this command that will automatically update the file.

/opt/hp/hpsmh/sbin/smhconfig --admin-group="<group name>"

If you don’t want the users password to expire, remember to run the following command

passwd -x -1 <user name>

The System Management Homepage is set to start automatically with the network stack of the OS but we do have to open a port in the firewall (if it’s running) to allow traffic in.

Starting the Smart Storage Administrator UI

As described, the SSA will integrate in the SMH and allow access to controller configuration through the web.

In order to get the SSA up and running just execute the following command

ssa -start

Putting in the finishing touch

In order to get it all to work we just need to restart the smh daemon using this command:

/opt/hp/hpsmh/sbin/smhconfig --restart

Now you can access the System Management Homepage on https://<ip adress>:2381

Voila – you are done! Now go get that coffee 🙂

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