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HPE MSA 2050 SAN Storage - Installing and Using the HPE MSA VDS Hardware Provider

Installing and using the HPE MSA VDS hardware provider

NOTE: This guide provides descriptions of hardware providers relative to multiple versions of released HPE MSA hardware and firmware. Please note that for VL100 and newer, VDS and linear storage are not supported.

This section describes how to install the HPE MSA VSS Hardware Provider.

NOTE: In a cluster environment the HPE MSA VSS Hardware Provider cannot be installed unless a Microsoft Distributed Transaction Coordinator (MS DTC) cluster resource is configured. If the host part of a cluster and MSDTC is not running, installation will fail.
  1. Double-click the downloaded hardware provider file to launch the installation.

  2. Press the Install button.

  3. Follow the onscreen prompts to install the software.

    The provider is installed in FC or iSCSI subdirectories of:

    C:\Program Files\HPE\Hardware Providers\MSA\VDS

    If a previous version of an HPE VDS Hardware Provider is already installed, a message tells that the software is installed, but not up to date.

    NOTE: Over writing an existing HPE MSA Hardware Provider will not over write previously installed hardware providers used with earlier storage systems.
  4. To verify the installation, run the Disk RAID list providers sub command as shown below, and make sure that the HPE MSA VDS Hardware Provider or HPE MSA iSCSI VDS Provider is displayed in the list of providers. Disk RAID is a command-line utility from Microsoft that enables to configure and manage storage after the hardware provider is installed.

    Microsoft Disk RAID version 5.2.3790
    Copyright (c) 2003 Microsoft Corporation
    DISKRAID> list providers
    Prov ### Name Version Type
    ------------- --------------------------------------- ----------- ---------
    Prov X HPE MSA VDS Provider 3.7.x.x FC
    Prov X HPE MSA iSCSI VDS Provider 3.7.x.x iSCSI

  5. If the hardware provider does not appear in the list of providers, reboot the host to reinitialize the VDS subsystem. Once the CAPI Proxy and the VDS Provider are installed, no further configuration is necessary


Supported Microsoft Disk RAID commands

This section contains a list of supported Microsoft Disk RAID commands.


    Creates a disk group or creates a linear volume in an existing disk group. An existing disk group is used if it has enough free space to satisfy I the request. Installing and using the HPE MSA VDS Hardware Provider the request.

    <TYPE> can be SIMPLE, STRIPE, MIRROR, RAID (NRAID or RAID 0, RAID 1, 5, 6, 10, or 50). STRIPESIZE is ignored.

  • DELETE LUN – Deletes a volume on an existing disk group. If the volume is the last one in the disk group, the disk group itself is also deleted (linear only).

  • DETAIL – Displays the detailed information of the specified device.

  • EXTEND LUN SIZE= <N> - Increases the size of the volume by the specified value.

  • EXTEND LUN DRIVES= <N>,<N>[,.] - Adds drives to the disk group on which the volume resides. To extend the LUN’s size, after the add drive operation is finished, use the EXTEND LUN SIZE= <N> operation.

NOTE: Disk group expansion cannot be stopped and can take days to complete, depending on drive type, RAID level, and other factors. Use the SMU to view information about the disk group size and the expansion’s progress (vdisk - name, View, Overview)
  • LBPOLICY – Sets the load balance policy, weight, and primary path of the LUN.

  • LIST – Lists the provider, subsystem, controller, port, drive, and LUN.

  • MAINTENANCE DRIVE BLINK [COUNT=<N>] – Blinks the selected drive’s LED.

  • NAME SUBSYSTEM – Changes the subsystem name.

  • NAME LUN – Changes the volume’s name.

  • REENUMERATE – Determines that a new system has been added.

  • REFRESH – Refreshes the subsystem.

  • SELECT – Selects the provider, subsystem, controller, port, drive, and LUN.

  • SETFLAG – Assigns/un assigns the global spare disk drive.

  • UNMASK – Creates or deletes the normal map or filter map.


  • Changes made to the storage system configuration by the SMU may not be visible to VDS clients until the REFRESH PROVIDER command (or equivalent operation in other clients) is used to refresh the VDS Hardware Provider's internal database.
  • After a LUN is assigned to the host, may need to execute a rescan operation in Device Manager to view the paths for the LUN in some commands, such as DETAIL LUN.


LUN 0 mapping

For best performance, avoid mapping any storage system volumes to the host using LUN number 0, which is used by the VDS/VSS Hardware Providers to monitor and manage the system. The VDS and VSS Hardware Providers automatically assign LUN numbers starting at LUN 1, but if user have manually mapped LUNs to the host using LUN number 0, the VDS/VSS Providers have to compete with I/O traffic and this may cause commands to run more slowly or time out.


Modifying the Microsoft windows server default SAN policy for newly discovered disks

When a disk is newly discovered on a Windows Server 2016 or Windows Server 2012 server, it may show up as either online or offline, and may be read-write or read-only. This is influenced by the mapping of the volume.

User can modify the SAN policy to change the access level using the DISKPART san policy command in Windows Server2008 and later. On Windows Server 2008 Enterprise, Windows Server 2008 Data centre and Windows Server 2012, the default SAN policy is VDS_SP_OFFLINE_SHARED. On all other Windows Server 2008 editions, the default SAN policy is VDS_SP_ONLINE.

All newly discovered disks are brought online and made read-write.
All newly discovered disks that do not reside on a shared bus are brought online and made read-write.
All newly discovered disks remain offline and read-only.

For more information, refer to Microsoft’s MSDN Library discussion of VDS SAN Policy Enumeration:

It includes this description of how the SAN policy works.

The SAN policy determines whether a newly discovered disk is brought online or remains offline, and whether it is made read/write or remains read-only. When a disk is offline, the disk layout can be read, but no volume devices are surfaced through Plug and Play (PnP). This means that no file system can be mounted on the disk. When a disk is online, one or more volume devices are installed for the disk.

Newly discovered disks that are read-only due to the SAN policy are generally also offline. If user place them online, the SAN policy impact is removed. If the newly discovered disks continue to be read-only, it is due to some other reason, such as the mapping of the disk / LUN on the system.



This section contains troubleshooting information for the MSA VDS Hardware Provider.

Disk RAID exits abnormally.
Halt and automatically restart the VDS service using this command:
If the problem persists, use Task Manager to terminate thedllhost.exe process that hosts the VDS provider. If more than onedllhost.exe process is running, use the Microsoft Sys internals Process Explorer utility to determine which one is hosting the VDS provider.
In the Process Explorer main window, hover the cursor over the process name for each dllhost.exe process and look for one which displays a description containing capihwprv.dll. If user find a match, right-click on the process name and select Kill Process to terminate the process.
An application error in the Windows event log states:
ssproxy requires that the HBA can
handle 256-Kbyte transfers. You might
need to set the Maximum SG List to a value
of 65 or higher if using a SCSI Port
See the alternative descriptions for assigning the large_io setting
The MSA CAPI Proxy requires the maximum data for the CAPI command to be 256 Kbyte. This does not apply to Stor port HBA drivers. For SCSI port HBA drivers, create a Maximum SG List registry entry if it does not already exist and set it to a value of 65 or higher, if it has not already been set 1.
NOTE: The SCSI port host-bus adapter driver has been removed in Windows Server 2012. Instead, use either a Stor port driver or a different host-bus adapter.
To set the registry for Qlogic cards using the SCSI port driver, double-click qla2300.reg in the CAPI Proxy’s installation directory, such as: C:\Program Files\HPE\Hardware Providers\MSA\VSS\qla2300.reg.
To set the registry for Qlogic cards using the SCSI port driver, double-click qla2300.reg in the CAPI Proxy’s installation directory, such as:
C:\Program Files\HPE\Hardware Providers\MSA\VSS\qla2300.reg.
Cannot view paths for the LUN in some commands.
After a LUN is assigned to the host, user might need to execute are scan operation in Device Manager to view the paths for the LUN in some commands, such as detail lun.
When uninstalling the CAPI Proxy, the following message is displayed:
ssproxy3.exe cannot be removed
The CAPI Proxy is automatically stopped during the uninstall process. If the CAPI Proxy is not stopped for some reason, manually stop it by running the following command:
task kill /F /IM ssproxy3.exe /T
User can also stop ssproxy3.exe by using the Task Manager. After stopping the process manually, choose “Retry” to removessproxy3.exe.
A LUN appears with a capacity of 0KB
If a disk group exists in the storage system, and no volumes are allocated from it, the VDS Hardware provider will present the disk group to the VDS subsystem as a LUN with 0 KB of capacity. Normally, the VDS Provider will automatically delete a disk group when the last volume on the disk group is removed, but this might not happen if the last volume was removed using the SMU or CLI interfaces, or while a long-running operation such as a rebuild was in progress. The 0KB pseudo-LUN allows the VDS sub system to report the disk group's name, status, and disk configuration, and allows the disk group to be deleted by VDS clients if desired. Alternately, if a new LUN is created on the disk group, either using a VDS client or the embedded user interfaces, the 0KB pseudo-LUN will disappear.
Disk RAID “LBPOLICY” command fails with error0x80041008
Setting the MPIO load balance policy to WEIGHTED PATHS via the VDS API may fail. As a workaround, use the MPIO tab in the Device Manager.
The Microsoft Windows 2008 Detail pool command output, Pool Attributes > “Thin provisioned” section displays as “False” for virtual pools.
This is only a display issue and can be ignored, Disk RAID in Windows Server 2008 R2 reports a status of False when the status is actually True.
Disk RAID in Windows Server 2012 reports the status correctly. This is a defect in the Microsoft Disk RAID client in Windows Server 2008 R2 that is unlikely to be fixed as Windows Server 2008 is no longer supported by Microsoft.


Uninstalling the HPE MSA VDS hardware provider or HPE MSA iSCSI VDS provider

To uninstall a hardware provider, perform the following steps.

  1. Choose Start, Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs or Start, Control Panel, Programs and Features.

  2. Depending on which version user are uninstalling, choose HPE MSA VDS Provider or HPE MSA iSCSI VDS Provider and click Change/Remove.

  3. Respond appropriately to the prompts.

  4. User can also select the HPE MSA CAPI Proxy from the Add Remove Programs list if there is no need to enable either the VDS or VSS hardware provider.

    Doing so will uninstall the program, which is a prerequisite for enabling either the VDS or VSS hardware provider.


Legal Disclaimer: Products sold prior to the November 1, 2015 separation of Hewlett-Packard Company into Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company and HP Inc. may have older product names and model numbers that differ from current models.

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Document title: HPE MSA 2050 Storage - Installing and using the HPE MSA VDS Hardware Provider
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