Hard to find HP tools: The Offline Array Configuration Utility (ACU)

If you have ever looked for a solution to a specific problem or the download page for a certain tool on www.hp.com then you probably know: Searching (and finding) something is a pain on these pages, and the more desperate you need it the longer it will take you ...
So maybe I will even make a series of "Hard to find HP tools" posts. Anyway I will start with the Offline ACU tool today.

So, what do you need this tool for? I had this challenge before and I reminded that when I came across this VMware Community forums post: Imagine you have an HP based ESXi host with VMs running on local disks attached to a Smart Array RAID Controller. You have run out of disk space and decide to add an additional hard disk to the server. Instead of creating a new (unprotected) RAID volume on this single disk you prefer to expand an existing RAID volume with it. This will give you more disk space and keep the current RAID protection level. How do you do that?
No problem, if you had Windows (or Linux) running directly on the box, because HP made available the Array Configuration Utility (ACU) for these operating systems. It will allow you to do the RAID expansion online while the OS is running. However, for ESXi this tool is not available as an online version.

Update (2013-06-04): Please note that HP also made available hpacucli for ESXi meanwhile. It is included in the HP Offline Bundles and their customized installation images. See this post and my HP&VMware links page.

You can still This is why you need to use the Offline ACU tool. This is just a bootable CD with Linux and the Linux ACU tool on it. So, you need to schedule a downtime for the host (and the VMs running on it) and reboot with that CD to make the required changes to your RAID volumes. Not online, but better than nothing ...

You can find the download link to the current version of the HP ProLiant Offline Array Configuration Utility on my HP & VMware links page (in the General section).

Once you have successfully expanded your RAID volume (and booted into ESXi again) you just need to do the same with the VMFS datastore that resides on it. Please note that since vSphere 4.0 you can grow a VMFS datastore online, and you do not need to use VMFS extents. Choose "Increase..." from the datastore's properties menu:


  1. Thanks, I just realized that I can't adjust the array from BIOS and this post was most helpful.

  2. This is has been a great help. ESXi 5.1 on HP Server with HP P812 controller and I have to reboot to manage storage? This feels like a flashback to Novell Netware-286 in the 80's.

    Many thanks...


    1. Not in 2013 ... Meanwhile there is a tool available to do this online. I will update this post ...


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