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How to monitor drive health for a HW RAID 1 Array under linux

Posted on 2004-09-25
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I recently setup a Linux server running RH9.  The server includes a SATA RAID controller.  I setup a RAID 1 array with two drives in the BIOS and I used 'linux dd' with an aarich driver disk to install the OS.  Everything seems to be working OK, but I would like to know if there is any way to monitor the health of the array.  For example, if one of the drives fail, how will I know that it failed.  I assume that the computer will continue to function normally (with the RAID array in degraded mode), but I would like to be notified by the machine that one of the drives has failed so that I can replace and rebuild the failed drive.  It would also be nice if the log contained enough information to tell me which of the two drives had failed.  Does anyone have any experience with this setup.  I have included a copy of the output I receive at boot time for the RAID controller.

scsi0 : Vendor: ADAPTEC  Model: AAR-ICHx  Version: 2.01.016
  Vendor: ADAPTEC   Model: RAID 1            Rev: 1.0
  Type:   Direct-Access                      ANSI SCSI revision: 00
Attached scsi disk sda at scsi0, channel 0, id 0, lun 0

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:ivyfranklin
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Expert Comment

by:jlevie
ID: 12153223
Check with Adaptec and see if they have any Linux tools for this. I know that there are Linux tools for some of the SCSI & IDE raid controllers than can  be used for RAID array monitoring and management.
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by:fulp02
ID: 12154321
Alright well this is quit simple but you can do it

make a cron job to run every morning before you come in

and in the script write this

mail  -s array_drive_status1 < fsck -t file_system      drive one location  such as /dev/sd0
mail  -s array_drive_status2 < fsck -t file_system      drive one location  such as /dev/sd1

it will check the file system for you and give you the report on the drives in the form of an email every morning
better then another process taking cpu time.
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by:jlevie
ID: 12155494
I don't believe this RAID controller will allow the system direct access to the drives. Only the RAID volume(s) will be accessible. To find out if the drives that comprise the RAID volume are healthy requires interrogating the RAID controller.
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by:ivyfranklin
ID: 12171442
So is there any way to iterrogate the controller without rebooting the system?
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by:jlevie
ID: 12171765
What model RAID controller is it?
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by:ivyfranklin
ID: 12176784
The motherboard is a Supermicro P4sCi (http://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboard/P4/E7210/P4SCi.cfm).  I believe the controller is an Adaptec ICH5-R / 6300ESB controller.
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by:jlevie
ID: 12180965
Hmm, the 6300ESB is an Intel SATA controller. And a search of Adaptec's site doesn't run up anything for ICH5-R or AAR-ICH. All of the Adaptec RAID products are ID'd with a four-five digit number (e.g., 2410SA, 21610SA, etc). So I don't know what you have.
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by:ivyfranklin
ID: 12182594
I think it is an Intel ICH5 controller, that uses Adaptec technology.  Perhaps the Intel chipset talks to an Adaptec RAID chip on the mother board.  Any more ideas?
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jlevie earned 500 total points
ID: 12183739
> Perhaps the Intel chipset talks to an Adaptec RAID chip on the mother board

Nope. That's purely a software RAID implemented by the aarich driver. It might have Adaptec technology in it (algorithms or code).

From what I can find about the aarich driver it doesn't look like there's any way of interrogating the driver as to the health of the volume. Interestingly, I did find a number of articles that suggested that Linux software RAID on SATA drives out performs any of the "winraid" drivers.
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by:ivyfranklin
ID: 12194565
ok thanks.  I am also looking into smartmontools to see if I can get any help there.
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