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Using Serial ATA Raid on an Intel S875WP1-E motherboard

Posted on 2005-03-23
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I have a server with an Intel S875WP1-E motherboard which features an integrated Promise PDC-20319 serial ATA RAID controller. My aim is to achieve a degree of fault tolerance so I have opted for using 2 drives in a RAID 1 array. Everything seems to have been set up OK. I have created my array, installed Windows 2003 and had a go at simulating a failure by removing the power from one of the drives.

It's early days yet but I'm fairly sure my system will be able to cope with the failure of one of the drives.

But I'm a paranoid kind of guy so I got to thinking what will happen if my motherboard (and therefore my integrated raid controller) fails. If I replace the motherboard, will it recognise my RAID 1 array or will I have lost everything? If so, can anyone recommend an alternative setup which will prevent data loss in the event of either hard drive or motherboard failure.

Hope you can help,

Cheers

Andy
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Question by:metamatic
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4 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 13612261
A replacement motherboard should recognize the RAID array.  However, it is possible that this motherboard may no longer be manufactured or sold in the future.  A more fault-tolerant solution is to get two PCI RAID controllers and keep one as a spare.  If the card ever becomes scarce, you have time to backup and move to another controller.
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Author Comment

by:metamatic
ID: 13612483
I was actually considering purchasing another of these boards and building up a replica machine. By your logic, therefore, in the event of the main system failing I should be able to simply remove the hard drives (assuming they haven't failed too!) and put them in the replica machine and the identical on board RIAD controller will recognise them.

Do you know if it will do this automatically and boot me straight into Windows or will there be a bit of reconfiguration to do? I've got to admit, I don't really know much about how RAID works. For example, is the configuration data for the array held on the hard drives or within the RAID controller? If its within the RAID controller the surely everything would be lost when the old system fails?
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Callandor earned 2000 total points
ID: 13612676
If you replace the motherboard with an identical one, all you should need to do is configure the RAID setup the same and it will boot.

Server-class RAID cards are a little different and some keep the information on the card.  Motherboard RAID is much simpler and doesn't store anything on the motherboard.
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Author Comment

by:metamatic
ID: 13647222
Spot on. I'd actually emailed this query to intel and they told me exactly the same thing.
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