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Raid management question

Posted on 2006-07-10
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Last Modified: 2013-12-03
Our company has about a dozen Dell servers with an assortment of raid configurations:

    9 software raid configurations (yes, I know this isn't as good as h/w - it's a work in progress)
    3 Dell raid cards (PERC 4/DI) that came with the systems
    1 LSI Logic 150-4 raid card
    1 Adaptec SATA II 1420SA raid card

Only the Adaptec card seems to have the software that will email me if a drive goes out, but it only handles the Adaptec card.  I need this same functionality with ALL of our raid setups.  I looked at Dell's OpenManage, but I don't think it covers software raid or other hardware.  Is there a software package that will do this for all of our systems?

gary
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Question by:garystark
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by:knoxzoo
ID: 17075227
You didn't say what NOS you're using, so...

One solution might be http://forums.serverwatch.com/archive/index.php/t-16074.html 

Another, http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/Software-RAID-HOWTO-6.html
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by:arnold
ID: 17076228
Dell have the openmanage that can be configured to do what you are looking for.  Their software however might not work in cooperation with some of the raid cards you referenced.
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by:garystark
ID: 17076650
knoxzoo:  I want something more high level than just "go check the event log".  I'm not interested in reverse engineering error codes.  I want something exactly like Adaptec's Storage Manager, but more general purpose (not just Adaptec cards).  I would think there are enough raid cards in the world that someone must have such a tool.

arnold:  As I noted in my initial post, I looked at Dell's OpenManage, but it doen't seem to handle other raid cards or software raid.  If that's not the case, let me know.  Ironically I believe the Dell raid card is made by Adaptec, but I couldn't get OpenMangage to see my Adaptec card.

Still looking...(and I increased the point value)

gary
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knoxzoo earned 250 total points
ID: 17076857
To my knowledge, there isn't a standard error return code set for RAID controllers, meaning you'd have to have driver interfaces for such a program for each brand and model of card on the market.  Several manufacturers standardize across their product lines, but that still leaves a lot of individual cards to add to the mix.  Toss in the various modes and models of software RAID, and you'd have one heckuva mess to try to program into something reliably functional.

It's entirely possible that I'm wrong and someone has written one, but I've never seen or heard tell of it.
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by:garystark
ID: 17077118
knoxzoo:  If there isn't a standard error return code for raid controllers (which I can believe), your initial link to an event log monitoring software isn't going to do me much good.  So maybe you're right in that nobody has written a universal raid manager.  That leaves me with partial solutions...

The LSI card doesn't include software to alert me.  I'll trash it and install an Adaptec card instead.

The Adaptec card comes with their "Adaptec Storage Manager", which does exactly what I want but *only* with Adaptec cards.  So I suppose it's one of my solutions.

Hopefully I can manage the Dell Perc 4/DI cards with their OpenManage program (God I hate working with Dell these days).

But what about the Microsoft software raid?  Even though software raid is inneficient, this must be the most common raid on the planet.  Surely someone has an app to help me here that does more than just blindly email me event log records.  Anybody?

btw, my OS is Win2k3.

gary
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by:knoxzoo
ID: 17077647
I read somewhere that http://www.liquidmirror.com/alwayswatching.asp can do it, but I don't see it listed as a product feature.

HDD Health is kind of a sad sack way of doing it, but...  http://www.panterasoft.com/

That's all I can think of at the moment.  I'll let you know if anything else springs to mind.
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by:arnold
ID: 17077819
You need to first determine whether the various cards you have register the event of a drive failure and what options they offer.  Each device might have its own functionality an option such that you can designate an action should an event occur.

Standardizing your systems to use a common architecture would be a good approach.
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by:Duncan Meyers
ID: 17077974
arnold is correct - Dell's OpenManage Server Adninistrator will e-mail you. You need to install OpenManage Array Manager and OpenManage Server Administrator on each of the servers. YOu can then  configure Server Adnministrator to e-mail you in the event of a hardware failure. You could also install just the Server Administrator Agent on each server and set up a "master" Server Administrator box to monitor the other systems and look after e-mailing on an event.
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