Redhat Enterprise Linux RAID 1 - How to install a new Linux server on RAID 1

Posted on 2007-10-17
Last Modified: 2013-12-16
We have a new Intel server with hardware RAID (Intel RAID controller) and two x SATA II 350GB HDD.

Assuming I have configured the on-board hardware RAID controller to group the two disk as one volume. Next what are the steps to partition the HDD using Linux Disk Druid?

I used a trial and error approach and it gives me a lot of error message as I am not familiar with setting up RAID 1 filesystem for Linux. Can someone help provide the step and especially the mounting point  to setup RAID 1?

Many thanks.
Question by:mactus
    LVL 48

    Assisted Solution

    If you're using hardware RAID, then you don't need to worry about any RAID setups in Linux as it's invisible to the OS (although there are usually RAID utilities for Linux that allow you to view the RAID status from the OS).
    LVL 14

    Accepted Solution

    Tintin is absolutley right (to be precise, absolutely light :-P).  The only thing to add is that if you're on an intel server, many (many!) of these claim that they have hardware raid, but really what they have is hardware assisted software raid - meaning that you can configure it a bit in the hardware, but all of the work is off-loaded to the OS - its a cheap cop-out to say you offer RAID.  In this case you actually need to make sure you have the specific drivers for your raid card, or if it is common enough (not likely if you got a new board, more likely on a chipset that has been out a while) it might be in the kernel already.  If you don't, you very well may see two drives, get crazy errors, etc.  If you can't find the drivers, or even if you can, you should go with software raid in linux.  If you use linux's software raid then you'll have a lot more control over the raid array since you'll be able to monitor it from the OS (chances are intel doesn't have linux monitoring tools for their controller), and you'll have the same (if not better) performance since the card is a fake anyway.

    But, if you're lucky enough to have a real raid card on-board then you probably still need drivers, and monitoring tools for linux (you need to know when a drive dies!, etc) but it'll show up as 1 drive to the OS and you'll get the performance benefits of hardware raid.

    Author Comment

    Hmm... I think we got the el-cheapo hardware RAID because I checked the config on the two other Intel servers and the Linux RAID is configured as a Software RAID.

    When running Disk Druid, I can see two HDD. But I still need the steps to setup the server Software RAID at the Disk Druid phase. Thanks.
    LVL 5

    Assisted Solution

    mactus --
    Intel's software RAID solution is called Intel Matrix Storage.  One way to know that your system is configured to use it is when you boot, riht after the BIOS screen, you get a <CTRL-I> option to configure it.  If you hit CTRL-I, the screen that you see will say "Intel Matrix Storave..." at the top.

    While there are some linux drivers out there for Intel Matrix Storage, they're not meant for full-time linux use.  I.e. they don't support rebuilding (you'd have to dual-boot into Windows to rebuild).  There are some other things that the linux drivers don't support, but I don't remember everything else.


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