Installing Centos 0S 5.5 64 bit on a New HP 360 G7

I just opened the box to my bran new HP 360 G7 server that has 2x 500 GIG SAS drives.
I am getting ready to install the os but not sure if I have to do anything to configure my RAID.

I want RAID 1

Could someone please let me know if there is anything I have to do for this or can I just pop the centos os disk in and start installing also
how should I partation 500 gig's considering that I also want DRBD on this system

Its a web email and mysql server
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Kerem ERSOYConnect With a Mentor PresidentCommented:

It depends how would you like to configure the RAID. If you want to configure the RAID through the RAID Adapter BIOS then you'll need to boot system and create a RAID volume through RAID BIOS which is available during the boot.

You did not mention what kind of RAID adapter you have. If you don't have any battery backed up "Smart" series RAID controller I'll suggest you not to use the RIAD over the system and go for the default software RAID which is built into CentOS.

In this case all you would do is to pop in the CentOS CD and reboot from the CD. Disk Partitioning is also very straight through during the setup.  There's one option "Display and modify partitioning" if you check it you can modify the default partition sizes.

The default scheme what  CentOS creates is a boot partition of 100 MB and assigns the rest of the drive for the  default VolumeGroup. which contains the root partition and swap partition ( equal to the size of memory).  I don't think DRBD would require any special partition and you can simply install it with the default Scheme.

sobeservices2Author Commented:
I have an HP 360 G7

Not sure if it has a battery backup Raid controller is a Smart Array P410
sobeservices2Author Commented:
What do you mean by this

"If you don't have any battery backed up "Smart""

Are you referring to an up's battery backup like an APC?

Or an internal battery that would go into the server?
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arnoldConnect With a Mentor Commented:
DRBD has to have at least two partitions and depend on the size of the data that you will be replicating using DRBD.

I'd difer with KeremE dealing with the HW RAID with or without a bettery is preferred than using the software RAID.

Without the battery make sure you use the write through policy versus the write back.
The replacement of a failed drive with HW raid is simpler as compared to the software raid depending on how you assembled the software raids i.e. two large ones 1raid 1 for the /boot and the rest for the volume group or you had multiple.

use to boot the system configure the RAID and then select the OS you want installed.
sobeservices2Author Commented:
Ok here is my read out

Drive /dev/cciss/c0d0 (476906 MB ) Model: Compaq Smart Array
476804 MB

LVM Volume Groups

                  LogVol00                             /                               ext3            468832
Hard Drives
           /dev/cciss/c0d0p1                      /boot                        ext3              101                  1          13
           /dev/cciss/c0d0p2                     VolGroup00               LVM PV           476804            14           60797
sobeservices2Author Commented:
I tried BOOT disk but it was only giving me options of Windows to install but I don't want windows so I stopped.

Couldn't find in bio's where to configure it?
Kerem ERSOYConnect With a Mentor PresidentCommented:
I concur with Software RAID:
- If this is not a real battery backup  (and hashing chip) it is a Software RAID in essence and there's no performance gain  in using this.
- Furthermore if this system goes out of order you can even move the disks to a generic PC and you can continue your operations. But if you2re using the HP-RAID then you'll need an identical system to run it. Or you'll need a  full backup to restore your system on a different system. (Even the identical system without RAID configuration)

If this is a real RAID adapter with performance gain this is a risk to be taken but I see no point in making the system totally dependent on a specific hardware when you're not benefiting the extra but creating a single point of failure..
Kerem ERSOYPresidentCommented:
It is not in Sytem BIOS but it is displayed during the BOOT sequence.. It most be printing the Smart Array type during the boot sequence too..
sobeservices2Author Commented:
So a little confused here guys.

Can I use both hardware and software raid?
If I use software raid is there any performance issues?

Am I using raid right now and how can I tell?
arnoldConnect With a Mentor Commented:
You will be unnecessarily wasting resources and achieving nothing by overlaying a Hardware RAID with software RAID.
I.e. take two identical pieces of paper. line up one a top the other and than fold them into half this is the effect of HW RAID + SW RAID.

I am unaware that a SAS RAID controller will be seen similar to a SATA RAID controller (fakeraid software based) In which case I would agree with KeremE's that it is better to have some management capability within the OS versus dealing with the Controller BIOS to reestablish the volume when both drives are mistakenly kicked out of the array.

Based on the information you provided i.e. two 500GB SAS drives and the output of your partition table, you have HW raid (see caveat above compaq smart array) on in RAID1 (mirror).
You have a single volume /dev/cciss/c0d0 of 4xxGB
sobeservices2Author Commented:
So what you guys are recommending is software RAID?????
Will software RAID impact my performance?

Sorry a little slow but I think I am understand just want to make sure I am understanding correctly.
arnoldConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Yes, software RAID will have impact on performance based on the level of disk activity.
At this point, it seems that your HP smart controller is performing the RAID functions.
If you break up the HP smartarray raid and will implement a software raid, partitioning
might/should be considered to avoid having one run away log, database, user from making the system unresponsive when all space is exhausted.
sobeservices2Author Commented:
Thanks I guess what you're saying is if software RAID is used you can add to it much more easily then hardware raid right?

Not realy, your system is limited by the number of Hard drives you can attached to it or whether you will be using FC/iSCSI to make additional storage resources.
The HW raid offloads the synchronization of the data on DISK1 and disk2 to the controller. In software RAID, the read/writes and management of the synchronization of data accross the hard drives is done by and within the OS.
HW raid such as HP smartarray, etc. can have drives/volumes added on the fly. Using the HP tools on the Centos box will make the newly created volume available and would require that you perform partition/lvm etc. of the new volume depending on its use.
sobeservices2Author Commented:
ok thanks
sobeservices2Author Commented:
Thanks for the help learned alot today.

I did all this work 6 years ago and not sure what I did but I think this time I am taking everything in more carefully then before and researching my options. as to prevent costly mistakes later
Pluss 6 years ago I forgot How I even started LOL :)

Thanks everyone
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