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How to monitor Server Raid harddisk health status on 2008 R2 server?

Posted on 2013-12-23
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Last Modified: 2014-01-13
In order to prepare for purchase new harddisk for replacement, i want to I want to monitor individual harddisk helath status in IBM Server X3650 M3 Raid 5.
But i can't find any S.M.A.R.T attributes information from the MegaRaid software.
Therefore, i tried install third party software (Arconis Disk Monitor, GSmartControl), but all failed to collect SMART data.

I am thinking should i need to enable SMART feactue from somewhere first?
Could someone tell me how can i do?
Thank you.

Environment:
Microsoft Server 2008 R2
MegaRaid.jpg
Arconis.jpg
GSmartControl.jpg
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Question by:dickchan
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by:dlethe
ID: 39737298
No, it isn't that .. the megaraid API is quite brutal to code with and requires a developer's NDA with LSI to obtain it.  Futhermore, the degree of difficulty is complicated because of the need to install some additional drivers.

Bottom line, writing S.M.A.R.T. code for this controller set is a big job and few vendors are going to make the effort.  Our company does some one-off products for the megaraid, but it isn't anything we offer to end-users for even just any megaRAID controller and drive, and it isn't cheap.

The IBM tivoli product set will do this.
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by:andyalder
ID: 39737509
Why do you want to monitor the S.M.A.R.T. data manually? The MegaRaid controller monitors it for you and MSM will report to you if the disk is out of spec if you setup alerts.
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dlethe earned 250 total points
ID: 39737888
There are many benefits to monitor these settings manually.  First and foremost it empowers you to understand if a HDD is in a degrading condition, but hasn't yet triggered the S.M.A.R.T. alert.    Consider if you already had a HDD failure, and one of the remaining disks is right on the threshold of triggering an alert. If that is the case, then one should prioritize backing up over a rebuild.

Or what if you simply want to see how many hours worth of cumulative usage each HDD has, or see if any registers are trending upwards so you have a predictive-predictive failure.  

We once had a customer who repositioned their servers at the top of some cheap wobbly racks and their performance dropped to a small fraction of what they had before.  Nothing was showing up in event logs, everything passed full diagnostics, yet performance was maybe 25% of what they were having in one system before the move.  By looking at the S.M.A.R.T. registers, we were able to determine root cause. Again, the drives were not triggering alerts, because there were no errors, just high number of retries.

It is like anything else, reading and understanding S.M.A.R.T. empowers the user to make informed decisions before a device triggers an alert.   Not having ability to acquire pre-failure data is like asking why do you want to have informational messages in event logs, because the system will give you a warning if there is something to worry about.
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by:andyalder
andyalder earned 250 total points
ID: 39739165
Since none of the server manufacturers offer the facility there is no real option but to rely on what they do provide.
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