RAID monitor

Hello Experts

One of my clients recently had a RAID failure.  We discovered it in time to lose a second drive, and thus the entire system.  I happened to be in front of the server for another issue and noticed the message on the front of the machine.  I ordered the replacement drive, but before we could make the replacement, the second drive failed.

I really need a RAID monitor.  One that will alert me via email when there is a problem.

Any suggestions?

Thanks

thedslguy
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thedslguyComputer and Network ConsultantAsked:
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Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software EngineerCommented:
Every RAID controller manufacturer I've seen (except "budget" grade on-the-motherboard ones) includes several different kinds of alerting in their RAID support software.  That software comes bundled with the controller and it should also be available from the controller manufacturer's web site.

If the controller in question doesn't have monitoring software, or it doesn't offer alerting features ... get a different RAID controller that does.

Few ordinary commercial RAID controllers cost more than $500.  That is a pittance compared to the cost of lost IT support time, lost customer satisfaction and lost data.

And always, always have at least two cold spare drives on the shelf, pre-tested for usability in the RAID controller, ready for insertion.
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DavidPresidentCommented:
First, excuse me while I get on soapbox.

The problem is not a lack of a monitor.  The problem is that you didn't already have a hot spare plugged in, and that potentially the disks your client is are not enterprise class 24x7 drives with proper firmware.

Had there been a hot spare then there would be less urgency.  So before you advise your client on software, which is going to be a free download on the RAID controller's site.   If there isn't one, then nobody will have one, because it isn't worth the effort.  The controllers are all vendor-product specific code and cost way too much money to maintain.

So off the soapbox ..
If you have a decent controller, one is going to be at the manufacturer's site (if running Windows).   If you are running LINUX then there are native monitors for the O/S on many.  

What is exact make/model of controller and what O/S.    I have no doubt that you will get a more specific answer if you include more details
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thedslguyComputer and Network ConsultantAuthor Commented:
Dr. Klahn:

The server is a Dell Power Edge R720.  The Raid Controller is a PERC H710 Mini.

I checked with our vendor and htey won't offer any assistance (out of their scope (??) even though we pay quite a bit per mointh for their "Maintenance" plan.  I'll check with Dell to see how to set up monitoring.



David:

I quite agree a spare onsite is appropriate and I have already done that.  I'm looking for something that will alert me when there is an issue.  The server is in a cabinet and not physically observed regularly.  As I said above, I'll check with Dell Support about how to set up monitoring.




I'll keep the case open in case Dell support not my favorite experience) is lacking.  And I'll report the results once I have them.

tdg
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JohnCommented:
You can use powershell to send an email based upon eventlogs.  

I don't do much with Dell, but with HP, you get event when a disk is 'predicted fail' as well as when it has failed.  

Here's a starting point

https://www.ryadel.com/en/event-viewer-send-notification-e-mail-messages-with-powershell/
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DavidPresidentCommented:
Dell has downloads for such things at the support.dell.com site, give it the hardware ID for that system and you will see the various array manager files.  While you are there, be sure to update firmware & drivers AND READ RELEASE NOTES.

Reason is that you have to update firmware/drivers in certain order depending on the O/S, driver version and firmware you are currently running.

Broadcom now owns the company that makes the controller.  so go to broadcom.com and look for the MegaRAID monitoring software.  DO NOT USE THEIR (BROADCOM) DRIVERS/FIRMWARE.
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AlanConsultantCommented:
Hi,

I did just run in to one possible issue with a new client - they have installed the free version of Hyper-V standalone (Server 2008R2 version).

I haven't gotten so far as working through this myself to be able to document the steps to take, but there might be an issue with getting the VMs to shutdown gracefully if the hypervisor cannot be controlled as a domain joined machine.

Just something to watch out for, but I am hopeful I can work it out.  Worst case, I might have to install a VM that is there purely to receive the shutdown signal, and close down the other VMs so at least they will be 'protected' (as far as possible) if the battery runs out.

If I get it worked out before you close this question, I will post back here.  If I can't, I'll post my own question!


Alan.
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andyalderSaggar maker's framemakerCommented:
Did you get this sorted? All you have to do is install OMSA, there is a version for each OS. If you use OpenManage Essentials it  can email you (far better than using Powershell to monitor the event log).
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thedslguyComputer and Network ConsultantAuthor Commented:
Hello Experts

Much to my dismay, I no longer work for that client, so this is no longer an issue for me.

I'll split the points among all of you.

Thanks

thedslguy
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thedslguyComputer and Network ConsultantAuthor Commented:
Well, I THOUGHT I was going to split the points.  But it seems E-E has changed things up.  I don't see how to split points.  It only allows me to choose one answer.

I'm going to leave it open and wait for a monitor to summon me.

tdg
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AlanConsultantCommented:
Hi thedslguy,

If you post here what split you want, it will help, either a mod or one of us can then close it when it times out.

Thanks,

Alan.
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thedslguyComputer and Network ConsultantAuthor Commented:
Well, it seems that EE changed things and now I can offer points to all contributors.

Thank you all for you posts.

thedslguy
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