[CentOS] CentOS 5.2 with IBM SERVERAID 6i

miguelmedalha at sapo.pt miguelmedalha at sapo.pt
Tue Nov 18 17:34:43 UTC 2008


I need to install CentOS 5.2 on a IBM Server xSeries 226, which comes  
with a IBM SERVERAID 6i RAID card. I think it is not a true hardware  
RAID card. I has, nevertheless, an interesting feature: 128MB of cache  
with battery backup.

I launched the CentOS boot DVD and CentOS correctly identified the  
card and the RAID 5 array as configured by the controller's BIOS.

My question now is: what would be the better way to implement RAID 5  
on this server? Should I use the detected array and respective driver  
or should I delete the array and go for Linus Software RAID?

If both solutions are in fact Software RAID, is there any particular  
reason to prefer one of the methods?

I know that Linux RAID will create a universal, more compatible array,  
readable on any Linux machine. But is there some other reason that  
makes it preferrable to use the SERVERAID driver provided by CentOS?  
Is it optimized in any way that recommends its use?

Will the controller still make use of its cache and battery backup if  
configured as a plain SCSI controller with Linux Software RAID?

I hope that some more experienced list member can ellucidate me on this.

Thank you!

PS - The machine is powered by a Intel P4 Xeon processor served by  
2.5GB of RAM. The disks are 3 IBM 10K rpm SCSI 320 with 73 GB each.


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