[CentOS] Installing on Abit BE7-RAID -- more FRAID (100% software)

Bryan J. Smith b.j.smith at ieee.org
Fri Sep 9 15:44:21 UTC 2005

Todd Cary <todd at aristesoftware.com> wrote:
> Byron -
> Thank you for taking the time to explain my onboard RAID
> configuration.  I use RAID 1 (mirrored) on my home office
> server(s).

I use RAID-1 and RAID-10, and RAID-5 on occassion.  I use
$125 3Ware Escalade 7006-2 (ATA) and 8006-2 (SATA) cards for
2-channel RAID-1, and various 8506-4/8/12 cards for RAID-10
and, limitedly, RAID-5.

I've even found pulls for under $50-75 at times.

> For background information, my job over the years is
> creating DB programs using Delphi for my client and some
> PHP Web sites.

Given the critical nature of your data, I would recommend
expending the small amount of money for 3Ware solutions.

> My client does the administration of about 75% of class
> action lawsuites.  As such, my experience is limited at the
> OS level; I just install it and then use the LAMP features
> as well as FTP.  This results in my feeling 
> like I am driving a one ton pickup alongside an 18 wheeler!

The great thing about 3Ware is that *0* additional
configuration is required.  At most you need to update your
firmare to the latest for the 7000/8000 series if it's not
already so.  The newer 9000 series even includes firmware as
part of the driver.

> Here is a link to HighPoints Web site and the support for
> my BE7-RAID 
> board: http://www.highpoint-tech.com/USA/bios_rr133.htm

Yep, there they are.

I see 2 sets of drivers:

- Binary-only, kernel-specific versions.  These are older
versions, let alone not updated for the latest kernels for
each.  I.e., they are largely installer driver disks, and
you'll have to do the next (source code) anytime you update
the kernel.

- Source code, there is 2 parts.  Part 1 is the "raw" ATA
channel/disk support available in source code form.  Part 2
is the "FRAID" logic and _binary_ only.  Part 2 might not
link against various kernel versions (let alone probably not
kernel 2.6, which CentOS 4.x is).

> Is there a way to install Centos 4.1 and bypass the RAID
> features of the motherboard; avoid getting the Panic?

The panic is caused by your kernel not understanding the disk
organization.  You have to _break_ the RAID organization
(typically done in the FRAID BIOS) _before_ installing.

But then you're no longer running redundant.  You can attempt
to get into the whole MD (any kernel) support, but it's
really a PITA IMHO.

For CentOS 4.1, you could leave the FRAID organization intact
and use the newer LVM2-MD FRAID meta-data support, but that's
also a PITA to setup.

Or you could save yourself a crapload of headaches and get a
3Ware card for $125 -- Escalade 7006-2 for ATA, 8006-2 for
SATA.  They are well worth the cost -- Windows or Linux.

Bryan J. Smith                | Sent from Yahoo Mail
mailto:b.j.smith at ieee.org     |  (please excuse any
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