[CentOS] Hardware Raid cards RAID 0 / 1

Wed Jul 12 19:37:24 UTC 2006
Chris Heiner <cheiner at networkdesignsinc.net>

Thank you for the complete reply.

I did exactly what you suggested already. I went out and bought a cheap SIIG
Serial ATA PCI (32 bit) card to get the OS installed. Unfortunately there
seemed to be some sort of power issue (black cord from AIC to back plane)
associated with the AIC8130 and the back plane (hot swappable). When I
removed the AIC I could not access the CDROM to boot Centos, I am sure I
could have found an USB external CDROM or something. But it we were so short
on time and it was a Holiday weekend (4th of July).

Your right about the Fake Raid as Windows doesn't recognize the RAID at all.
It just sees one drive and no RAID management Software either.

I will get 3ware in the feature and just hope that a future release of
Centos will have better driver support for SATA.

Thank again.

-----Original Message-----
From: centos-bounces at centos.org [mailto:centos-bounces at centos.org] On Behalf
Of Aleksandar Milivojevic
Sent: Tuesday, July 11, 2006 8:33 PM
To: CentOS mailing list
Subject: Re: [CentOS] Hardware Raid cards RAID 0 / 1

Chris Heiner wrote:
> We are very familiar with Adaptec as their headquarters are here in
> California and we used them exclusively back in our Novell / NT / SCSI
> Showing my age.
> The Marvell Sata is actually an AIC 8130, I wasn't aware of it until I did

Ah, now I know exactly what you have.  First of all, you do not have 
RAID card.  It's just fake-RAID thing in BIOS that makes you think you 
got a RAID card, but in reality it is just an ordinary plain SATA 
controller and the RAID stuff is done in software by device driver. 
Exactly the same as using plain SATA controller in Linux and configuring 
software RAID using md meta devices.  I remember having one of those in 
some SuperMicro servers.

Currently there's no device driver for Marvell chipset in CentOS kernel. 
  Apprently there is some support for those (sata_mv driver) in latest 
and greatest vanilla kernels (visit www.kernel.org).  When it becomes 
stable, it'll probably be backported to RHEL4 and therefore CentOS.

You have several options until than.  You could try compiling and using 
latest kernel from kernel.org.  Or you could spend couple of dollars and 
buy some cheap (but supported) SATA controller (AIC 8130 is not an RAID 
controller at all, it's a fake, so you are not loosing anything by going 
that route, simply configure good old Linux software RAID if you need 
mirroring or something like that).

If you really want/need real hardware RAID thing, you'd need to buy 
3ware or Adaptec (watch out, unlike 3ware, not all Adaptecs are real 
hardware stuff, some of them are fake-RAID).  Trust me, that Windows 
thing you installed on the box is just running on top of software RAID. 
  It's conveniently hidden from you by BIOS and by device driver, but 
that is what in reality it is.

You can also check if the motherboard has another SATA controller on it. 
  For example, the SuperMicros that I had came with hard drive bays 
wired to 4-port Marvell controller (AIC-8130).  However, there were also 
two additional ports on the motherboard controlled by Intel's SATA 
controller (integrated into chipset).  Since I had only two drives 
anyhow, I just moved the cables to the Intel's ports.  Since most 
chipsets nowdays have integrated SATA contoller, there's good chance you 
already have SATA controller supported by CentOS kernel in the box. 
It's only the question if HP bothered to solder the connectors for that 
controller onto motherboard (SuperMicro did).  If there are connectors 
for the integrated SATA controller, simply move the cables to them.

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