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Newbie builds a RAID system - Linux Setup, Configuration & Administration

Ingredients: Epox 8KTA3 mobo (with a Highpoint 370 on there) 4x Maxtor 40GB IDE RedHat 7.3 (the retail box; disks & books) One clueless total Linux newbie I'm trying to build a development server (Apache / Tomcat / MySQL) for video media, so I need a moderate amount of space and some moderate performance. I'm also likely to need to build "real" systems in the future, so hands-on RAID experience will be good. This system might be publically accessible (might be) for the odd demo, but it's not going to have any real numbers of users using it. So far ...

  1. #1

    Default Newbie builds a RAID system

    Ingredients:

    Epox 8KTA3 mobo (with a Highpoint 370 on there)
    4x Maxtor 40GB IDE
    RedHat 7.3 (the retail box; disks & books)
    One clueless total Linux newbie


    I'm trying to build a development server (Apache / Tomcat / MySQL) for
    video media, so I need a moderate amount of space and some moderate
    performance. I'm also likely to need to build "real" systems in the
    future, so hands-on RAID experience will be good. This system might be
    publically accessible (might be) for the odd demo, but it's not going
    to have any real numbers of users using it.

    So far I'm trying for RAID 0+1 in hardware (for that's what it will
    do) and a vanilla software install that's as simple as possible. Yes,
    that hardware was purchased some months back, but never had the RAID
    set-up.

    Is this a stupid idea ? Am I just doing it all wrong ? Should I
    ignore the hardware ? Throw it all away and buy some 3ware ? BTW,
    there's no hardware budget. Is it a "RAID 5 or nothing !" situation?
    Is Highpoint hardware just beyond hope ?

    If I'm on the right track, how do I install it ? I'm trying to
    follow the vanila installation, but getting a little thrown by the
    installer's fondness for showing me the four drives as separate
    devices, as if it's not yet recognising any hardware RAID that the
    mobo has offered.

    When I find a Highpoint driver floppy (as always, there isn't a
    working floppy drive with a net connection nearby when I need one)
    then I'm going to try it this way
    [url]http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/ATA-RAID-HOWTO/[/url]

    The idea of text mode installs is scary to wimpy Windows users though
    8-)



    Andy Dingley Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Newbie builds a RAID system

    Andy Dingley wrote:
    > So far I'm trying for RAID 0+1 in hardware (for that's what it will
    > do) and a vanilla software install that's as simple as possible. Yes,
    > that hardware was purchased some months back, but never had the RAID
    > set-up.
    > Is this a stupid idea ? Am I just doing it all wrong ? Should I
    > ignore the hardware ? Throw it all away and buy some 3ware ? BTW,
    > there's no hardware budget. Is it a "RAID 5 or nothing !" situation?
    > Is Highpoint hardware just beyond hope ?
    IIRC Highpoint 37x work well as IDE controllers; however, I'm not too sure
    about using them as RAID controllers. Certainly using them dual-boot with
    Windows would be an extremely bad idea (something is bound to go wrong). No,
    haven't tried, am not going to.
    > If I'm on the right track, how do I install it ? I'm trying to
    > follow the vanila installation, but getting a little thrown by the
    > installer's fondness for showing me the four drives as separate
    > devices, as if it's not yet recognising any hardware RAID that the
    > mobo has offered.
    It recognized the RAID chipset as a IDE chipset, which is perfectly
    understandable, because HPT37x RAID is essentially a software raid. Or so I
    have been led to believe.
    > When I find a Highpoint driver floppy (as always, there isn't a
    > working floppy drive with a net connection nearby when I need one)
    > then I'm going to try it this way
    > [url]http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/ATA-RAID-HOWTO/[/url]
    Those instructions work assuming that you have a working HPT370 RAID driver
    which is compatible with your kernel. I wouldn't count on that.

    You might want to use the chipset as an IDE controller and construct a
    software RAID with the help of Software Raid HOWTO:

    [url]http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/Software-RAID-HOWTO.html[/url]

    I'd say that you'd want to aim at either RAID-1 or 5 (depending on the
    amount of disks). If you happen to have four disks, then you could either
    construct an array of 4 disks (usable capacity 3) or 3 disks + spare (usable
    capacity of 2).

    Of course, the problem of how to boot on a raid system crops up; I've used a
    setup where there are two large disks coupled together as a raid-1 array and
    a small (well, 20 GB) disk where root (/, /boot, /etc, /var, /lib IIRC)
    resides. However, the weak point in this kind of setup is that in the event
    that the system disk develops an acute problem (such as headcrash) the whole
    system goes down (at least if the IDE driver crashes with the disk).

    Read RedHats installation doentation and see if it says anything about
    supporting software raid.
    > The idea of text mode installs is scary to wimpy Windows users though
    > 8-)
    After couple of weeks' or months' exposure to text-mode you'll wonder how
    you ever could do *anything* without a versatile shell.

    --
    Timo Voipio | Helsinki, Finland | ICBM at: 60 11.800 N 024 52.760 E
    GeekCode ver 3: GU>CC d s-: a--- C++ UL(+)$>+++$ P+>+++ L++(+) E- W++ N++
    o? K? w O M- V- PS PE Y+ PGP+ t 5++ X R tv- b++(++++) DI+ D G e- h! r !y
    Remove +newsharvested to e-mail me | Poista +newsharvested jos meilaat

    Timo Voipio Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Newbie builds a RAID system

    On Tue, 05 Aug 2003 21:45:28 +0300, Timo Voipio
    <tvoipio+newsharvestiki.fi> wrote:
    >Those instructions work assuming that you have a working HPT370 RAID driver
    >which is compatible with your kernel. I wouldn't count on that.
    I don't have one, nor can I seem to find a working one from anywhere
    8-(
    I'll give it a go as software RAID.

    I'll probably go for RAID 5, despite the risks of sharing two
    un-mirrored drives on a single IDE interface. It'll probably hold
    together until I can get a better controller card in there....

    On the whole though, I'm beginning to think that this hardware is
    scrap (no-one wants to know about Highpoint) and that all the local
    Unix "guru" I've spoken to today have been entirely useless on RAID
    and Linux. At least Windows people have MCSE's, so you can _spot_ the
    jumped up idiots !

    Andy Dingley Guest

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