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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?

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Old 01-26-2008, 10:27 PM   #1
dreamer.redeemer
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Questions concerning RAID controllers, arrays in BIOS + gutsy


So I want to set up Ubuntu Gutsy on a RAID 0 array consisting of 6 SATA drives through a raid controller like rocket raid 2340 or areca arc-1220, probably the former. I'm wondering, will i be able to install directly to the array using the standard install disk? Will the mobo bios see the arrays as hard drives (3 hard drives instead of 6)?
I'm wondering because i've had great difficulty getting this all set up with dmraid.

Also, has anyone heard of problems using a pci-express x8 card on an x16 lane on the nforce 570 chipset?

Thanks!
 
Old 01-27-2008, 02:20 AM   #2
jantman
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If you're installing a hardware RAID card, it should come with a CD-ROM to install the "RAID BIOS". Once installed, you'll be able to enter the RAID configuration setup utility - with the Adaptecs I've had, it usually prompts you to hit F9 to enter the setup. Once you get into setup, you setup the RAID as you want. After that, the mobo BIOS will see it however you configure it.

If it's not a configurable RAID card - i.e. if you just plug in 6 drives and it automatically does a RAID 0 (I only have experience with server-class configurable RAID cards) then the mobo should just see it as whatever it's made to present.

When you do hardware RAID, it should be transparent to the software and mobo BIOS - i.e. however it's configured logically (say, 3 logical disks for 6 physical disks in RAID 0) is how it's seen by the mobo and software.

Make sure your card is compatible with Linux and with your mobo.
 
Old 01-27-2008, 11:40 AM   #3
dreamer.redeemer
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Of all the RAID cards i'm looking at on newegg, none say explicitly that they're compatible with ubuntu or debian, just fedora, suse, or "linux." Is it safe to assume it'll work or should I trawl around manufacturer's sites looking for more information?
 
Old 01-27-2008, 01:41 PM   #4
jantman
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For the most part, anything that's compatible with "linux" can be made compatible with any mainstream version... with enough work.

1) Check the manufacturer's site for documentation, drivers, etc.
2) Check the HCL (hardware compatibility list) for your distro to see whether it's already listed.
3) Google around and check the forums for your distro to try and find reports of someone else using the same card on the same distro, maybe even with a link to drivers (if needed).

IMHO, Adaptec cards are among the best supported under various OSs.
 
Old 01-27-2008, 01:44 PM   #5
jantman
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Ahhh, looking at the links to the cards you're looking at, I see that they're SATA RAID cards. I can't say I have any experience with those, I've always used SCSI for RAID.

Given the prices you're looking at, I'd consider one of the four Adaptec cards that NewEgg carries (here).
 
Old 01-27-2008, 03:28 PM   #6
dreamer.redeemer
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Those all look very nice, but they're all pci-x

Thanks for your help though!
 
Old 01-27-2008, 05:24 PM   #7
Electro
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That card is software RAID and you will have problems with dmraid which you said you already had. I suggest using Linux software RAID instead of Highpoint software RAID. Setting up RAID-0 with six hard drives is dangerous. If you do not care about the data you put on it, then go for it. I suggest get a hardware RAID controller such as a card from 3ware. An RAID-5 or RAID-6 array will be better with that many of hard drives.

A PCIe is a serial bus that uses a lane type of setup. A 16X PCIe slot can handle cards ranging from 1X to 16X. A dual 16X PCIe is actually two 8X PCIe because of the limit of the chipset. Hopefully nVidia did not put in any limits in their chipsets that only graphic cards can be used with 16X slots. If they did not, the card should work fine.

TIP:
Turn off the cache in each hard drive. Also turn off NCQ. By doing this, hard drives should work more reliable. Buy hard drive removable bays with anti-vibrate material to minimize hard drive errors or dropped drives in the array.
 
Old 01-27-2008, 06:27 PM   #8
dreamer.redeemer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electro View Post
That card is software RAID and you will have problems with dmraid which you said you already had. I suggest using Linux software RAID instead of Highpoint software RAID. Setting up RAID-0 with six hard drives is dangerous.
Yes, i completely agree about RAID 0. I actually meant RAID 1 :P
I see that highpoint might be software, but are you certain the areca card is software? The 3ware card that can support 6 drives is out of my budget range. Also, can you suggest a good shock-absorbing tray?
 
  


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