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Old 09-19-2006, 07:04 AM   #1
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SATA RAID disk fail detection

I have been running a few RAID 1 SATA-based servers using kernel 2.6.x, Linux kernel software RAID and a SATA controller on an ASUS motherboard.

I have on several occasions have problems with a cable (and a single disk crash), causing the box to become irresponsive, as it used 99.999% CPU to fail accessing the disk controller (the error text was unfortunately of cause not in the log). I did not have unusual problems replacing disks and cables and recovering the array.

But I kind of hoped that the configuration would have failed the bad disk and continued to run on the good one. This did not happen, as the bad cable appearently took down the controller, thereby loosing the other disk as well.

Is there a way to avoid this? Would it e.g. be solved by bying another SATA controller and then placing one of the two disks (or both) on this? Are some of them more recommendable than others, and will I still be able to boot both disks?


Old 09-20-2006, 01:39 AM   #2
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Servers use hardware RAID for a reason. One of them being what you just described. If software RAID worked well there wouldn't be hardware controllers.

For an SATA RAID setup that is native to linux, look at getting a 3ware card.
Old 09-21-2006, 02:28 AM   #3
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I get your point, but I still think this could be handled much better:

When things go bad, its is not crashing the machine. The console shows ATA timeout errors etc on the bad channel each 10-20 secs, and in the mean time it is very busy. As the driver is running and able to detect and display the errors, it should also be able to fail the drive and kick it off the RAID. But this does not happen.

It has been doing so for up to 12 hours without being kicked - the RAID system should IMHO be able to detect this. There does not seem to be any problems accessing the other disk.

If this is too deep into the driver for this forum, does anybody know where to get in touch with the right people for this?




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