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Old 07-26-2006, 05:07 PM   #1
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Thumbs up SATA / RAID ---- server newbie...


Total Newb here:

I was wondering if someone could explain or could point to some good beginner links on understanding the difference between SATA and RAID. I just inherited a "server"( i've usually only used an old pc ). The server has 2 SATA drives.

I'm just trying to figure out how to test these to see if they work or not? I think they were set up as "disk-mirroring". Not sure how that works. I've read about RAID and SATA but still kind of in the dark as to how I can test my systems SATA...

My setup is...
Drive 0: SATA-0 on
Drive 1: SATA-1 on
Drive 2: PATA-0 off <--- "PATA?"
Drive 3: PATA-1 off
Drive 4: PATA-2 on <--- huh?
Drive 5: PATA-3 off

thanks in advance
Old 07-26-2006, 05:14 PM   #2
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SATA is a type of hardware interface between the CPU and HDD - it stands for Serial Advanced Technology Attachment. There is also PATA, where P is for parallel. SATA is newer than PATA and id generally wha tyou would find on new mobos. There area also other types such as SCSI.

RAID is a way of configuring hard drives. Generally RAID schemes are designed for speed and/or redundancy.

The different types of RAID schemes are nicely laid out here

Hope that helps
Old 07-26-2006, 05:22 PM   #3
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First of all, you can't really compare RAID and SATA as they're unrelated.

SATA is a type of disk drive that stands for Serial ATA. PATA is Parallel ATA (in essence IDE, which is the 40 pin ribbon cable CD-roms and older drives use). So your setup looks like you have two SATA drives, presumably hard drives, and one IDE drive, which presumably is a CD/DVD drive of some sort. There are other disk types like SCSI, etc, but I won't go into them since I don't know much about them.

Now RAID is something else. RAID is a Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks. Basically it allows you to use several cheap hard disks to pretend to be an extra large hard disk. I believe you can set up PATA or SCSI raid arrays as well.

RAID is many times used as you've mentioned to do disk-mirroring, which lets you create an exact copy of the working drive. That way, if a drive fails, then your information is still accessible and your server could remain online. There's other benefits to RAID arrays, but I've never used one, so I can't speak authoritatively.

If you want to know if your system is setup as raid, look in /etc/fstab. All your directories should have mountpoints of something like LV# (Logical Volume), I believe.
Old 07-26-2006, 06:43 PM   #4
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Thumbs up SATA disk mirroring

Hi there,

Thanks for the great explinations and links. I'm getting at least an understanding of where to start reading.

I do have RAID turned off in the "setup partition" that came with this dell server. I don't have access to 2 drives so I guess I can hope it's setup correctly to mirror.

My fstab file looks like this... how would I tell from this file that mirroring was enabled?

# This file is edited by fstab-sync - see 'man fstab-sync' for details
/dev/VolGroup_ID_32039/LogVol1 / ext3 defaults 1 1
LABEL=/boot /boot ext3 defaults 1 2
none /dev/pts devpts gid=5,mode=620 0 0
none /dev/shm tmpfs defaults 0 0
none /proc proc defaults 0 0
none /sys sysfs defaults 0 0
/dev/VolGroup_ID_32039/LogVol2 /tmp ext3 defaults 1 2
/dev/VolGroup_ID_32039/LogVol5 /usr ext3 defaults 1 2
/dev/VolGroup_ID_32039/LogVol4 /var ext3 defaults 1 2
/dev/VolGroup_ID_32039/LogVol0 swap swap defaults 0 0
/dev/VolGroup_ID_32039/LogVolHome /home ext3 defaults 1 2
# LABEL=/home-31981 /home ext3 defaults 1 2
/dev/hdc /media/cdrom auto pamconsole,fscontext=system_ubject_r:removable_t,exec,noauto,managed 0 0
/dev/fd0 /media/floppy auto pamconsole,fscontext=system_ubject_r:removable_t,exec,noauto,managed 0 0

THANKS once again to both of you !


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