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Old 04-08-2008, 02:12 PM   #1
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Which HD controller card to buy?

I have a rack mounted Howard NX1400 server with a Supermicro mother board (X6DHR-TG). On that mother board is an Adaptec AIC-8130 Marvell 88SS6041 SATA controller that we use for RAID 1. The current OS is Redhat AS v4 32bit x86. I have 3 SATA 80GB 7200RPM drives (not sure which manufacturer), all in

I would like to upgrade the current Redhat, but am stuck in v4 with the Kernel locked at 2.6.9-22.ELsmp because the driver is not supported, and Supermicro says there is no more current driver.

I have been told to just buy a new HD controller if I want to upgrade, but I do not know which to buy. (Supermicro wanted to sell me one that "currently works with Redhat 9," which I did not try to explain predated release 4 of AS).

How do I figure out which controller card to buy so that I can get up to date? (and upgrade to the current version?) Something that is very standard...
Old 04-08-2008, 04:50 PM   #2
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3Ware has nice SATA RAID controllers.. although You will have to do a re-install of the OS to the new controller, because I can pretty much guarantee a Hardware based RAID array can not move Disks from one controller to one from another manufacturer.

9500S Series

    *  Officially supported Linux distributions (x86 & x86_64) versions
          o Fedora Core 4
          o RedHat WS4 update2
          o RedHat EL 5 / EL 5 (update1)
          o SuSE 10 Professional
          o SuSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 9
    * Other Linux distributions supported with drivers in 3ware KB article 14546 (x86 & x86_64) versions unless stated otherwise
          o RedHat 7.3/8.0/9.0 (x86)
          o RedHatAS/ES/WS3original/update1/update2/update3/update4/update5/update6/update7/update8
          o RedHatAS/ES/WS4 original/update2/update3/update4
          o RedHat EL 5 / EL 5 (update1)
          o CentOS 3.0/3.1/3.2/3.3/3.5/3.6/3.7/3.8
          o CentOS 4.0/4.2/4.3/4.4
          o to CentOS 5.0/5.1
          o Fedora Core 1/2/3/4/5/6
          o SuSE Linux Professional 9.3/10/10.1/10.2
          o SuSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 9 SP2/SP3
          o Mandriva
          o Debian Sarge 3.1
          o Debian Sarge 4.0 etch
          o Scientific Linux 3.08/4.2/4.4
          o Ubuntu Linux 6.06/6.1 (driver provided, but support already built in)
          o Linux 2.6.14 kernel or greater includes a driver for the 9550SX(U) and 7000/8000/9500S/9590SE series controller.

Last edited by farslayer; 04-08-2008 at 04:51 PM.
Old 04-08-2008, 08:00 PM   #3
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Thank-you! That is the type of "supported systems" list I wanted to see.

Would it be possible to restart the system on the new controller with one of the disks, and then rebuild the RAID?

Whether or not it is possible, is there some documentation or instructions I can follow that would give me a clue what steps to follow to re-install the system? For example, as I move from Enterprise 4 to 5 would I need to just totally rebuild the system anyway? If so, I guess I might as well as soon as I add the controller.

Thank-you again!
Old 05-10-2008, 06:52 PM   #4
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While there is an "upgrade" path, RedHat has this to say on the subject:

Originally Posted by
The recommended "upgrade" path to Red Hat Enterprise Linux is a misnomer. We recommend that you back up any important data, perform a clean installation with the newer version, then restore your existing data.

Warning: The upgrade option is supported by Red Hat Technical Support but is known to cause erratic system behavior in some cases.

Important: Red Hat recommends that you do a complete back-up of your system before you attempt the upgrade. The preferred method of upgrading is to back-up your system, perform a clean install of Red Hat Enterprise Linux version 4, and migrate your data. Red Hat has only tested installation without any modifications to configuration files and the tested systems were absent of any third party (non-Red Hat) applications.

I would expect the same to be true upgrading from RHEL4 to RHEL5 so you may prefer to wait until you have the disk(s) on the new controller and just perform a "clean" install of RHEL5 to the disk(s) on the new controller.

Hope this helps.


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