Little Help with RAID and SCSI settings on DELL PE2850

  • devilwood
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I'm wanting to install freeBSD on this extra server I have cause I've heard good things and wanted to atleast try it.

The DELL poweredge 2850 has a raid and scsi controller installed. In the bios, I can go to my Integrated Devices and toggle the Embedded RAID Controller to :

1. RAID Enabled (also sets channel A to RAID and channel B SCSI)
2. OFF
3. SCSI Enabled (sets channel A and B to SCSI)

Currently, it is set to RAID enabled.

Further, if I go into my SCSIutility using CTL-A, none of the harddrives show up. There are 2 disks.

Furthermore, if I go into my RAID controller using CTL-M, I can set up the logical drives. I've set them to online, configured them to span-1 and RAID-1, and I've set a Logical Drive 0 as the bootdrive.

My question is:

Can I install the OS on this raid setup or do I need to enable SCSI? I guess this is where I'm confused cause I thought RAID was just primarily for backup, but the scsi is not being detected even though channel B is suppose to be using scsi. So, I want to install the OS on one of the harddrives and have the other just mirror it.

thnx.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Do you have SCSI drives?
  • devilwood
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Post 3+ Months Ago

yes all of the harddrives are hotswappable scsi drives.
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

So you went into the RAID setup and configured it as a RAID-1? I'd say you are fine and should be able to install the OS.
  • devilwood
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Yep that's right. Added them to the array, set them to RAID-1, and initialized them.

I'm about to start installing freebsd so I'll keep this post going and give the OK or any problems I run into pertaining to the harddrive setup.
  • devilwood
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Post 3+ Months Ago

everything went smooth this time. I got freeBSD up and running. Thanks for clearing up my confusion.

So,
I guess I need a boot manager even for a RAID array and even though only one copy of bsd is installed on the entire HD?
  • josh_meyer25
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I am interested in the initial question about installing an OS with RAID enabled in the Bios. I have RAID 0 configured in the Utilities (CTL-M) and RAID enabled in the BIOS and when I try to install server 2008 I get to the point where I choose a drive and it isnt seeing any drives installed. I have (6) 73gb 15K drives installed. They are set to RAID 0 in pairs of 2. Any help is greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Josh
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Odd, so far I have not had any trouble installing 2008 server on a RAID config. I believe there is an option to load the drivers during the install but I have never used it before.
  • devilwood
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Josh, have you made any headway with your OS install?
  • josh_meyer25
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Post 3+ Months Ago

unfortunately no. I have tried contacting dell and they wont return any emails. Apparently they dont offer much help unless you are paying for support. I tried putting the bios/integraded devices settings on scsi then installing the os. That goes through fine. The computer recognizes the hd's. So then I thought, now that the os is installed I will go back to the bios and change the scsi setting to raid. Made the change and nothing. During start up it says there is no os detected. It seems as though dell built in a SCSI/Raid controller but the RAID wont function. I would think this was a hardware problem but I have 5 of these and get the same thing on each. if there is an alternative way to back up information I would be open to that. If anyone can tell me an external way to back up a poweredge 2850 I would appreciate it. I am very frustrated with this PERC 4 Integraded controller.
Josh
  • devilwood
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Actually that's exactly what I was posting about. Sorry, it's been a few months since I messed with that server and I don't access to it anymore and I can't remember everything I was doing.

It was very confusing. Based on the post I think I just did SCSI and installed the OS, but had my RAID setup and initialized and assumed it was mirrored but didn't have a chance to check it. It seems that was the only way I could get the HD to be detected. It could be a something with the Dell PE's RAID board, and I didn't even consider that.

As for other options, my PE had a tape drive and USB ports so you could just plug in a WD Passport or something, right? But you'd have to select the folders to copy everytime. I would just use one of the HD that would have the mirror and install the OS on it too and just have it ready. If something happens to HD1, then just copy your folders to HD2 and replace HD1 with HD2. Kinda a pain. However, I hate using RAIDs especially the higher ones cause you start losing storage space at the sake of data protection.
  • josh_meyer25
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Post 3+ Months Ago

The USB mass storage device would be an option but the on board raid is part of the reason I bought these and it seems like a waste to have all these servers and be trying to find a long road for what should just work. I am going to email and call dell until they respond or find an IT professional that can answer this question. The information on the server is important enough that I dont mind loosing the space to RAID 0. I just need it to work.
What I was thinking when I said external backup was using 2 servers to mirror each other. I dont know a lot about server capability lately and still feel like that is taking the long road but if one server could automatically take over for another that would be nice. I will keep you posted and any input is always appreciated. This is the first forum I have every used. I sincerely appreciate advice.
Thanks, Josh
  • devilwood
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Well, you're in the right place. There are tons of knowledgeable and courteous individuals that keep this place going. There's also tons of fun stuff too like the photography forum.

Now to the topic... you actually sound a lot like me. I get more frustrated when I go out of my way to make something work and then having to take a work-around or long-way option cause it didn't work. A horrible waste.

The last thing I can think of aside from getting the raid setup is to automate the backup using sometype of CRON job (different on Win I think).

I'll keep looking at reference material and see if I can go back through the DELL utilities and configs. Keep me posted of your progress and what you find out and I'll post if I come up with something.

Good Hunting.
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Josh, have you tried downloading and using the Dell server installation CD?

Dell Systems Build and Update CD

Dell wrote:
Dell Systems Build and Update Utility is a bootable utility for a single server Operating System install, pre-OS firmware updates and pre-OS system configuration. See "Important Information" if you are planning to deploy Windows Server 2008.


I had to use these for 2003 servers in the past, so far I haven't had to with 2008 as of yet.
  • josh_meyer25
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I havent tried that. I am downloading he iso. I will try that tonight and let you know how it goes. Thanks
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Basically you boot to that disk first and you can do a lot such as setup your RAID, network settings, input your product key, server name, domain credentials and all that. Of course that is if it is similar to the 2003 version.
  • salpicon
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Post 3+ Months Ago

It is recommended to use RAID 0 and that with a logical or physical failure you lose access to information. And in that case when you want to recover data no choice but to call a recovery company (ONRETRIEVAL, OnData, RECOVERY LABS, etc.).

It is safer to use a RAID 5 or RAID 10. But watch that also can fail even though a smaller percentage of possibilities.

Therefore it is important to keep a backup ensuring the data.

Greetings.
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Who in the hell recommends RAID-0 on a server?
  • devilwood
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I think it's just the first logical step in stripe size for a drive. It's simple stripe but does increase performance without reducing space. As far as recommending, that's probably a good question. I'd like to hear some scenarios where RAID-0 was used and why. It seems like all the disadvantages to it are more headache than it's worth.
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

In a server RAID-0 is definitely not recommended. I'm a server admin by profession and none of my servers use RAID-0. RAID-1 or RAID-5 is pretty typical depending on how many drives my servers have. Usually I will do RAID-1 for the OS and RAID-5 for data.

Now on SANs, which is a different beast all together, I will do RAID-6 or RAID-50.

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