21Mar/180

How to manage your RAID controller in Windows

Not long ago, we have shown you in a different tutorial how to manage your raidcontroller in Linux. Below you can find the respective guideline for Windows.

Monitoring a RAID array

A hardware RAID has certain advantages, but also a hardware RAID has to be monitored. We always rely on tried and tested hardware to minimize the risk of a hardware failure, but there is always the risk that hardware fails, therefore monitoring the hardware is even more important to guarantee that the server will keep running properly.

In the case of a software RAID, the operating system generates messages about the RAID; with a hardware RAID, the controller does it itself - but you need a special software to read these messages.

This blog entry shows the installation and use of the Adaptec and LSI software on Windows operating systems.
There are also graphical interfaces available for managing raidcontrollers, such as a web interface.

Please contact our support department in case you are not sure which controller was added to your server.

Updating the controller's firmware or the operating system's driver may lead to a complete loss of all data stored on that RAID!

1. Adaptec

1.1 Installation of the arcconf binary

Open the Powershell as Administrator, you will start at the "Administrator" User folder.
Create a new folder and change to that folder, e.g.:

mkdir C:\raid; chdir C:\raid

The binary can be downloaded via Powershell as well, type in the following command:

iwr -URI http://download.adaptec.com/raid/storage_manager/arcconf_v2_03_22476.zip' -OUTFILE arcconf_v2_03_22476.zip; start arcconf_v2_03_22476.zip

(You could also download the binary with your webbrowser from here )

You should see some directories including the "windows_x64" directory, select that directory and copy it to "C:\raid\".

1.2 Monitoring the raidcontroller

Open the Powershell and change the directory using the following command:

chdir C:\raid\windows_x64\cmdline

You should be able to run the executable by using the following command: " .\arcconf.exe getconfig 1" - this will display all information.

You will get all information regarding the 1st controller installed in your system. In case you have installed more than one controller you could display the information of the 2nd controller by typing ".\arcconf.exe GETCONFIG 2".

A list of available options can be displayed by typing ".\arcconf.exe" .
The most important status can be filtered out by typing ".\arcconf.exe GETCONFIG 1 | findstr Status" into the Powershell.

PS C:\raid\windows_x64\cmdline> .\arcconf.exe GETCONFIG 1 | findstr Status
Controller Status : Optimal
Status : ZMM not installed
Status of Logical Device : Optimal

"ZMM not installed" shows that this controller currently has no BBU (battery backup unit) installed, a BBU can be installed at any time as an upgrade.

A "Degraded" status on a LD (Logical Device) indicates that there must be an issue.

PS C:\raid\windows_x64\cmdline> .\arcconf.exe GETCONFIG 1 | findstr Status
Controller Status : Optimal
Status : ZMM not installed
Status of Logical Device : Degraded

To check if there is any failed drive (in this scenario the SSD failed), type in the following command and you will see the "State : Failed" information:

PS C:\raid\windows_x64\cmdline> .\arcconf.exe GETCONFIG 1 PD
Controllers found: 1
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Physical Device information
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Device #0
Device is a Hard drive
State : Failed
Block Size : 512 Bytes
Failed logical device segments : True
Supported : Yes
Transfer Speed : Failed
Reported Channel,Device(T:L) : 0,0(0:0)
Reported Location : Connector 0, Device 0
Vendor :
Model : Crucial_CT275MX3
Firmware : M0CR040
Serial number : 11111111111111
World-wide name : 500A075116639956
Total Size : 262321 MB
Write Cache : Enabled (write-back)
FRU : None
S.M.A.R.T. : No
S.M.A.R.T. warnings : 0
Power State : Full rpm
Supported Power States : Full power,Powered off,Standby
SSD : Yes
Temperature : Not Supported
NCQ status : Enabled

To replace a failed drive just contact us, we will immediately take care of it. To speed up the process you should provide us with the above output. It shows the S/N and the port that drive is attached to. In this case the S/N is "11111111111111" and the attached Port is "0".

As soon as the drive got replaced the rebuild should start automatically:

PS C:\raid\windows_x64\cmdline> .\arcconf.exe GETCONFIG 1 | findstr Status
Controller Status : Optimal
Status : ZMM not installed
Status of Logical Device : Degraded, Rebuilding ( Rebuild : 1 % )

Depending on your RAID setup this will probably take several hours.

1.3 Installing an available webinterface

For Adaptec controllers there is the "MaxView Storage Manager" available, it can be downloaded here: https://storage.microsemi.com/de-de/speed/raid/storage_manager/msm_windows_x64_v2_03_22476_zip.php

The installer is located within the directory called "manager" - that directory will be created when unpacking the downloaded archive.
You can start the installation by starting "setup_asm_x64.EXE" .
Afterwards you should be able to reach the webinterface on https://<SERVERIP>:8443 .

2. LSI

2.1 Installation of the StorCLI binary

Download of the commandline Binary :

iwr -URI 'https://docs.broadcom.com/docs-and-downloads/raid-controllers/raid-controllers-common-files/1.21.16_StorCLI.zip' -OUTFILE StorCLI.zip;explorer.exe .\StorCLI.zip\versionChangeSet\univ_viva_cli_rel\

A Windows Explorer should popup when using the above command. Now copy "storcli_ALL_OS.zip" to the "C:\raid" directory:

 

Now unzip that file.

 

2.2 Monitoring the raidcontroller

Go to your Powershell and type the following command to access the recently unpacked files:

chdir C:\raid\storcli_All_OS\storcli_All_OS\Windows\

You should be able to call "storCLI.exe", there is also a 64Bit binary.

You can display the current status of the raidcontroller by typing:

PS C:\raid\storcli_All_OS\storcli_All_OS\Windows> .\storcli64.exe /c0 show

TOPOLOGY :
========
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
DG Arr Row EID:Slot DID Type  State BT       Size PDC  PI SED DS3  FSpace
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
0 -   -   -        -   RAID1 Optl  N  255.656 GB dflt N  N   dflt N
0 0   -   -        -   RAID1 Optl  N  255.656 GB dflt N  N   dflt N
0 0   0   64:4     12  DRIVE Onln  N  255.656 GB dflt N  N   dflt -
0 0   1   64:5     13  DRIVE Onln  N  255.656 GB dflt N  N   dflt -
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Example for a failed HDD:

TOPOLOGY :
========
----------------------------------------------------------------------
DG Arr Row EID:Slot DID Type  State BT Size PDC  PI SED DS3  FSpace
----------------------------------------------------------------------
0 -   -   -        -   RAID1 Dgrd  N  255 GB dflt N  N   dflt N
0 0   -   -        -   RAID1 Dgrd  N  255 GB dflt N  N   dflt N
0 0   0   -        -   DRIVE Msng  -  255 GB -    -  -   -    -
0 0   1   64:5     13  DRIVE Onln  N  255 GB dflt N  N   dflt -
---------------------------------------------------------------------

 

PS C:\raid\storcli_All_OS\storcli_All_OS\Windows> .\storcli64.exe /c0 /sall show

Controller = 0
Status = Failure
Description = No drive found!
Detailed Status :
===============
----------------------------------------
Drive Status ErrCd ErrMsg
----------------------------------------
/c0/sALL Failure 255 Drives not found
----------------------------------------

To display the current status of the rebuild you can run:

PS C:\raid\storcli_All_OS\storcli_All_OS\Windows> .\storcli64.exe /c0 /eall /sall show rebuild


Controller = 0
Status = Success
Description = Show Drive Rebuild Status Succeeded.
---------------------------------------------------------
Drive-ID Progress% Status Estimated Time Left
---------------------------------------------------------
/c0/e64/s4 0 In progress -
/c0/e64/s5 - Not in progress -
---------------------------------------------------------

2.3 Installation of a graphical interface

You can download the latest MegaRAID Storage Manager using the following link:

https://docs.broadcom.com/docs-and-downloads/raid-controllers/raid-controllers-common-files/16.05.04.00_MSM_Windows.zip

After downloading, unzip all files. You should be able to access the directory, just run the installation wizard.

Usually you will not have any LDAP authentication, in this case you have to unmark the checkbox when running the installer - otherwise you cannot connect to the manager.

A new shortcut will appear on your desktop, now run that shortcut and type in your login credentials. The following MSM interface should show up:

 

 

 

Posted by: Gianni-Donato | Tagged as: , , , , , No Comments
7Mar/180

How to manage your RAID controller in Linux

Please note: This tutorial focusses on Linux OS. Should you be a Windows user instead, please confer our respective tutorial on how to manage your RAID controller in Windows.

Monitoring a RAID array

A hardware RAID has certain advantages, but also a hardware RAID has to be monitored. We always rely on tried and tested hardware to minimize the risk of a hardware failure, but there is always the risk that hardware fails, therefore monitoring the hardware is even more important to guarantee that the server will keep running properly.

In the case of a software RAID, the operating system generates messages about the RAID; with a hardware RAID, the controller does it itself - but you need a special software to read these messages.

This blog entry shows the installation and use of the Adaptec and LSI software on Linux operating systems.
There are also graphical interfaces available for managing raidcontrollers, such as a web interface.

Please contact our support department in case you are not sure which controller was added to your server.

Please note: Updating the controller's firmware or the operating system's driver may lead to a complete loss of all data stored on that RAID!

For this tutorial some additional software is needed, for Ubuntu 17.10 it can be installed using the following command "apt install zip unzip net-tools"

1. Adaptec

An overview of available software for your Adaptec controller can be found here: https://storage.microsemi.com/en-us/support/series6/index.php

1.1 Installation of the arcconf binary

Installing the binary with the Linux commandline is very easy, you can manage the controller using that binary afterwards.

A download link for the latest available binary can be found on the above mentioned website by clicking on the "Storage Manager Downloads" link.
The "arcconf" binary can be used for various Adaptec products, usually there is no need for additional software.
In this tutorial we are going to download the following binary: https://storage.microsemi.com/en-us/speed/raid/storage_manager/arcconf_v2_03_22476_zip.php

On your commandline just type:

wget http://download.adaptec.com/raid/storage_manager/arcconf_v2_03_22476.zip && unzip arcconf_v2_03_22476.zip

Now move the binary to your binary folder and make it executable:

mv linux_x64/cmdline/arcconf /usr/sbin/ && chmod +x /usr/sbin/arcconf

The "arcconf" command should be available now.

root@contabo:~# arcconf
Controllers found: 1
| UCLI | Adaptec by PMC uniform command line interface
| UCLI | Version 2.03 (B22476)
| UCLI | (C) Adaptec by PMCS 2003-2016
| UCLI | All Rights Reserved

1.2 Monitoring the raidcontroller

Usually the RAID should have an "OPTIMAL" value, in case one HDD fails the controller will start to send an audible alarm signal. That signal will be recognized by our technicians working in the datacenter, in this case we will contact you and inform you about a possible hardware failure.

With the parameter "arcconf GETCONFIG 1" you will get all information regarding the 1st controller installed to your system. In case you have installed more than one controller you could display the information of the 2nd controller by typing "arcconf GETCONFIG 2".

A list of available options can be displayed by typing "arcconf getconfig".

The most important status can be filtered out by typing "arcconf getconfig 1 | grep Status" into the commandline.

root@contabo:~# arcconf getconfig 1 | grep Status
Controller Status : Optimal
Status : ZMM not installed
Status of Logical Device : Optimal

"ZMM not installed" shows that this controller currently has no BBU (batterie backup unit) installed, a BBU can be installed at any time as an upgrade.

A "Degraded" status on a LD (Logical Device) indicates that there must be an issue.

root@contabo:~# arcconf getconfig 1 | grep Status
Controller Status : Optimal
Status : ZMM not installed
Status of Logical Device : Degraded

To check if there is any failed drive (in this scenario the SSD failed), type in the following command and you will see the "State : Failed" information:

root@contabo:~# arcconf getconfig 1 PD
Controllers found: 1
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Physical Device information
----------------------------------------------------------------------
Device #0
Device is a Hard drive
State : Failed
Block Size : 512 Bytes
Failed logical device segments : True
Supported : Yes
Transfer Speed : Failed
Reported Channel,Device(T:L) : 0,0(0:0)
Reported Location : Connector 0, Device 0
Vendor :
Model : Crucial_CT275MX3
Firmware : M0CR040
Serial number : 11111111111111
World-wide name : 500A075116639956
Total Size : 262321 MB
Write Cache : Enabled (write-back)
FRU : None
S.M.A.R.T. : No
S.M.A.R.T. warnings : 0
Power State : Full rpm
Supported Power States : Full power,Powered off,Standby
SSD : Yes
Temperature : Not Supported
NCQ status : Enabled

To replace a failed drive just contact us, we will immediately take care of it. To speed up the process you should provide us with the above output. It shows the S/N and the port that drive is attached to. In this case the S/N is "11111111111111" and the attached Port is "0".

As soon as the drive got replaced the rebuild should start automatically:

root@contabo:~# arcconf getconfig 1 | grep Status
Controller Status : Optimal
Status : ZMM not installed
Status of Logical Device : Degraded, Rebuilding ( Rebuild : 1 % )

Depending on your RAID setup this will probably take several hours.

1.3 Installing an available Webinterface

For Adaptec there is the "MaxView Storage Manager" available, it can be downloaded here: https://storage.microsemi.com/de-de/speed/raid/storage_manager/msm_linux_x64_v2_03_22476_tgz.php

You could also just download it via commandline:

wget http://download.adaptec.com/raid/storage_manager/msm_linux_x64_v2_03_22476.tgz && tar -xzf msm_linux_x64_v2_03_22476.tgz

The installer is located within the directory called "manager" - that directory will be created when unpacking the downloaded archive.
For our system (Ubuntu 17.04) we will install the package using the following command:

dpkg -i manager/StorMan-2.03-22476_amd64.deb

Afterwards you should be able to reach the webinterface at https://<SERVERIP>:8443

2. LSI

2.1 Installation of the StorCLI binary

Download of the commandline Binary :

wget https://docs.broadcom.com/docs-and-downloads/raid-controllers/raid-controllers-common-files/1.21.16_StorCLI.zip --no-check-certificate && unzip 1.21.16_StorCLI.zip && cd versionChangeSet/univ_viva_cli_rel/ && unzip storcli_All_OS.zip

For our system we will install the Ubuntu package by typing:
dpkg -i storcli_All_OS/Ubuntu/storcli_1.21.06_all.deb

Create a link to make the "storcli" command available to your shell.
ln -s /opt/MegaRAID/storcli/storcli64 /usr/sbin/storcli

2.2 Monitoring the raidcontroller

You can display the current status of the raidcontroller by typing:

root@contabo:~#storcli /c0 show

TOPOLOGY :
========
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
DG Arr Row EID:Slot DID Type  State BT       Size PDC  PI SED DS3  FSpace
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
0 -   -   -        -   RAID1 Optl  N  255.656 GB dflt N  N   dflt N
0 0   -   -        -   RAID1 Optl  N  255.656 GB dflt N  N   dflt N
0 0   0   64:4     12  DRIVE Onln  N  255.656 GB dflt N  N   dflt -
0 0   1   64:5     13  DRIVE Onln  N  255.656 GB dflt N  N   dflt -
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Example of a failed HDD:

TOPOLOGY :
========
----------------------------------------------------------------------
DG Arr Row EID:Slot DID Type  State BT Size PDC  PI SED DS3  FSpace
----------------------------------------------------------------------
0 -   -   -        -   RAID1 Dgrd  N  255 GB dflt N  N   dflt N
0 0   -   -        -   RAID1 Dgrd  N  255 GB dflt N  N   dflt N
0 0   0   -        -   DRIVE Msng  -  255 GB -    -  -   -    -
0 0   1   64:5     13  DRIVE Onln  N  255 GB dflt N  N   dflt -
---------------------------------------------------------------------

root@contabo:~#storcli /c0 /sall show


Controller = 0
Status = Failure
Description = No drive found!
Detailed Status :
===============
----------------------------------------
Drive    Status  ErrCd ErrMsg
----------------------------------------
/c0/sALL Failure   255 Drives not found
----------------------------------------

To display the current status of the rebuild you can run:

root@contabo:~#storcli /c0 /eall /sall show rebuild

Controller = 0
Status = Success
Description = Show Drive Rebuild Status Succeeded.
---------------------------------------------------------
Drive-ID   Progress% Status          Estimated Time Left
---------------------------------------------------------
/c0/e64/s4         0 In progress     -
/c0/e64/s5         - Not in progress -
---------------------------------------------------------

2.3 Installing an available webinterface

Unfortunately, there is currently no webinterface available for Linux.

 

Posted by: Gianni-Donato | Tagged as: , , , , , No Comments
11Aug/172

Overview of available RAID levels

With this tutorial we will explain certain types of RAID levels to you.
Some of you might have already experienced a loss of data, no matter if it was an SD card holding some vacation photos or a hard disk holding important files. Losing data can be very costly if you try to restore them by some specialist. An expert is needed and the procedure takes a lot of time, the easiest way to avoid those costs is simply to avoid any data loss in the first place.

This overview is not relevant for any VPS, your VPS systems are already running safe on a RAID system monitored by experienced technicians.

Creating backups is still very important, a RAID does not replace any backup!

You can find further instructions within the following tutorial: Data loss and how to avoid it

There are some points which you should think about first, there are several results depending on your requirements.

  1. How important is the performance?
  2. How much data security should be provided by the RAID?
  3. Are system resources available to manage the RAID, such as CPU and RAM

Depending on the results of the above questions and your budget, there are several options available:
A hardware RAID is always more expensive but provides the best performance and security (if combined with a battery backup unit).
A software RAID is the easiest way to go for a RAID, it is able to handle almost any type of RAID and can be set up within a few minutes.

An overview of available RAID levels is shown below:


RAID 0

The RAID 0 provides increased write and read performance, the data will be distributed to at least two disks. Since there is no redundancy all data will be lost in case one disk fails.

  • At least two hard disks are needed
  • No disk redundancy at all
  • Maximum (complete) storage capacity available
  • Improved read and write performance


RAID 1

The RAID 1 provides increased read performance (depending on the software/hardware controller used), all data will be mirrored to a second disk. There is also a RAID 1E available - in that case all data will be mirrored to additional disks too.

  • At least two hard disks are needed
  • n-1 disks can fail
  • 1/n of storage available (n = number of disks, with two disks = > 1/2 of total storage)
  • Improved read performance


RAID 5

The RAID 5 provides increased write and read performance, the data is written to at least two disks, an additional disk is always used for storing parity data. The parity data has to be calculated for every write - so for very write intensive applications the RAID 5 requires a lot of performance due to the necessary calculations.

  • At least three hard disks are needed
  • One disk can fail
  • n-1/n of storage available (n = number of disks, with three disks = > 2/3 of total storage)
  • Improved read and write performance
  • Requires a lot of CPU time


RAID 6

The RAID 6 provides increased read performance, the data is written to at least two disks, two additional disks are always used for storing parity data. The parity data has to be calculated for every write - so for very write intensive applications the RAID 6 requires a lot of performance due to the necessary calculations. As there are two parity bits saved on the disks, the needed CPU time is very high.

  • At least four hard disks are needed
  • Two disks can fail simultaneously
  • n-2/n of storage available (n = number of disks, with two disks = > 2/4 (half) of total storage)
  • Improved read performance
  • Requires the most CPU time


RAID 01

A RAID 01 is a combination of two or more volume groups. Each volume group is configured to have a RAID 0, those volume groups are mirrored in a RAID 1. With a total number of four disks one entire volume group can fail with both disks and no data will be lost.

  • At least four hard disks are needed
  • Two disks can fail simultaneously if they belong to the same logical volume group
  • Half of total storage capacity is available
  • Improved read and write performance


RAID 10

A RAID 10 is a combination of two or more volume groups. Each volume group is configured to have a RAID 1, those volume groups are striped in a RAID 0. With a total number of four disks, two disks can fail simultaneously and no data will be lost - the failed disks must not belong to the same volume group.

  • At least four hard disks are needed
  • Two disks can fail simultaneously if they do not belong to the same logical volume group
  • Half of total storage capacity is available
  • Improved read and write performance


 

The difference between RAID 01 and RAID 10 is only visible with six or more disks, if you have six disks a RAID 10 will provide a higher calculated security rate. We do recommend using a RAID 10 instead of using a RAID 01 even if you do only have four disks. Some RAID controllers do not even support a RAID 01 anymore. RAID 5 and RAID 6 require the highest CPU time since a checksum has to be calculated on every writing process to the disk. Only a few enterprise RAID controllers do support RAID 5 and RAID 6, due to the need of calculating checksums the writing speed might suffer which might then cause problems when using write intensive applications.

For our dedicated servers it is always possible to order additional hard disks or RAID controllers, current prices can be found on our web site. If you need a special configuration, please contact our support team any day between 8 am and 11 pm (German timezone, UTC+2).

Posted by: Gianni-Donato | Tagged as: , , , , , 2 Comments
21Mar/120

New hardware RAID upgrades available!

To avoid boredom in the Giga-International department we revised our hardware RAID offers for you.

For those who do not know what it is exactly - here is the explanation:
RAID (redundant array of independent disks) is a storage technology that combines multiple disk drive components into a logical unit. Data is distributed across the drives in one of several ways called "RAID levels", depending on what level of redundancy and performance (via parallel communication) is required (source: Wikipedia).
The upgrade RAID 1 stands for “mirroring” because the contents are stored simultaneously on two hard disks.

In short, a RAID solution helps to create a higher Data security and to improve the performance.

When ordering a RAID 1 you have to select the extra upgrade that you can find in the category “Data security”.
The hardware RAID provides even more performance and stability than a software RAID; a high quality controller of 3Ware or Adaptec is used.

The upgrade is easily available when ordering a Giga Dedicated Server Quad and Core i7, because these two already provide 2 identical hard disks.
If you are ordering a sever which has only one hard disk or two hard disks which do not share the same capacity, you will need to order an additional hard disk with the same size as an upgrade.

The standard upgrade for RAID 1 is already available for 199,99 EUR; this is just a one-time setup fee, there is no monthly fee.
If you are interested in a higher RAID-level with more hard disks don’t hesitate to contact us - we fulfil any of your individual wishes.

•    RAID: Hardware-RAID 1 or 10 available for 199,99 EUR (one-time setup fee)
•    RAID: Hardware-RAID 5 or 6 available for 299,99 EUR; (BBU is available for an extra charge)

We are looking forward to your inquiry 🙂

Posted by: Katharina | Tagged as: , , No Comments