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Thread: how to RAID desktop drives

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    how to RAID desktop drives

    hey guys,
    I'm trying to build up a 12.04 Desktop with the following config:

    I have a hp microserver n36l that has 4 bays which are connected to a raid card, I've setup the controller options to be single drives so they appear individually. I've additionally got another sata port which has another drive of the same size as well as a 64GB SSD hdd I'll be installing the OS onto.

    So it's like this
    RAID COntroller = 4x 2TB WD Green Drive (single drive mode)
    SATA port = 1x 2TB WD green drive
    eSATA port = 64GB SSD (ubuntu desktop install)

    What I want to achieve is to software raid the 4xWD green drives to be RAID5 with the extra WD green drive in the SATA port as the RAID spare.

    I've tried installing the desktop 12.04 and install mdadm to attempt to build the raid but it never finds the devices despite running gpart which confirms the drives

    /dev/sda = WD Green 2TB
    /dev/sdb = WD Green 2TB
    /dev/sdc = WD Green 2TB
    /dev/sde = WD Green 2TB
    /dev/sdg = WD Green 2TB (spare)
    /dev/sdf = SSD drive (Operating System)


    I run the following command within the desktop environment and it gives me an error saying 'no raid devices found' (not exact error message).

    here is my syntax
    sudo mdadm --create /dev/md0 --chunk=4 --level=5 --raid-devices=4 /dev/sda /dev/sdb /dev/sdc /dev/sde --spare-devices=1 /dev/sdg



    am I doing something wrong? or is there a GUI friendly way I could go about creating this RAID? or perhaps there is a limitation to this that I'm missing?

    I don't want to complicate it by installing an OS on it and would like to store any RAID config information on the SSD.

    any help appreciated.
    Last edited by DJeXo; November 15th, 2012 at 01:56 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    9

    Re: how to RAID desktop drives

    anybody? any possible clues or better methods?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    3

    Re: how to RAID desktop drives

    Hey DjeXo,

    Did you find a solution to this issue? I am looking at doing the same thing but have no good instructions yet.

    I will reciprocate if I find any solutions.

    Cheers,
    Rick

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    9

    Re: how to RAID desktop drives

    not as yet, I'll continue working on it and post my results.

    I think I may have more joy by going through the setup for the server ISO till I have the raid setup then reboot and install the desktop version instead.

    I *would* prefer server but have had little success as I don't know what components are missing to turn a server install into a desktop variant (the server install doesn't recognise some of my devices as the desktop version picks it up right away)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    Adelaide, SA, Australia
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    549
    Distro
    Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander

    Re: how to RAID desktop drives

    1. Don't use RAID5 with a spare! Just use RAID10.
    2. pretend from now on that there is no such thing as RAID5. RAID5 is legacy junk and needs to be forgotten.
    3. http://kamlau.com/software/how-to-se...0-with-ubuntu/
    4. ???
    5. Profit

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    9

    Re: how to RAID desktop drives

    thanks for the advice madverb!

    I managed to get RAID5 installed using the server install --> committed changes and rebooted to install the desktop version but to no avail (it didn't see the RAID I setup)... so I had no choice at this point to continue the installation.

    Once I rebooted the RAID came up in a degraded state indicating one of my drives was dead, I'm checking into this as when I ran a diag against the drive it was fine?

    anyways, I'll try installing the desktop version again and try mdadm to configure raid 10.

    madverb - do you have any suggestions on how to setup RAID from an installed desktop 12.04.1 with my above config? ?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    9

    Re: how to RAID desktop drives

    sorry, I should have read your link more closely.

    Based on that article - I need to pre-format the drives prior to RAIDing them up?
    (it doesn't mention it but the disks being attached indicate it)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Michigan, USA
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    2,132
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    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: how to RAID desktop drives

    Quote Originally Posted by madverb View Post
    1. Don't use RAID5 with a spare! Just use RAID10.
    2. pretend from now on that there is no such thing as RAID5. RAID5 is legacy junk and needs to be forgotten.
    3. http://kamlau.com/software/how-to-se...0-with-ubuntu/
    4. ???
    5. Profit
    I wouldn't say that RAID10 is always the correct solution in all situations. You can still lose your array if you lose two disks from the same mirror, and with mdadm, you cannot currently expand a RAID10 array (Note: with 3.2 you cannot resize any mdadm RAID10 arrays, but with kernels > 3.4-rc, you can grow RAID10, but only for 'near' and 'offset' layouts). With the OP wanting to use a spare, this would be a situation where RAID6 is a fine solution. It ALWAYS survives two disk failures and can be expanded with mdadm.

    Also, in most cases LVM is not needed with mdadm anymore (unless you want LVM snapshots). mdadm arrays and easily be expanded and even reduced pretty easily. And, for home users, SnapRAID (with 2 parity disks if you'd like) is another resilient, expandable solution.
    Last edited by rubylaser; November 21st, 2012 at 02:12 AM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    6,895

    Re: how to RAID desktop drives

    A bit OT but if you are planning on / using WDC Green drives in RAID as per the original post you should be aware of possible excessive load cycle counts

    http://www.storagereview.com/how_to_...s_with_wdidle3

    Regards

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Adelaide, SA, Australia
    Beans
    549
    Distro
    Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander

    Re: how to RAID desktop drives

    Yes RAID6 is fine... but why use a spare when you have 4 drives? I never said RAID10 is always the best solution. I just recommended it over RAID5 with a spare. RAID6 with a spare might be a good idea but you have to take into account slower rebuild times. Degraded performance during rebuilds. Lower performance in general in comparison to RAID10.

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