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LSI MegaRAID 9240-8i compatibility
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XelKarin
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:30 pm    Post subject: LSI MegaRAID 9240-8i compatibility Reply with quote

Hi all,

My company is looking into getting a RAID controller and we're thinking of the LSI MegaRAID 9240-8i. We recently got a HighPoint controller, until we discovered that only external drivers were available and HighPoint has only kept them up to date as of kernel version 3.8. I tried downloading LSI's drivers from their website and tried compiling against a recent kernel, but compilation fails because it's looking for smp_linux.h, which doesn't seem to be in the kernel sources I'm using. I checked to see if anyone else is having any problems with this controller, but the most recent issues I could find are from 2010. I'm guessing this will work, but to be sure I ask, is this controller supported in the mainline kernel?
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frostschutz
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you actually want hardware raid or will you be going with mdadm?
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XelKarin
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 12:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm fine with mdadm, but my co-worker would prefer hardware RAID.
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Jaglover
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your co-worker may want to read up: http://skrypuch.com/raid/
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frostschutz
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 12:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For mdadm, I'd probably try a different card first, something like a HP H220 or whatever. That is, if you can't get a mainboard with 8 SATA ports in the first place. At least there you have no issues with drivers if it's plain AHCI.

Not sure how drivers for either card behave in current kernels. There are people using them, certainly...
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XelKarin
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies. I shared the link about software RAID with my co-worker. We also found two other controllers that look promising. He has some concerns about software RAID though. The server we're running started having problems recently. It locked up and we weren't able to shut it down correctly. We were running RAID-1 at the time. The disks became desynced and we had to rebuild the RAID. We're currently looking into RAID-6 and he's afraid we may have trouble rebuilding if something similar should happen in the future.
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Jaglover
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Even with RAID-6 or RAID-Z2 you still need reliable backups.
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1clue
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking from painful, expensive experience:

  1. If it doesn't disconnect from all power and get transported to another location and sit there unpowered until somebody needs it, it's not a backup.
  2. RAID does not negate the need for a backup, no matter how many disks you use.
  3. Live online "backup" does not protect against all scenarios either.
  4. While RAID allows continued use of data if one disk fails, it actually increases the chance of a failure because there are more drives and more components which can break.


Not telling you how to run your business, but while you're in re-design mode you should sit down and figure out all the different ways that disaster can strike. Some examples:

  1. Drive failure. Raid SORT of covers you.
  2. RAID card failure. If you're using hardware RAID did you get multiples of exactly the same RAID controller?
  3. Malware.
  4. Accidental deletion.
  5. Fire/flood/lightning/earthquake/tornado/some guy with a backhoe cutting your power lines and delivering 5000 volts to your building's outlets/???
  6. Theft of hardware.
  7. Theft of data.
  8. Theft of backup media.
  9. Destruction of any of above.
  10. Destruction of storage media in your backup location.
  11. Do I need to go on?


RAID helps with MAYBE two of these. Surely if you apply yourselves you can come up with more possibilities that apply to your situation.

For me, disaster was the guy with the backhoe. Your battery backup does not protect against that, at least not fast enough.
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XelKarin
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2015 2:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We decided to go with software RAID. It's actually a backup server located at our office for data hosted at co-location that we're working on, BUT we also host samba on it for keeping and exchanging files around the office. These were not being backed up anywhere else. I figure an external drive should be good enough for that. Anyways, thanks again. I'll bring these points up with my boss and co-workers.
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