Monday 6 October 2008

Dell RAID - PERC 6/i and 6/E - Still No Audible Alarm!

To all those who sell and support clients with Dell servers, beware that the new PERC 6 series RAID controllers still do not have an audible alarm on it.

Our experience: SBS on Dell with PERC5i drive failure and DIY where a new client had their entire business on the line with one failed RAID 1 array member and no indication other than a blinking yellow light inside a server cabinet to indicate a problem.

Eriq has now brought up that the PERC 6 series also have no audible alarm on it: On 18 months.

One generation of RAID controllers in the PERC 5 series with no audible alarm is forgivable as an engineering oversight.

But, to engineer a whole new generation of RAID controllers without any way to indicate there is a problem?

Deal with Dell server product? Then, click here to help support Eriq's call to bring audible alarms back to Dell RAID controllers on Dell's site IdeaStorm: Bring Back the Audible Alarm on RAID controllers.

Depending on how the management software does or does not interface with the RAID controller to hopefully fire off an e-mail if an array member fails, we would be very wary of any Dell server products at a client site as a result of this. In the case of the PERC 5 series, no e-mail capabilities whatsoever.

So, if that is the case on the PERC 6, good backups are an absolute must. Not that they should not be in the first place!?!

Tested your client backups for recoverability lately?

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

*All Mac on SBS posts are posted on our in-house iMac via the Safari Web browser.


Anonymous said...

If you have the DRAC card, they can notify by email when there is a failure, FYI.

jon said...

I am using a Perc 6/i on several servers and WD Velociraptors are constantly failing. I have the Dell OpenManage set to run a batch script that uses SendEmail ( to notify me via email when there is a warning or failure.

On a side note, DO NOT USe WD Veloicraptors in your Dell Server with RAID. The write speed is too fast and the drives become out of synch, and that is why they fail.

Mike said...

November 2011. Just got a PowerEdge T310 with a PERC 6/i RAID card. poking around the BIOS I see an unchecked 'enable alarm' field. Try to check it and you can't... no alarm STILL. WTF!? What a crime!

Philip Elder Cluster MVP said...

The catch will be whether the new H series RAID controllers are in the same boat.

I think Dell made an assumption that folks would be setting up their monitoring software to fire off an e-mail in the event of a disk failure.

Most folks that we have encountered with their products have not even installed it.