Thursday 22 May 2008

Intel SRCSASRB hot swap experience was excellent

A recent hard drive failure (previous blog post) of a drive connected to an Intel SRCSASRB gave us our first experience with the hot swap capabilities of the SRCSASRB.

The controller itself is relatively new to the market.

We had downloaded and installed the Intel RAID Web Console 2 on the server. We used the tool to verify that the beep code that our client had called about was indeed the RAID controller indicating a failed drive.

Once verified, we silenced the alarm so that those working close to the server closet would no longer need to listen to it. ;)

With the rebuild process moving along smoothly, we made a trip down to our client to swap out the defective drive.

Now, the Intel RAID Software User's Guide (download page) while useful, had a different GUI and menu layout than the product we were working with.

So, we needed to figure things out on our own to some extent. Nowhere in the manual was an indication that the drive needed to be stopped prior to it being removed from the server.

So, we pulled the drive. The SRCSASRB did not complain by firing up the alarm.

When we plugged the replacement drive back into the server nothing happened though.

It turned out we needed to launch a new drive scan:

Rescan F5

We ran the Rescan and once it finished we saw:

New Global Hot Spare

The new hard drive was automatically placed in the previous hot spare's spot! No messing around with the utility. Pretty sweet! :)

The fact that the rebuild did indeed end up taking about 4.5 hours for a 750GB RAID 1 array along with this hot swap being a breeze really shows how far Intel and LSI have come with their RAID technologies.

All in all, the stress levels relative to having a critical RAID array hanging on one more drive failure have been reduced significantly as a result of this experience.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

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

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