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  1. #1
    Master Untangler
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    Default Onboard Intel RAID1? ICH9R

    I have read here and there on the forums how Untangle doesn't support RAID, at least not officially. Some people have said they have been able to install on hardware RAID cards, 3wire etc, and they work, but there is no way to check the RAID status within Untangle.

    Couple things/suggestions:
    1. Will Untangle be able to install on the common, onboard Intel ICH9R (and higher) series of RAID chips? Meaning, if I setup a RAID using the Intel RAID manager, and install Untangle, will UT see it as a drive that is accessible and as a solo drive?

    2. Is it possible as a feature for Untangle to support software RAID? I have seen this in OpenFiler but have never tried it and not sure how they implemented it.

    3. If no to the above, could a future UT version at least see the RAID drives, meaning provide driver support for common onboard RAIDs with a warning that it is not supported. I know you guys don't want more of a headache with supporting/feature requests but this request, to me, seems reasonable.



    To me my biggest points of failure in systems are the drives, ram and PSU. The PSU is easy to take care of (Dual PSU's) ram rarely goes out but it can, the drives always fail at some point due to the moving parts.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Untangle Ninja hescominsoon's Avatar
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    ich is fakeraid or fraid..i would never expect it to work reliably anywhere..much less a kernel with a reduced driver set..

  3. #3
    Untangle Ninja sky-knight's Avatar
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    There is no linux support for any of the ICH raid devices. Nor for any of the SIL raid devices... such things are fake raid and linux of any kind doesn't use them.

    If you do get a kernel module that can read the drive configurations in a raid format, all it does is configure MD to do the raid for you. That's the linux kernel doing software raid. Same thing really... except any linux kernel can read it later if the controller pukes.
    Rob Sandling, BS:SWE, MCP
    NexgenAppliances.com
    Phone: 866-794-8879 x201
    Email: support@nexgenappliances.com

  4. #4
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    Default

    Thanks for the reply, and please do not take this as an insult, but your statement is one that I hear often from people that never have used onboard Raid, or fake raid as you are stating.

    I have used the high end, 15k SAS drives and high end raids, probably as you have. I have also purchased Dell Perc cards and used regular SATA drives with them, and I also have several servers using the onboard RAID as well.

    While I fully agree that the high end drives paired with quality RAID cards does give a noticeable performance boost, and with a built in battery rebuilds are at a minimum if at all, the onboard RAID systems have proven to be just as reliable, flexible and easy to use, albeit with a much slower performance.

    I still think onboard RAID is better than no RAID at all, since we are still in the era of mechanical drives, which are slowly giving way to SSD and others.

  5. #5
    Untangle Ninja hescominsoon's Avatar
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    wrong..ich7 is not hardware raid. It's a proprietary binary drivers that takes dma calls and reoutes them to simulate hardware riad. If it's raid 1 you don't see that bad of a hit but the issue is you ca't take that ichx raid and move it to a different mobo of a different ichx and have it work..it won't. if you do raid 5 in ANY software raid you then route ALL data through the cpu..that's pio mode and that blows. Linux MD software raid doesn't use a proprietary driver and therefore doesn't have to do int13 calls to fake raid. It simply just makes copies using DMA and whatnot..no card/bios calls involved. The nice thing is..it's totally portable form machine to machine. I've used fakeraid many times..there's a reason this proprietary garbage isn't supported..it's crap. If you want raid use an actual raid controller(be careful many of the cheapies are actually fakeraid themselves)..or use the md raid in the advanced install for raid 1..don't try raid 5 w/o a real controller.

  6. #6
    Untangle Ninja hescominsoon's Avatar
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    also if you are using a perc s-class..that's fakeraid too. if you HAVE to have raid and don't have a real raid card..use the advanced install and setup mdraid..that's better than nothing. Setting up biod driven, non portable, fakeraid isn't a solution...it only leads to more problems down the road.

  7. #7
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    I think that the portability issue would be hard to substantiate as most people don't have a spare system identical or even similar to the system they are recovering from/to. Most people just want RAID, at least from what I am seeing and doing, to guard against mechanical drives that run hot 24/7, 365 days a year.

    Ive had great, enterprise SAS drives die after 2-4 years, and those drives aren't cheap. Most people use RAID 5 for those drives due to the low capacity. I prefer RAID 1 due to the ease of recovery, but to be honest R1 or R5 is fine. I am aware of other RAIDs but haven't used them much nor found need to.

    So I am not really believing the fake raid line as it is talking about portability, something that I really don't think most of us will be doing or have the means to do.

    Still seems valuable to me and Untangle really isn't a total resource hog for the most part to not be able to handle RAID of some sort just for the install.

    Is there a list of RAID cards that Untangle will recognize even if it doesn't allow you to see the state of the RAID drives? In a somewhat related note, VMware ESX/ESXi/vSphere or whatever they call it now, is very flexible with the various RAID options out there, "fake" or otherwise.
    Last edited by warhed; 12-20-2010 at 07:28 PM. Reason: Redundant sentence

  8. #8
    Untangle Ninja sky-knight's Avatar
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    I'm not arguing merit, a mirror is handy in Untangle installations.

    However, the linux world doesn't support the use of pseudo devices of any kind. They waited an eternity for "win modems" and only use the software based network interfaces because they have to.

    When it comes to raid, the Linux world would rather you do software RAID with the kernel, than use a fake RAID installation. You have that option, the ICH9 controller in SATA mode can be used with Untangle, and as mentioned before, an advanced isntallation can use the software RAID functions of the linux kernel.

    This process is not officially supported. Personally, I feel if you need a low cost way of ensuring consistent Untangle performance I suggest you use an SSD drive, or even better, purchase an NG series appliance. Those devices have an integrated disaster recovery system that allows the administrator to backup and restore Untangle from an internal CF Media card. If the drive fails... image it and get back online.

    And you're wrong about ESXi... its list of OK raid controllers is rather short, and limited to VERY expensive boards. There is no such thing as a VMWare certified fake RAID.
    Rob Sandling, BS:SWE, MCP
    NexgenAppliances.com
    Phone: 866-794-8879 x201
    Email: support@nexgenappliances.com

  9. #9
    Master Untangler
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    That sounds like a good option Sky, I am just so unfamiliar with Linux and Untangle advanced installs, guess I better get on it.

    I have two Untangles out there with SSD cards but I am somewhat regretting it. I keep reading about "trim" support that must be in the OS or SSD's can really slow down. So far no problem, but we are only talking about a 90 day deployment. So far i really haven't seen any performance boost using SSD on Untangle, but I sure do see it on my Win 7 Laptop with an SSD.

  10. #10
    Untangle Ninja hescominsoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by warhed View Post
    I think that the portability issue would be hard to substantiate as most people don't have a spare system identical or even similar to the system they are recovering from/to. Most people just want RAID, at least from what I am seeing and doing, to guard against mechanical drives that run hot 24/7, 365 days a year.

    Ive had great, enterprise SAS drives die after 2-4 years, and those drives aren't cheap. Most people use RAID 5 for those drives due to the low capacity. I prefer RAID 1 due to the ease of recovery, but to be honest R1 or R5 is fine. I am aware of other RAIDs but haven't used them much nor found need to.

    So I am not really believing the fake raid line as it is talking about portability, something that I really don't think most of us will be doing or have the means to do.

    Still seems valuable to me and Untangle really isn't a total resource hog for the most part to not be able to handle RAID of some sort just for the install.

    Is there a list of RAID cards that Untangle will recognize even if it doesn't allow you to see the state of the RAID drives? In a somewhat related note, VMware ESX/ESXi/vSphere or whatever they call it now, is very flexible with the various RAID options out there, "fake" or otherwise.
    absolutely flat wrong on raid in esxi. I think you need to do some research of your own before spewing anything more. As sky said raid 1 has merit..the execution o raid in your scenario doesn't. When you have a box fail and you can't port the drives..you'll learn the hard way about fakeraid...or you can listen to those of us that have been there and actually understand the differences. Use either a real hardware raid card or linux kernel software raid(for anything other than raid 1 you MUST use hardware raid for decent performance on any UT/Linux platform). Another thing about fakeriad. WHEN..not if..the driver breaks...or gets updated in a weird way..or you flash your bios..the chances are very high of your array going poofies. That will not happen under the Linux kernel and is extremely rare in a true hardware raid card...trust me..i've had to recover much more critical systems than a firewall due to fakeriad failures.

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