|Subject:||Adaptec management tools|
|From:||Gary Mu1der (gmul...@infotechfl.com)|
|Date:||Aug 15, 2005 6:24:53 pm|
Excuse the late post as I have been traveling, but I have my $0.02NZ to add:
The MegaMon software for the LSI MegaRAID controllers (or at least the version that used to be downloadable from http://people.freebsd.org/~msmith/RAID/index.html) crashed the two FreeBSD 4.x servers I installed it on.
Given that knowing and repairing the state of RAID disks is fairly critical and rebooting is unacceptable, we moved to Adaptec 2200S controllers using the aac FreeBSD driver.
Scott also recommended to me to use the Linux compatibility support to run the Linux version of aaccli. I was not able to get this running on amd64 FreeBSD 5.4, possibly due to a combination of my lack of knowledge of the Linux compatibility layer and issues with ports on amd64.
I ended up using the statically compiled aaccli out of ports (which Scott warned me away from as it was compiled against FreeBSD 4.3 or similar). This has worked fine both on FreeBSD 4.x and 5.4.
We have a RAID5 setup and I have tested pulling drives, hot spare failover, and automatic rebuilds, all managed and monitored using aaccli. The only issue I found (which is a firmware issue with the 2200S and not aaccli) is that global hot spares don't seem to work when there is only one volume. The hot spare is assigned and used by the failed volume, but it still listed as a global host spare. A bit worrisome if there is another failure and a hot spare is required. Assigning the hot spare as dedicated to a volume works fine.
I also wrote a Perl expect script to query the RAID controller via aaccli and push the output to Nagios. Now I will get paged morning, noon and night if a disk fails :-)
Scott Long wrote:
Charles Sprickman wrote:
I think we have a few Adaptec people here...
Having been bit in the ass by "raidutil" in the past (if there's one app I'd like to see with a "Are you sure? (y/n)" dialogue, it's that one) I'm wondering what the other options are.
Some background... I'm working with about a dozen boxes that have some flavor or Adaptec RAID controller. It seems that we are reaching a point where more and more drives are reaching the end of their useful lives. This means that I'm having to use the management tools more often. So far even just replacing a failed drive is a pain:
-yank old drive -mount new drive in carrier and install -reboot -enter SMOR -fiddle with interface until it's convinced to rebuild onto new drive -hope for the best :)
I would really like to avoid the reboot step, there's no reason for it other than to get to that BIOS screen. I do not want to install X on these servers to run the full GUI. I simply will not trust "raidutil" until I see Adaptec post some more detailed documentation, specifically in a "HOWTO" format. I don't like parsing dense docs when in a panic (who really does?).
At one point Adaptec released the source to raidutil. I'm not sure if it's still available for download, though someone on this list might have it archived somewhere. I was always skeptical of the legality of distributing modifications to it since the licensing in the source files seemed ambiguous at best. Others may have more positive opinions on it.
There's also quite a disconnect between the paper docs packaged with the units (mostly ZCR units in SuperMicro SuperServers). There's instructions for a program that I don't think even exists for FreeBSD (Storage Manager Pro?), yet that's what they suggest.
I could possibly stomach an X app if I could connect to it remotely. There are hints of this in the manuals, but I don't see any such thing in the asr-utils package.
A lesson on Adaptec apps:
Storage Manager - X/Motif app for managing DPT Gen5+6 and Adaptec 2005/2015/2100/2110/3xxx controllers (note that this list does not include the 2120 and 2200 or any of the newer SATA controllers). I think that there might have been a FreeBSD version at some point, but it's honestly been too many years for me to remember or care. The sources had proprietary pieces that could not be released.
raidutil - CLI for the same family of controllers as Storage Manager. Ported to FreeBSD of course.
Storage Manager Pro - Java/Swing app for managing every Adaptec RAID controller circa 2001 except for the old Dell zero channel UW/U2/UDMA controllers. I ported this to FreeBSD, but the lack of working native threads at the time severly limited it so I never released it.
aaccli - CLI for the 2020/2120/2200/5400 and the more recent SATA offerings, as well as the Dell PERC series. I ported this to FreeBSD, though I recommend using the Linux version under emulation these days since it is more up to date.
Storage Manager Browser Edition (SMBE) - web server/client app for managing most of Adaptec's controllers circa 2003. This was never ported to FreeBSD in any form, but I personally don't consider this to be a loss.
For the Adaptec folks: Is there anything you can do to get more information online? Will there be any updates to existing tools (RAIDUTIL Version: 3.04 Date: 9/27/2000 - 5 years old)? Will there be a way to config in a GUI without X libs on the server anytime soon?
raidutil is abandonware. Again, if you can find the released source tarball and do something with it, more power to you. I doubt that you'll be able to get much technical assistance out of Adaptec unless you represent a significant amount of future revenue. You could try experimenting with SMBE under Linux emulation. The server part can run without X libs, though it contains its own complete private web server and can often times chew a lot of CPU while idle. Some people don't care about these details, others do. YMMV.
For the FreeBSD folks: What are you using? Do you trust the tools you can find? Are you using something besides Adaptec for hardware RAID? If so, how do you like it? What are the management tools like? Does it tend to randomly mark drives as "bad" for no apparent reason then later decide they are indeed "good"?
LSI, 3ware, Areca, and Highpoint all have decent controllers with management apps for FreeBSD. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, but I'd recommend LSI MegaRAID as the best high-end choice, followed by Areca for mid-range SATA.
I'm ranting because Adaptec support has been next to useless. All total over the last few years I've installed more than two dozen Adaptec RAID products on FreeBSD and I'm struggling to understand why I should continue. Don't get me wrong, the asr driver "just works", but the management is opaque at best, dangerous at worst.
I spent several years writing management apps for Adaptec, and your comments don't surprise me at all.
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