Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

How can I remotely determine if there's any RAID configuration in use?

share|improve this question
This question is unanswerable in its current form. What operating system? What exactly are you trying to figure out? The answer is probably, "you can't, except in very specific cases", but given more details we might be able to help you out. – larsks Nov 17 '10 at 21:56
As the above comment notes, more information is needed before we can provide a useful answer. What Operating System is in use? What is the hardware? I would actually disagree slightly with larsks and say that you usually can find the answer, but only if you know where to look (which requires more details). ;-) – Christopher Cashell Nov 17 '10 at 22:49
up vote 0 down vote accepted

With most operating systems if you can remote into a system and you have a sufficient privileges you can see whether software RAID is configured, or if hardware RAID is in use. For the software case there's nothing to stop you finding the precise configuration but for hardware RAID you will typically only be able to see that there are volumes provided by a RAID capable controller but not what RAID type (if any) are actually used.

If you have an out-of-band management solution (iDRAC\iLO\BMC..) you can usually get the precise hardware RAID config from that. Likewise if you have vendor hardware management tools installed in the operating system (Dell OpenManage etc) you can get that level of detail from that too.

Then there is SAN attached storage - again without SAN tools installed in the OS you will have no way of telling what the underlying RAID type for the SAN attached volumes is.

One case where this definitely wont be true is if the remote system is a Virtual Machine - without access to the Hypervisor or hardware directly you can't get any information about the underlying disk structure - RAID will almost certainly be used either locally or via a SAN but the VM will have no way to get that information.

share|improve this answer

Software Raids generally run on MDADM ( but this sometimes can be running without a raid beneath it )

cat /proc/mdstat

Hardware raids are normally a little more complicated..

Generally I try some of these

ls -la /dev/sd* ( to see what shows up - perhaps multiple disks )
mount    (showing me whats mounted )
lsmod    (showing me the modules loaded in the kernel )
dmesg    (should show me the RAID controller - if its loaded )

finally there is usally a bunch of tools installed for the raid controller if its supported..
So i look for those.. :P

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.