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I have, for better or worse, been put in charge of a big-ass server running RHEL6. It has six 1.5 TB drives in a RAID5 configuration. I understand the theoretical concepts behind RAID, and I access this server exclusively through the command line. The server itself is housed in a data center to which access is possible--but not easy--for someone of my job tier. Thus routine physical inspection of the server is probably not an efficient avenue if software monitoring is acceptable.

When a hard drive fails, will I, as a command-line user, be alerted to this automatically during routine shell usage? If so, how? If not, what tool is recommended for simple monitoring and alerts?

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How's the RAID configured? Software RAID, or a hardware controller? –  Shane Madden Jun 19 '12 at 3:23
    
Good question, thanks! It's hardware: Dell PERC –  DeeDee Jun 19 '12 at 3:27

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Assuming you are using hardware RAID, RHEL itself only sees the logical drive presented by the RAID. It is unaware of the underlying physical disks.

If it is a Dell server you can use OpenManage to run a script for an alert that will write to your console with wall or email you.

http://www.howtogeek.com/50555/setup-email-notifications-for-dell-server-hardware-alerts/

Here is some info on doing this on an HP server http://blog.mattbrock.co.uk/2010/01/25/monitoring-diskraid-hardware-in-centos-5-on-hp-dl360-servers/

If you have a different hardware provider they should have a similar functionality.

If you are using software raid there is a good article here http://my.sohost.eu/knowledgebase/4/Monitor-Linux-software-RAID-array-with-e-mail-notification.html about monitoring /proc/mdstat for changes with a cron and sending an email if it does.

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Thanks! Your answer put me on the right track! –  DeeDee Jun 19 '12 at 3:45

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