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I have several servers running Windows 2008 and Red Hat 5 that are capable of hardware RAID. How do I check that hardware RAID is configured?

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It will be disk controller specific, let us know what you've got. –  Chopper3 Aug 12 '09 at 20:13
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Pull a disk out. See what happens. –  Mark Henderson Aug 12 '09 at 21:06
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3 Answers

The Prior Answers from Aug are over thinking this on the Windows side.

A. You have Server 2008
B. The possibilities are disks are in a hardware RAID or not.

  1. Rick click on the "computer" icon on the desktop or the computer item in the Start Menu
  2. Select Manage
  3. Expand Storage
  4. Click on Disk Management
  5. In the bottom center pane you'll see Disk 0, Disk 1, etc
  6. On the left column under the Disk number you'll see the word Basic or Dynamic

If your disks all say Basic then you either don't have RAID arrays on them or you have hardware RAID.

If your disks say Dynamic and you see the same drive letter on multiple drives you have software RAID.

Another simple way of looking at it is

  1. Rick click on the "computer" icon on the desktop or the computer item in the Start Menu
  2. Select Manage
  3. Expand Diagnostics
  4. Click on Device Manager
  5. Expand Disk Drives (in the middle pane)

If you see drives named like an actual hard drive manufacturer + model you have no RAID or software RAID on those drives.

If you see drives named like RAID manufacturers or that say something like "Dell VIRTUAL DISK SCSI Disk Device" you have hardware RAID array(s). And yes the part in quotes as redundant as it looks is the actual name of an array in the device manager on one of my servers.

Having Dell OpenManage installed, rebooting and going into the BIOS or RAID config are all nice but you can do the steps above from Remote Desktop connections even on a system with no specialized tools installed.

I don't have Red Hat 5 running here to play with but I'd have to assume there are clues you can pull out of some part of the UI or a command line option to do the same basic how does a non raid drive describe itself, vs a software RAID, vs a hardware RAID.

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If the RAID controller officially supports your OS then it will have a set of tools to monitor it. These were probably provided with the hardware, though will also be downloadabed from the manufacturer's website.

If your RAID controller is fully supported by Linux as a RAID controller (i.e. it sees it as a RAID controller and not a bog-standard SCSI/SATA/PATA controller), the you may find useful information in the /proc filesystem and find tools out there that display/monitor this information for you. If you know the RAID controllers that are in your machines, you might want to add that detail to your question then people with specific knowledge of that controller might pipe up with more specific information.

If you do not have any OS level tools to monitor the hardware, then you will need to reboot the machines and interact with the RAID controller's boot-time configuration code.

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+1 for "Yeah, what he said." :) –  Ernie Aug 12 '09 at 20:14
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If you type dmesg in Redhat you might see a driver for the RAID controller, but in generally hardware RAID arrays are transparent to the operating system.

The best way would be to watch the boot process and see if there is a message before the OS boot starts. It might something like:

Press Ctrl-A for SCSI Select.

You then press whatever it says to go into the SCSI bios, and see if an array is set up.

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Hehe. He said "servers", not "workstations I can reboot whenever I like" :) –  Ernie Aug 12 '09 at 20:13
    
Well something to do in the next maintenance window then ^^ –  Oskar Duveborn Oct 7 '09 at 23:00
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