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Setting up a new IBM x3650 server with a ServeRAID 8-k RAID controller (for running PostgreSQL), I'm hearing advice that I should go for Red Hat rather than Debian lenny (my intended distribution) because the RAID kernel support is “more trustworthy”.

Sniffing around, it seems to me that the commonly accepted way to support ServeRAID 8-k is the aacraid module (although there is also an ips module that claims to support ServeRAID), and the aacraid module has claimed ServeRAID 8-k support, and been in the baseline kernel, for years. This suggests distribution-independent driver support.

So, is there any well-grounded reason (stability/performance) to prefer Red Hat kernels (or any particular distribution's kernels) or avoid Debian kernels, for ServeRAID controllers?

(I know that the kernel can be manhandled on whatever distribution by manual patching, but I'm looking for minimal hassle and a smidgeon of empirically-based confidence that there are no problems lying in wait.)

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3 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I can't see any reason why you wouldn't use Debian on that hardware. Even if you had to use a RedHat-patched kernel, it's still less hassle to build a customised kernel for Debian than to use a whole distribution environment you're less familiar with, but as you say, there seems to be good support for that RAID card in the Debian kernel anyway.

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To me the only reason why you should prefer RH is because there are some usefull RPM packages ready to run on RH.

For ex. the Raid Manager doesn't work well on some debian and it's a bit tricky to install. Personally I found some workaround [it's in italian] to install it and to make it working using Adaptec Storage Manager.

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Thanks for that guide! It was very helpful. –  itsadok Dec 17 '09 at 9:21
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Strange, at home i have a ibm x346 with this Raid and works perfect with debian squeeze "Out-off-the-box". In fact, it gave me more problems with another server with a Raid-6i than with this one.

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