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I would like to know what 64-bit Linux distribution can I use with an Intel ICH10R RAID. I have tried CentOS 5.2 and Ubuntu Server 8.04. Neither support that raid controller.

Also, I would like to know where do I setup the RAID-5 I want to use. I am using a TYAN S7002 motherboard and the BIOS software does not include an option to configure the RAID as I am used to do with Dell servers...

Thanks a lot in advance.

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6 Answers 6

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Using cheap hardware raid under Linux is a bad idea. Linux software raid (md) is faster, more reliable, and has the bonus that you can switch motherboards and not lose all your data. Just use the software raid setup in the OS install, both CentOS and Ubuntu have GUIs for creating the RAID at OS install time.

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what if I want to use two different operating systems? like windows 7 and ubuntu.

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1  
Who says the driver will work the same way under both operating systems? That and you're stuck using NTFS under Ubuntu...not something I'd trust production data to, even if the read-write support has been there for a while. –  Broam Mar 22 '10 at 19:48
    
Fast multi-core CPUs are ubiquitous, RAM is cheap, both Virtualbox and VMWare Player are free... so why not virtualize the secondary OS? It's usually much more of a win than dual-booting. –  Skyhawk Jan 9 '11 at 20:52

Software RAID on Linux (based on md) is documented sufficiently; moreover, a good linux system admin, even under pressure, knows and can recall the commands by heart. dmraid or fakeraid is however something I wouldn't trust with any precious data, I'd go with md if I couldn't get the company to pay for a real raid card.

However, the ideal is a pure 100% hardware raid solution, not the cheap onboard fakeraid chipsets: no point in loosing precious CPU cycles on disk i/o when you spent so much on a server to do something in production.

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Software RAID on Linux lacks proper documentation, simple tools (a sysadmin under pressure needs to rely on simplicity) and clear guidelines on how to recover a failed RAID5 set.

I wouldn't use software RAID5 in a production environment...

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What's wrong with mdadm? Or are eyou talking about fakeraid? –  ptman May 28 '10 at 6:06

I would also like to get Linux-drivers for ich10r, or prefferably a linux-version with drivers built in. I do not have such a motherboard, but I want to set up a fileserver. I am a n00b in Linux, my main competanse would be DOS.. secondary windows or Novell.

I would like for someone to check out this download from Intel:

http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&DwnldID=18570&lang=eng

If I understand it correctly it seems they intend for this to be a driver for most intel RAID sets- including the ICH10r- for linux (they mention specifically red-hat and suse, would I assume correctly that it should work in all other linuxes aswell??) I would love feedback as to the general functionality of that driver.

when it comes to the BIOS question, I might be able to help (assuming I understood you correctly,and assuming your motherboards built in RAID functions similar to my ICH8r on my asus P5B-e motherboard):

The basic BIOS on the computer only contains two settings that relate to the RAID. I do not remember exactly where in the BIOS those settings are hidden, but one is to tell the BIOS that the SATA discs is to be used as RAID (other options is IDE, and AHCI).. The other setting is one that actives/deactivates the RAID BIOS for the ICH chip. When it has been activated you need to reboot and wait until the primary BIOS is done. that is when the RAID Bios starts up and tells what discs are installed on the ports of the raid-controller.. press shift-r or shift-b or whatever it tells you to press to enter the RAID-bios. and voila, that is where you set up the raid-settings.

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Fakeraid is an absolute thumbs down. 2012 and Intel server boards with ICH10R still mark 3TB HDDs as 750GB, write the RAID metadata in the middle of the disks and Linux looks at the end and cannot find a RAID set.

Surprising to some, even hardware RAID is on the way out. When you had a 500MHz P3 laboring under your workload, offloading RAID1 to a 400MHz IOP made sense. Now with multicore hyperthreaded 2.5GHz CPUs having 16GB of DDR3 RAM, and IOPs in high end RAID cards still stuck at ~800MHz with 256--512MB cache, you are much better off using md software RAID. Many hardware RAID cards also hide some or all of SMART information from the OS. This is a bad thing.

Software (md) RAID lets you move disks freely in case of failure without scrambling for the same or compatible RAID card. You can monitor SMART status. You do not depend on proprietary, poorly-maintained software by LSI or nVidia or Intel or HP. (hpacucli is a joke as Linux kernels evolve.) You get emails on any disk failure. What else do you want? Stick a mdadm cheat-sheet above your desk and be done with it.

Dual boot (for games only) --- don't. Buy more hardware. Dual boot (for MSOffice) --- use VirtualBox.

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