I am using an external eSATA device which takes 5 SATA drives and presents them as one large HW RAID5 to linux (ubuntu).

It uses a SiI3726 chipset.

Linux sees and handles the sata device just fine, but I'm wondering if there's any way to query/monitor the RAID5 status that's hiding behind this HW RAID.

(from dmesg -- I swear I don't have a 16T single drive...)

[   16.409678] sd 4:0:0:0: [sde] 31255691264 512-byte logical blocks: (16.0 TB/14.5 TiB)
[   16.409727] sd 4:0:0:0: [sde] Write Protect is off
[   16.409730] sd 4:0:0:0: [sde] Mode Sense: 00 3a 00 00
[   16.409752] sd 4:0:0:0: [sde] Write cache: disabled, read cache: enabled, doesn't support DPO or FUA
[   16.463573]  sde: sde1
[   16.463785] sd 4:0:0:0: [sde] Attached SCSI disk

(from lshw)

        description: ATA Disk
        product: SATA H/W RAID5
        physical id: 4
        bus info: scsi@4:0.0.0
        logical name: /dev/sde

Any guidance on peering at the system underneath would be appreciated.

RAID status is my big concern, but actual drive models would be helpful too.

I looked at some libatasmart tools, but couldn't find anything regarding SATA port multipliers in general.

There are utilities to check/set the RAID settings in OSX/Windows, so it is apparently possible. I'm looking for a way to do this in Linux and then potentially add to Nagios, etc.

Here's what the HW looks like: card in chassis

  • 3
    port multipliers are the devil! Some of them have very ugly failure modes. Where a failure on any single disk results in the failure of all of the disks behind the multiplier. I have experienced this type of failure first hand. See: zdnet.com/are-sata-port-multipliers-safe-7000011897 usenix.org/system/files/fastpw13-paper7_0.pdf If you can avoid using one, I strongly suggest that you do. At least keep a good backup.
    – Zoredache
    Nov 6, 2014 at 1:56
  • 1
    they may be the devil, but I'm trying to work with the devil I've found in the colo -- I probably wouldn't buy them myself.
    – Joel K
    Nov 6, 2014 at 17:26
  • 1
    @JoelK Can you provide information on the manufacturer/make/model of the external eSATA device? Without that information, it's difficult to help you.
    – ewwhite
    Nov 11, 2014 at 3:54
  • 1
    Also, can you show the relevant portion of lspci?
    – ewwhite
    Nov 11, 2014 at 4:31
  • Sorry to say, you would need a driver for Linux to support this feature. Without the driver, there is no way that Linux will be able to see the devices which are 'multiplexed' (e.g. Many channels combined into one). It will only see the single device. The same problem exists with a number of cheap RAID controllers. Nov 11, 2014 at 5:49

3 Answers 3


You may be one of the only people who have run into this issue :)

Well, possibly... The use of SATA multipliers is a no-no in server-class systems. Heck, using SATA is a bit risky these days, with ever-increasing drive capacities.

It's not surprising that you've had a difficult time finding information about the SATA port multiplier and monitoring under Linux. Using a SAS expander is the preferred and more supportable approach. Expanders are the norm for server backplanes and external storage JBOD enclosures. As a result, port multipliers are somewhat rare and don't have much mindshare. Adding a layer of abstraction through eSATA almost eliminates any chance of your drives being exposed to the OS, unless the card you're using in the host has OS-lever driver support.

What type of eSATA host card are you using?

At this point, I would rely on the enclosure and visual LED status checks to determine array health. Provide more information about the device, and there's a slim chance status can be communicated to the host (if using the right card), but I wouldn't expect it otherwise.


The enclosure being used here does not have LED indicators for drive health. You won't have any way of visually determining drive array status or doing this via your host.

enter image description here

enter image description here


I reached out to the manufacturer for support:

The OP post a wrong part that is why no one can help :-) See: https://serverfault.com/a/644247/13325

  • So you recommend a web cam? :-) Nov 11, 2014 at 7:08
  • @RonaldPottol Possibly!
    – ewwhite
    Nov 11, 2014 at 14:20
  • @ewwhite Posting images from the URLs that I gave to you isn't giving me any new information. I already know what the system looks like and about the LEDs on the front. I need a software mechanism to poll the RAID status of a port multiplier. There are utilities for Windows and OSX that are able to get this info, I'm looking for equivalent work in Linux. I know this all works even over USB-eSATA (this is how we provision the units) -- again, I just need some visibility in Linux-land.
    – Joel K
    Nov 13, 2014 at 2:19
  • 1
    @JoelK The enclosure details weren't clear as of your initial question. The details were scarce. I think you're saying that you have this external unit connected to a motherboard that has an eSATA connection, or maybe an SATA adapter plate. I explained that Linux support for this is rightfully poor. I'm sorry it's not what you want to hear, but your best shot at getting RAID status with what you have is to use an HBA that has known-good Linux support or to contact the manufacturer.
    – ewwhite
    Nov 13, 2014 at 2:39
  • 1
    The point of posting the photo was to illustrate how barebones the enclosure is and that there would be no form of monitoring or diagnostics via SCSI Enclosure Services (or the SATA equivalent).
    – ewwhite
    Nov 13, 2014 at 2:45

This is DATOptic-Support Team, the manufacture of the 1U stand-alone Hardware RAID.

The control uses in this 1U rack is NOT SiI-3726.

It is JM393: http://www.datoptic.com/ec/5x-drive-hardware-raid-controller.html There is some GUI in Linux but not all flavor - go the page and click support TAB There is some CLI and OpenSuSE RAID GUI...

  • I try to run datoptic.com/Download/HWRaidManager.dat, and I get -bash: ./HWRaidManager.dat: No such file or directory..
    – Joel K
    Nov 14, 2014 at 2:42
  • file says it's dynamically linked.HWRaidManager.dat: ELF 32-bit LSB executable, Intel 80386, version 1 (SYSV), dynamically linked (uses shared libs), for GNU/Linux 2.6.9, BuildID[sha1]=0x61e72a2461d2b0683ba056b6d76995fbae0844eb, not stripped but ldd says not a dynamic executable
    – Joel K
    Nov 14, 2014 at 2:42
  • Did you make the file executable?
    – ewwhite
    Nov 14, 2014 at 2:46
  • yes, it's +x -- here's the strace
    – Joel K
    Nov 22, 2014 at 7:24
  • strace ./HWRaidManager.dat execve("./HWRaidManager.dat", ["./HWRaidManager.dat"], [/* 17 vars */]) = -1 ENOENT (No such file or directory) dup(2) = 3 fcntl(3, F_GETFL) = 0x8002 (flags O_RDWR|O_LARGEFILE) fstat(3, {st_mode=S_IFCHR|0600, st_rdev=makedev(136, 1), ...}) = 0 mmap(NULL, 4096, PROT_READ|PROT_WRITE, MAP_PRIVATE|MAP_ANONYMOUS, -1, 0) = 0x7fdb5ac8f000 lseek(3, 0, SEEK_CUR) = -1 ESPIPE (Illegal seek) write(3, "strace: exec: No such file or di"..., 40strace: exec: No such file or directory
    – Joel K
    Nov 22, 2014 at 7:25

I feel like the enclosure you're using has this RAID/port-multiplier board in it. (The pictures seem to match-up.) (Ugh-- actually, it's close but not exactly the same. The jumper layout is like the model SPM393PS-SEV, but that model is supposedly 4 disks / 2 hosts.)

If that's the case, the manufacturer's web site purports to have a "X86 - Linux Daemon Tool - CLI" package available, among other software offerings. Not having one of these things, obviously, I can't actually run it, but the strings in the file seem to be promising.

If it is that unit and the Linux-based software doesn't work you could always strap an Arduino to the pins of the status LED on the back and monitor that. (Ugly, to be sure, but it could be made to work...)

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