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This might be a very simple question. Could anyone please explain what the "Array" refers to when it comes to a RAID controller. I have tried searching for it, and I'm just getting more confused.

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An "array" in the context of a RAID controller is the physical grouping of drives that can be assigned to a RAID level... A logical drive or virtual disk is a further subdividing of an array. Some RAID controllers are capable of multiple logical drives on a single array.

For instance, if you have a server with 16 drive bays, and group 6 disks together in RAID5 and another 4 disks together in RAID 1+0, you've created two arrays.

  • Is it possible for one array to have more than 1 logical/virtual drive? – Arvind Ab Nov 12 '14 at 13:03
  • @ArvindAb Yes, it's possible for an array to have multiple logical drives or virtual drives, depending on the controller. LSI, Adaptec and HP Smart Array controllers are capable of this. Can you give more specifics of the types controllers you're looking at? – ewwhite Nov 12 '14 at 13:05
  • @ewwhite ok, i got too excited there. WE are working with a SAS 6/i r controller with LSI chip on it. And we are trying to get information out regarding physical disks, and logical disk, etc. – Arvind Ab Nov 12 '14 at 13:09
  • @ArvindAb The Dell RAID utilities and LSI MegaCLI utilities are what you'd need to get information about your configuration. – ewwhite Nov 12 '14 at 13:15
  • thank a lot. We only needed to know: First what is array refering to RAID context and 2: Whether an array can have more than one logical/virtual disk.Thanks a lot again. I really appreciate it. – Arvind Ab Nov 12 '14 at 13:17
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Array referrs to group of drives bundled together to form a virtual drive with certain characteristics. Characteristics involve how data is spread over multiple drives, is there any redundancy in the array, how reads, writes and caching is done etc.

For more details I would recommend reading chapter 3.1 of Storage Network Initiative Association spec on RAID controllers which describes what Array/Virtual drive is.

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