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Use of RAID Card in Non-Raid Configuration RRS feed

  • Question

  • I currently have a W2K03 Server that I'm using for file storage and as a domain controller among other things.  It presently has an Areca hardware raid card running in a RAID 10 config with 4 drives.  My plan at this point is to migrate the domain controller function to a different system and install WHS on this one for file storage, etc.  I realize that RAID is unsupported and have no real desire to use raided drives.  However, I was wondering whether it's an issue to simply have the drives connected to the raid controller in a non-raid configuration since I don't have enough spare onboard SATA ports.  I also realize that I'd need to install the RAID card drivers during setup.  Outside of that, is there anything further assuming what I'm looking to do is  within reason?

    Thanks,

    Bill
    Thursday, June 19, 2008 5:35 PM

Answers

  • If it's a fully fledged RAID card, you might not be able to run it in basic mode. Also, it depends on it's implementation of JBOD, what you need, is for each drive to be seen as an individual card by the operating system; some JBOD set-ups are not presented like that, so your mileage may vary.

    I guess you could experiment, there's no reason why not! The one problem you may see, is installing the relevant drivers,don't forget that they will need to be installed both during the graphical portion, and the text-mode portion.

     

     

    Colin

     

    Monday, June 23, 2008 4:36 PM
  • The standard workaround for this (the need to expose individual disks through a RAID HBA that doesn't support that functionality) is to configure one RAID array per physical disk. User RAID 0, RAID 1, or JBOD, whichever your card will allow single disk arrays with.
    Tuesday, June 24, 2008 1:45 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Bill,

    Does your Raid card have non-Raid firmware? What you want, is for it's firmware to expose the drives as individual drives, not JBOD in which a lot of cards just 'lump' the drives together.

    Alternatively, a SATA card to replace it, should be cheap, jut note that it would require server 2003 drivers, to be fully compatable.

     

    Colin
    Thursday, June 19, 2008 7:47 PM
  • Colin,

    I'm not certain but as far as I can tell, I would probably say no since the manual doesn't appear to note anything about setting the drives up in a non-raid fashion.  My card is an Areca 1210 if that helps.  I guess I was hoping that if I deleted the current RAID set and didn't create a new one that all the individual drives would be seen.  I have the RAID bios disabled for the onboard SATA controllers but as previously noted, I don't have enough ports for the number of drives I have (5).

    With regard to the SATA card, can you recommend one that includes Windows 2003 driver support?

    - Bill
    Saturday, June 21, 2008 3:09 AM
  • Bill,

    Surprisingly enough, a lot of the cheap SATA cards come with Server 2003 drivers; certainly ones on the Sil3132 or Sil3134 chipset.

     

     

    Colin

    Saturday, June 21, 2008 4:05 PM
  • Colin,

    I'll take a look at Newegg and see what's available there.  I haven't tried it but what would happen if I just deleted the current RAID set and didn't bother to create a new one, including JBOD, which the card supports?  How would the RAID controller view / handle things?  I realize it would be silly to use a hardware RAID card w/out RAID but since I won't really have a need for the card otherwise, I figured that I may as well use it.
    Monday, June 23, 2008 4:14 PM
  • If it's a fully fledged RAID card, you might not be able to run it in basic mode. Also, it depends on it's implementation of JBOD, what you need, is for each drive to be seen as an individual card by the operating system; some JBOD set-ups are not presented like that, so your mileage may vary.

    I guess you could experiment, there's no reason why not! The one problem you may see, is installing the relevant drivers,don't forget that they will need to be installed both during the graphical portion, and the text-mode portion.

     

     

    Colin

     

    Monday, June 23, 2008 4:36 PM
  • The standard workaround for this (the need to expose individual disks through a RAID HBA that doesn't support that functionality) is to configure one RAID array per physical disk. User RAID 0, RAID 1, or JBOD, whichever your card will allow single disk arrays with.
    Tuesday, June 24, 2008 1:45 AM
    Moderator
  •  

    Did this on a HP Proliant 380 the other day. Made a array with one disk. OS was Windows Server Standard 2003 - works fine.
    Tuesday, June 24, 2008 10:19 PM
  • I can verify that this method works.  I had a SATA RAID card that hat 4 drives on it.  I ended up configuring 4 JBOD arrays and it worked just fine.
    Wednesday, June 25, 2008 2:10 PM
  • Thanks much -- this is good to know.   JBOD is supported on my Areca card so I'll go with that presuming it allows a 1 disk JBOD, which I presume it will.  I'll follow-up once I've had a chance to try this out. 

    Thanks everyone!
    Saturday, June 28, 2008 6:40 PM
  • Just wanted to do a brief follow-up.  I am finally going to get a chance to setup WHS next weekend, where I'll hopefully be met with success.  That noted, I did note the following in the manual for my Areca RAID card, which I somehow missed the first go around.  It seems I can use individual disks / non-raid, which is what I need / want to do.  Thanks again for the support!

    Support RAID level 0, 1, Single Disk, and JBOD

    - Bill
    Wednesday, August 6, 2008 2:12 PM