Cluster RAID

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Notes on the Sixty Four Bit Cluster RAID (write-up in progress)

This page is about configuring and maintaining the RAID node, because it is special and different enough from the other nodes to warrant its own page. To see how to turn the RAID into the lab NFS and maintain it, see Cluster NFS. For how to reinstall the Cent OS operating system on the RAID node, see Installing CentOS On Cluster, then return here or see Cluster NFS for information on how to additionally configure it (change RAID settings from defaults, etc.).

The RAID is on lorien, currently being used as the NFS for the cluster.

Specs and Current Configuration

  • 3ware 9550SX SATA RAID controller card, 8 ports
  • 8 x 300GB drives (currently 7 are being used, 1 is a hot spare) - although tw_cli is showing 280GB per disk, so 300GB is probably the "marketing" GB definition
  • BIOS version seems to be BE9X, firmware version seems to be FE9X (as of 2/17/06) - this info comes up at boot time (TODO: flash these with later version?)
  • currently RAID-5: 1.7TB writeable (2.4TB total)

Documentation and Support

There are some pieces of documentation on the hardware, etc. that can be found here.

Drivers, firmware, configuration tools, etc. can be downloaded here.

Configuration and Maintenance Tools

Hit Alt + 3 after RAM count at boot to go to BIOS manager for the RAID controller card.

You can use 3DM2 to manage the RAID via a web client, and the 3dm2 daemon is installed and running... but who wants that when you can use the command line!

Instead, we will use the tw_cli command-line interface (CLI) in /usr/sbin/ (this is actually a symlink to the binary in /usr/tw_cli/, a directory which contains other useful things like the documentation, etc.). Run it, and it will open up a shell to manage the RAID. You can also write scripts and have tw_cli execute them. The documentation for the program can be found here (PDF file).

Some useful tw_cli commands:


Shows our controller card(s) and some basic info, such as how many drives and logical units we have.


Backing up the RAID contents to a tape drive

See how to do this here: TSMBackupSystem.


-- Andrew Uzilov - 06 Mar 2006