cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
GregaJ
Level 2
21 15 0 0
Message 1 of 5
5,862
Flag Post

HP Z420 hardware RAID 1 configuration after OS instalation

HP Recommended
HP Z420
Microsoft Windows 7 (64-bit)

I'm using three HP Z420 workstations in my office. We run a small engineering company and workstations are primarily used for CAD.

 

Two are used as working computers and third is used as data server. We decided that it is enough for us to use regular workstation as a data server. It works great for some time now. This Z420 had hardware RAID 1 (two WD red 1 TB HDDs) set before OS instalation and everything is working great.

 

My question goes to our two working Z420 workstations. We have two SSDs in both of them (one pair has capacitiy of 238 GB and the other 447 GB). We are running OS and everything on both from one SSD and the other is empty on both computers. I've attached disks specifications from both workstations. One pair is from the same manufacturer and the other is from different manufacturers.

 

Is it possible to set up hardware RAID 1 configuration after the OS was installed so everything will remain intact? What is the proper procedure? Or I should leave it alone? Do I need exactly same SSD pairs or not?

 

The other question goes to mail reporting setup in Intel RST software. I want to set it up on our server workstation and it looks like I need my own smtp host on my server or it can't be done. Is there any other possibility to get RAID 1 status on my personal e-mail? The computer I use as a server doesn't have a display and I don't connect remotely every day and this would be great for RAID 1 status checking.

 

Thanks for answers.

 

HP Z420 238 GB.png

 

 

HP Z420 447 GB.png

4 REPLIES 4
DGroves
Level 11
4,481 4,464 406 933
Message 2 of 5
Flag Post
HP Recommended

first of all the stock z420 does not have a Hardware Raid controller, such controllers have a CPU and onboard ram

 

a controller like this, was/is available as a optional card such as a LSI 9260 this card will only do raid (no JBOD)

 

but does allow you to take a existing drive and create raid 1 without data loss acording to LSI in some conditions

fowever this does not mean it will work without data loss!!! you should allways backup data before doing something like this

 

the z420 uses the onboard  Intel RST chipset to provide a  raid controller that is mostly software based, but has some hardware raid parts

 

you might want to read the HP service manual and read up on this

 

https://www.server-config.ro/index.php?controller=attachment&id_attachment=21

 

the z400/420 RST raid setup is the same 

 

http://h10032.www1.hp.com/ctg/Manual/c01722861

 

as far as i know you must first select the drives and raid mode so the controller can write some data to the drive(s)

this step requires you to erase the existing drives using the intel RST

 

last the intel RST  does support mismatched drive sizes and raid  configurations (the LSI does not)

 

IE- a 4gb and a 8gb drive setup as a 4gb raid 1 with the remaining 4gb as a non raid partition

 

https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/articles/000005789/technologies.html

GregaJ
Author
Level 2
21 15 0 0
Message 3 of 5
Flag Post
HP Recommended

Thanks for answer. I got some thing sorted now. I always thought that it was full hardware RAID with controller alredy installed on Z420's motherboard.

 

I searched the web araound a bit and I don't like the answers. If someone can say from experiences that he has achieved what I want and describe me the procedure, I will try it.

 

But I was also thinking about software RAID. Is it possible to set software RAID in OS with Intel RST without changing settings in BIOS? What do I loose with this kind of RAID setup instead of regular?

0 Kudos
DGroves
Level 11
4,481 4,464 406 933
Message 4 of 5
Flag Post
HP Recommended

i have the z800 and z820 which are the full tower models and they also do not have a full hardware raid controller the LSI ROC (Raid On Chip) used lacks onboard ram, as such raid 5 is quite slow, and only raid 0/1 are really usefull

however the controller has a high bandwidth, and excells in video related work  for xfering large continous data sets

 

since you are using this for work purposes i strongly recomend you install a full hardware based raid card and if using mech drives consider raid 10 which uses four drives in a striped/mirrored setup for SSD's raid 1 is fine as long as you also buy a spare (or more) ssd of the same make/size as what you will be running

 

ssd's are constantly changing nand used/controllers type  and ssd drive sizes/models, trying to use a replacement ssd that uses a diffrent nand , controller, or size is just asking for problems down the road this is why ssd's used in business are more expensive as the drive models and hardware on said model are much less likely to change, and if it does the drive maker or oem will test the replacement to confirm the replacement will work the same as the original model ssd

 

the lsi 9270 card has  full support for SSD's and is well supported, but the 9260 also works fairly well, it just lacks some optional addons that the 9270 has as standard

 

whichever way you go, i would start by backing up the current data set(s), then create the array place some test data on it, then remove a drive to get a failed array and then see if you can recover the array

 

testing the backup/recovery BEFORE THERE IS A PROBLEM, will go a long way to peace of mind when a drive really fails

 

last there are several low cost pci-e sata based controllers that also do software raid 0/1 i would advoid them except for perhaps the highpoint based cards which are quality cards from a vender who has been around quite a while

 

the intel RST package does support raid 0/1 rather well, but being a software based solution has some limitations reguarding performance which shows in heavy use  the setup describe is not a heavy use pattern so i think performance wise you will not have a issue

 

as i stated to create a raid array the intel rst console will write data to the drives this is destructive and will erase all existing data so you will need to backup the data on the drive before creating the raid 1 array

 

last,.. most people fail to read the directions/recovery steps included with the RST package, when a drive fails, you must first mark the faild drive as bad and then remove it from the array before physically removing the failed drive

then install the replacement drive and add it to the array, the rst console will then begin the rebuild

 

and a side note, drives used in a RST array sometimes have issues when used as a single non raided drive, this can be fixed by running a Linux GPARTED command on the drive which will remove the raid code that was written to the drive by the RST console

GregaJ
Author
Level 2
21 15 0 0
Message 5 of 5
Flag Post
HP Recommended

Ok. Thanks for explanation.

I've decided I will not try to setup RAID 1 on my workstations for now, because I will have some work with new OS setup. I will do it when I will install setup from beginning.

 

Maybe I can describe my whole network setup in more details and you will see why RAID 1 is not so important on my two working workstations. Maybe someone can also point weak points in our setup.

 

I have three HP Z420 worstations connected via 10/100/1000 switch. These are workstations 0, 1 and 2.

Workstation 0 is our database workstation. It runs on Windows 7 x64 and it has RAID 1 setup with two WD red series HDDs. Everything here is under RAID 1. OS and all the data.

Workstations 1 and 2 are our working pcs. We do our regular CAD work here and we have no data on them, except OS and all the software.

We do daily backup of all our data from workstation 0 to external disk and monthly backup of all our data to external disk on different location in case of fire, etc.

 

If one of my SSD on workstations 1 and 2 fails I will set it up from beginning and the set it up with RAID 1 with same type of disks and a same spare on the side. I also have one aditional workstation on the side (older one) and one laptop workstation so work is possible even if something goes wrong on workstation 1 and 2.

 

As you can see I have some weak points in my setup, but I think they outweigh all the testing and seting up.


@DGroveswrote:

 

last,.. most people fail to read the directions/recovery steps included with the RST package, when a drive fails, you must first mark the faild drive as bad and then remove it from the array before physically removing the failed drive

then install the replacement drive and add it to the array, the rst console will then begin the rebuild

 


 

This is new for me and I would ask for some more explanation. It may come handy when RAID 1 on our 0 workstation needs rebiulding. Where do I mark the drive bad in RST software? There is also nothing written in help for RAID 1, just RAID 0, RAID 5 and RAID 10.

 

Snap 2018-05-20 at 10.33.36.png

 

 

And I have some problems setting the email reporting in RST. Any pointers how to set it, so I get disk status to my persnonal emails?

 

Snap 2018-05-20 at 10.34.08.png

 

0 Kudos
Warning Be alert for scammers posting fake support phone numbers and/or email addresses on the community. If you think you have received a fake HP Support message, please report it to us by clicking on "Flag Post".
† The opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the authors, not of HP. By using this site, you accept the Terms of Use and Rules of Participation