4 Replies Latest reply on May 28, 2010 11:07 AM by ECBowen

    How do i monitor the health of my Raid array?


      First, I want to thank Harm, Bill, and all the countless others who continue to give great advice on this forum.  My question is how to I monitor the health of my raid array and how to determine which disk is acting up.   I am using a 3-disk soft raid 0 off my motherboard (gigabyte ud3p).  Seems to work pretty well but occasionally has a hiccup in certain programs.  I wonder if it is a sign of an impending problem or if it is just because it is a soft raid.  I've tried several HD diagnostics (Crystal Disk Info, Active@, HD Tune, etc.) but aside from temperature, they don't give any info about the impending death of my raid 0.  I have the SMART feature turned on in bios.


      To premtively address the critics about the raid 0.  I only do about one video a week and do a backup every night.  So i figured it (and when) it crashes, i'll just lose a days work. The motherboard is suppose to do a raid 5 but it performed really poorly.  My system is configured with additional drives (SSD boot, Raid 0 scratch, and final video) as recommended.  Any advice would be appreciated.



        • 1. Re: How do i monitor the health of my Raid array?
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          The problem with almost all raid controllers is that they do not support SMART. So that is out. With software raids you are even more limited.


          With hardware raid controllers you have web based interfaces that show some basic information, like this:



          but software raids do not. There are two ways to determine possible problems, at least that I know of:


          1. Use drive cages with LED's for the individual drives to show activity and inspect them visually.


          2. Use old-fashioned manual labour to feel vibrations, temperatures and hear clicks on individual drives.


          With only 3 drives in the raid, the chances of guessing correctly are 33.3% to start with and they only increase with manual inspection. A far easier job than in the case of 6 or more disks.


          Sorry I can not offer better suggestions.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: How do i monitor the health of my Raid array?
            timodano Level 1

            Thanks Harm,

            I guess technically my raid is a firmware raid, so  i created another raid using windows 7 (a soft raid) and I got the same  numbers.  Then i took the raid apart and tested each disk individually  only to find that the disk were okay and sometimes faster than the raid  speeds.  So the lesson is that even with a i7 980x (OC to 3.9), you   still need a raid card.  This is rather disappointing since soft raids  on my macpro run wonderfully.  I know you have a high end Areca card.   Would the areca arc-1222 pcie x8 SATA raid card work for my simpler  needs?  Can i create a 2-drive raid 0 (scratch disk) and a 3-drive raid 0  (data disk) on it at the same time?  Or would you recommend combining  the disk and having a 5-drive raid 5  (that contained both data and  scratch) instead?



            • 3. Re: How do i monitor the health of my Raid array?
              Harm Millaard Level 7

              The Areca card you pointed to is perfectly OK, with the one limitation that is noted in the reviews in terms of non-expandable cache.


              You can use both approaches, 2 raid0 arrays or a single raid5 (or raid3). Personally I would probably prefer a 5 disk raid3 over 2 raid0's because of the redundancy. From a performance POV there will not be a significant difference I think.

              • 4. Re: How do i monitor the health of my Raid array?
                ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                If you use the onboard raid and the Intel Rapid storage Manager utility you can verify the raid array with the utility. The utility will also sit in your taskbar and let you know if the raid array goes off line. For a 2 drive raid 0 the onboard raid is more than enough. If you go with parity arrays or larger raid 0 arrays then definitely get a raid card.