Saturday, March 9, 2013

Dell PowerEdge 2950: Staging the RAID

The Dell PowerEdge 2950 comes with a hardware RAID controller, which needs to be invoked during boot (press Ctrl + R at the prompt).  Once the PERC 5/i Integrated BIOS Configuration Utility loads, you can follow the handy guide over at to set up the hardware RAID.  Their guide cites the PERC 6/i, but the steps are the same.

Thanks, Ramesh (the author)!

I have four 2TB disks installed, and I selected them all to participate in the RAID-5.  Some brief research reveals that in a RAID-5 with four disks, all parity bits are stored on one drive.  I would ask if anyone could confirm that, but I'm R'ingTFM.  In the mean time though, feel free to chime in.  :)

Update: Make sure after you stage the RAID, you select your Virtual Disk and press either the right arrow key or enter.  In the Initialization menu, there will be a Fast Initialization which you definitely want to select.  It will save you hours of build time (48 in my case).  It may pop up and tell you there's an initialization already in progress, but go ahead and break that one to start the fast init.  Add it the lessons learned!