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Perform a custom RAID configuration in DS for Dell 2.0

Created: 06 Sep 2006 • Updated: 07 Jul 2009
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This article will show how to perform a custom RAID configuration using Deployment Solution for Dell Servers version 2.0. We will use a Power Edge 6850 with four hard disks, and create a RAID 10 configuration as an example. We will be using the Linux pre-boot environment in this article, but the commands are similar for the other pre-boot environments.

Note: It is presumed the reader is familiar with RAID, and the various terms used when setting up RAID controllers.

Capturing a RAID Information File

Before we can configure the RAID controller, we need to capture a RAID information file so we know what disks we have to work with, and what RAID options are available. To capture the RAID file run the job: Sample: Get RAID Information File.

Note: You may need to edit the user modification setting for this job and change the variable GET_ADC_ID to the number of the controller you are trying to configure. Default is controller 0.

Figure 1

Click to view.

Now navigate to the newly captured information file. It is best to open the file that corresponds to the DS ID of the machine you ran the job on. The ID for the Power Edge 6850 we are using in this example is 5000011, so we want 5000011.txt.

Figure 2

Click to view.

Open the file in a text editor. The file will contain information about the virtual disks and array disks that are present on the system. In this example we will create a RAID 10 virtual disk. We'll come back to this file later, but we'll leave it open for easy reference when we need it.

Editing SetDell

Now we need to make a change to the user modification section of SetDell so we can turn off the dynamic RAID configuration job, thus enabling us to use the custom settings we will set later.

Use the configuration utility to edit SetDell. We will need to set the variable DDP_DYN_RAID to false to disable the dynamic RAID configuration.

  1. Open the configuration utility and select the advanced tab.
  2. Figure 3

    Click to view.

  3. Select the SetDell that corresponds to the pre-boot you plan to use.
  4. Figure 4

    Click to view.

  5. Click edit.
  6. Scroll down in the editor to find the user modification section. Find the section that corresponds to the machine model you want to configure. Set DDP_DYN_RAID to FALSE.

    Note: This is case sensitive, in DOS and WinPE don't put quotes around the word FALSE, and be sure there is no whitespace before or after FALSE.

  7. Figure 5

    Click to view.

  8. Save the file and close it.

Editing script files

Now we need to add our custom settings to the script files. First we need to edit the script that deletes the existing virtual disks.

  1. We are going to do a normal Configure RAID and Reboot job. Select the job in the DS console.
  2. Figure 6

    Click to view.

  3. Select the first Run Script job (corresponding to the script c0003_config_raid_a.sh) and click modify. A new window will open, click modify in this window.
  4. Once the text editor has opened navigate down to the user modification section. Uncomment the line that corresponds with the RAID controller you are trying to configure. This will delete any virtual disks that exist on that controller before the create job runs.
  5. Figure 7 - Uncomment the appropriate delete line.

    Click to view.

  6. Save the file and close the text editor, then click cancel on the Run Script window (the changes we made were to the script itself, not the job, so clicking cancel won't undo our changes).

Now we need to edit the script that actually configures the controller.

  1. Select the second Run Script job (corresponding to the script c0003_config_raid_b.sh) and click modify. A new window will open, click modify in this window.
  2. Once the text editor has opened navigate to the user modification section. Uncomment the line that corresponds with the type of RAID you would like to configure. In our example we are doing RAID 10, so we will uncomment the second line.

    Note: If there is no line corresponding to the type of RAID you would like to configure, simply copy and paste one of the example lines and modify the parameters appropriately. See the Dell DTK documentation for details on parameters for the raidcfg utility.

  3. Figure 8 - Uncomment the appropriate create line.

    Click to view.

  4. Check the controller number (the "c" parameter) to make sure it corresponds to the controller you are trying to configure. In our example the RAID controller is 0, so we will leave this parameter as is.
  5. Figure 9 - Make sure the correct controller number is specified.

    Click to view.

  6. Now we'll go back to the RAID information file we captured earlier. RAID 10 requires four disks, so we need to make sure all the array disks are listed with the "ad" parameter. The array disks that are on the system are listed in the Array Disk Information section of the information file (see figure 10 below). We need to copy and paste the contents of the "Location" field for each array disk into our script file. Be sure to separate these with commas, and do not include any whitespace. See the Dell DTK documentation for a description of the ad parameter.
  7. Figure 10 - Enter the array disks you want to be included in the virtual disk.

    Click to view.

    Figure 11 - Sample RAID information file.

    Click to view.

Once this is complete everything should be set up. Just drag and drop the job onto the machine you want to run it on and when it completes, the machine should be configured with the parameters you specified. You can run this job on as many machines as you like, just make sure to edit SetDell as described above for each model you want to run it on. Also don't forget that any time you run a RAID configuration job in the future, the changes you made will be used until you change them back. Also, one final note, the changes we made were to the scripts, not to the jobs, so any RAID configuration job you run (even a BareMetal to OS job) will use the new settings until you change them.