I have a Dell T7500 which I originally ordered with Linux and one SATA drive. I recently added a second SATA drive and setup a RAID 1 array and installed Windows 7 Pro. I also installed the SAS driver and the latest version of Dell SAS RAID Storage Manager. The T7500 I have uses the integrated SAS6/iR RAID controller.
I have had extensive experience configuring computers which used the Intel RAID chipset which is managed by the Intel Matrix Storage Manager (now known as Intel Rapid Storage Technology). This is a great app which loads on bootup and monitors the status of the RAID array. It also has several tools allowing you to rebuild an array from this app.
I was expecting similar features from the Dell SAS RAID Storage Manager, but have found it almost useless. Basically, it does not run when I boot the computer. I have to manually start it and then log in with a user name and password. It then only displays info, but does not give me any options other than to delete the array.
As an example, as a test, I removed one of my RAID 1 drives and booted into Windows 7. I never received a pop-up indicating that my array was degraded. When I logged into the app, it showed that the array was degraded as a listing in small print, but provided no other useful options. I then added a new drive and after rebooting, started the app again. It showed the new disk with a rebuild label, but no options to start the rebuild or its progress.
I wanted to check here to see if I am using the correct tool or if I need to do something to enable more features. This really needs to load on bootup and give an indication of an array problem.
Thanks again for answering another of my T7500 questions. I did not have the User's Manual (or know about the Dell FTP site although I've been purchasing Dell computers for work for 15 years). I downloaded the manual and read much of it. I will take another look at the Storage Manager app and perhaps do some more testing. From a quick read of the manual, it appears that the following is how the Storage Manager works:
1. The Storage Manager needs to be started manually in order to work (cannot be started via the Start function as it requires a login).
2. The Storage Manager will automatically rebuild a replaced drive, but its progress cannot be monitored with the SAS6/iR controller which is what I have. It can be monitored if you have the PERC 5/i or 6/i controller.
3. The Storage Manager will indicate that a drive has failed by a red icon next to it, but does not give any kind of popup message. In addition, it wasn't clear to me if this is a startup check or a continuous check. If you have a PERC 5/i or 6/i controller, you can adjust the monitoring frequency by adjusting a setting called Patrol Read. However, even it does not appear do display a popup error message, but will just change the color of the disk icon. It does make entries into the System log.
Knowing what I know now (thanks to you), I would have ordered the T7500 with a PERC controller. It appears that I could still purchase one and move the drives over to it and inport the "foreign configuration" which would allow me to keep my RAID1 array intact.
I have also had previous experience with LSI 3Ware and MegaRAID controllers. Their monitoring apps run as a service and monitor and provide a warning if something fails.
And finally, after much reading about the value versus risks of desktop RAIDs, I am considering not using a RAID at all and just running an automatic backup each night using Paragon Hard Disk Management Pro. That will also protect against accidential file deletion.
Thanks again for your assistance.
Glad to know the manual helped.
I prefer myself to run a dedicated backup application. I use Acronis although I know Paragon is very well regarded.
I do use an additional controller card for my two SSD and the motherboard controller for additional two.
It works fine and everything is showing on the boot-up screen.
The Samsung 750 that I use as drive "C" uses a system that spreads its storage and cache with the computer's RAM. It is very fast but cannot be measured because of the RAM usage.
However when booting, computer asks if I want to go to SAS controller for adjusting, but until today I did not know what it was for.
Next boot I will go there to check!