Hp microserver gen8 + p420 smart array hardware raid

I have question - I’m going to install Rockstor NAS on my Hp microserver gen8 with p420 smart array, but I would like to use dedicated hardware RAID card (p420) to control and manage RAID (I’m not sure whether Rockstor has software RAID management system - like ZFS in Freenas).
Is it possible to install dedicated HP drivers (ie. for smart array) for CentOS and order to control RAID by p420? Or maybe I don’t have to install - maybe they’re already builtin in Rockstor?
I’ve tried Freenas, but I don’t want software RAID since I have hardware RAID…

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Hi @Wawrzyniec,

The Rockstor distribution is build around the idea of using BTRFS. BTRFS provides it down functionality.
It is possible to install BTRFS on top of an existing hardware or MD raid, however it’s unnecessary.

Regarding controlling the p420 - Rockstor is not designed around using any RAID method other than those provided by BTRFS software RAID, thus it has no methods of managing the hardware RAID.

Hi @Haioken!
Many thanks for answer!
I’ve done some research and for my case, the best option is to setup brand-new, customized NAS, based on CentOS, but in XFS file system, not BTRFS (so, as I mentioned before, I don’t want use software RAID).

Then Rockstor is not for you, the purpose of Rockstor is to be built around BTRFS.

I would however advise caution when using hardware RAID controllers as opposed to software RAID, regardless of the underlying filesystem in use.
Software RAID is portable across hardware systems. Whereas hardware RAID is only portable to a limited extent.
Different manufacturers structure the RAID differently, and some manufacturers will change this between controller series.
Where I work we went through hell with a dell server failure when it turned out the replacement server’s PERC RAID controller was a newer implementation and incompatible.

If your MicroServer burns out and you cannot buy another, it’s possible that whatever you replace it with may not support your RAID, meaning total loss of data and a complete reinstall.

Software RAID by comparison is portable across hardware systems, but not (generally) between operating systems. (IE: You will probably not be able to use your MD RAID, BTRFS or ZFS on a windows box (At least, not without a phenomenal amount of tinkering).

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You have totally right! I’m aware of hardware RAID cons, but all of my data would be regularly backup to cold site place (cloud), so in case of HW failure I don’t loose my data.
Don’t get me wrong - I just want to make use of HW that I have :slight_smile:
The problem you’ve described above is common in HW RAID approach - to mitigate you can:

  • have a spare controller (bit a waste a money, unless you work in big company)
  • have a cold site backup.
    Once again - thank you for your help, I appreciate it :slight_smile:
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