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Re: [school-discuss] Dell Servers & Adaptec Raid

Les Richardson wrote:
[Forwarded by Doug; posted from an unsubscribed address]

Hi Cameron,

We use Dell desktops and servers. Optiplex series desktops have not been a problem. Poweredge servers have worked well until recently. Current Poweredge 2650's use an adaptec RAID card for which the Linux 2.6 drivers are unstable and slow.

Did you use a driver from the Adaptec site for this card? (I built a 2.4 kernel for a PowerEdge with this adaptec 'raid' card, but it hasn't seen a lot of load yet. It's going to be running a school division's Open Admin deployment... so you're making me nervous! (grin))

Les Richardson
Open Admin for Schools

We have not tried the driver from the Adaptec site. We backed affected servers down to the latest 2.4 kernels and achieved stability. The IO load is high when the servers crash, ours was always during Amanda/gnutar backups but intermittent. Servers would crash every 2 to 3 weeks during nightly backups. We could not replicate the crash in testing. There are posts about the problem on the Dells forums going back as far as a year. We had some email contact with one of the adaptec driver developers working for Dell. It is not proving an easy problem for them to isolate.

Broken adaptec driver version (kernel
Red Hat/Adaptec aacraid driver (1.1.2-lk2 Jan 13 2005)

Working adaptec driver version (kernel 2.4.28-0.rc1.5mdksmp):
Red Hat/Adaptec aacraid driver (1.1-3 Jan 18 2005 17:00:46)

Also, we are using ext3.

Hope that is helpful,

- cameron