Advanced Functions

You can select several utilities from the Advanced Functions menu.  They include:
o Backup configuration to diskette
o Restore configuration to diskette
o Change the write policy
o Change the RAID parameters
o Format a drive

Subtopics:
o Backing Up Your Disk-Array Configuration
o Restoring the Disk-Array Configuration
o Using the Advanced Functions

Backing Up Your Disk-Array Configuration
The RAID adapter maintains a record of the disk-array configuration information in its EEPROM (electronically erasable programmable read-only memory) module.  The disk-array configuration is vital information.  To protect this information, back up the information to diskette as soon as you have completed your tasks.  You need a blank, formatted, 3.5-inch diskette.

To back up the disk-array configuration information to diskette:
 1. Label the blank diskette "Disk Array Configuration Backup," and date it.
 2. Start the RAID configuration program by inserting the IBM RAID controller diskette into the primary drive and turning on the system.  If the system already is on, press Ctrl+Alt+Del.
 3. Select Advanced functions from the Main Menu.
 4. Select Backup config. to diskette.
 5. Remove the RAID controller disk from the drive and insert the blank disk.
 6. Follow the instructions on the screen.

Restoring the Disk-Array Configuration
    To restore the disk-array configuration information in the RAID adapter EEPROM module, use the RAID controller diskette and an up-to-date Disk Array Configuration Backup diskette.
Note:  Because dynamic changes in the configuration of your disk array occur due to hot-spare drive replacement or other drive maintenance activity, the configuration backup information on the diskette might be different from that in the adapter.  It is important that you back up the disk-array configuration information frequently, to keep the backup information on the diskette current.

To restore the RAID configuration information:
 1. Start the RAID configuration program by inserting the IBM RAID controller diskette into the primary drive and turning on the system.  If the system already is on, press Ctrl+Alt+Del.
 2. Select Advanced functions from the Main Menu.
 3. Select Restore config. from diskette.
 4. Follow the instructions on the screen.

Using the Advanced Functions
   This section gives the procedures for using the advanced functions, such as changing the write policy, changing the RAID parameters, and formatting a drive.
   Warnings appear throughout this section to alert you to potential loss of data and should be heeded before answering yes to the confirmations requested by the RAID configuration program.

Subtopics:
o Changing the Write Policy
o Formatting Drives
o Changing the RAID Parameters
o Administration Monitoring Utilities

Changing the Write Policy
When you configure a logical drive, the RAID adapter automatically sets the write policy to write-through (WT) mode, where the completion status is sent after the data is written to the hard disk drive.  To improve performance, you can change this write policy to write-back (WB) mode, where the completion status is sent after the data is copied to cache memory, but before the data is actually written to the storage device.

   Although you gain performance with write-back mode, it creates a greater risk of losing data due to a power failure.  This is because the system gets a completion status message when the data reaches cache memory, but before data is actually written to the storage device.

To change the write policy:
 1. Start the RAID configuration program by inserting the IBM RAID controller diskette into the primary drive and turning on the system.  If the system already is on, press Ctrl+Alt+Del.
 2. Select Advanced functions from the Main Menu.
 3. Select Change write policy from the Advanced Functions menu.  The cursor will be active in the Logical Drive list.
 4. Select the logical drive whose write policy you want to change.
    The Logical Drive list shows you the logical drive ID, the size in megabytes of each logical drive, the RAID level you assigned to that logical drive, and the date you created it.
    The status of the logical drive is also shown.
   Good means that all is well with the drive.
   Critical means that you must replace the hard disk drive and rebuild the logical drive.  (You will have received a message telling you what has happened to the drive.)
   Offline means that the logical drive is irrecoverable; the data in that drive is lost.
 5. Locate the Wrt pol (Write Policy) field in the Logical Drive list. The write policy is shown as either WT (write-through, which is the default setting) or WB (write-back).
 6. Use the Up Arrow or Down Arrow to select the logical drive whose write policy you want to change.
    Warning: If you change the write policy to write-back, wait at least 10 seconds after your last operation before you turn off the server.  It takes that long for the system to move the data from the cache memory to the storage device.  Failure to follow this practice can result in lost data.
 7. Press Enter to change the write policy.  (Notice that WT changes to WB.  Press Enter to alternate between WT and WB.)
 8. When you have made your choice, press Esc to return to the Advanced Functions menu.
 9. Select Exit.  The Confirm pop-up window appears asking you to confirm your action.
10. To return the setting to its original state, select No.  To save your changes, select Yes.
11. Back up the disk-array configuration information to diskette.  Refer to Backing Up Your Disk-Array Configuration for more information.

Formatting Drives
You can perform a low-level format on drives with RDY (ready), OFL (offline), or UNF (unformatted) status.
   The Format drive choice on the Advanced Functions menu provides a low-level format.  If you install a new hard disk drive that requires a standard format, use the Format command provided by your operating system.  The Format program works like the low-level format program in the advanced diagnostics portion of the system programs.  It is provided in the IBM RAID configuration program so that you can perform a low-level format on a drive controlled by the RAID adapter.

To perform a low-level format:
 1. Start the RAID configuration program by inserting the IBM RAID controller diskette into the primary drive and turning on the system.  If the system already is on, press Ctrl+Alt+Del.
 2. Select Advanced functions from the Main Menu.
    Warning: A low-level format erases all data and programs from the drive.
 3. Select Format drive.  The low-level format program starts.
 4. Follow the instructions on the screen. You can perform a low-level format on more than one drive at a time.

Changing the RAID Parameters
You can change the RAID parameters using the advanced functions by selecting Change RAID parameters.

The default settings are:
o Stripe unit size - 8K
  The stripe unit size is the amount of data written on a given disk before writing on the next disk.  To maximize the overall performance, this stripe unit should be chosen such that the stripe-unit size is close to the size of the system I/O request. The default is set to 8K data bytes.
  Warning: Once the stripe unit is chosen and data is stored in the logical drives, the stripe unit cannot be changed without destroying data in the logical drives.

o Rebuild priority - Equal
  Rebuild priority can be set to equal, high, or low.  When set to equal, the rebuild I/O request and system I/O request get equal priority in the execution order.
  When set to high, the rebuild I/O request will get a higher priority than a system I/O request.  In a heavily loaded system (with a high rate of system I/O requests), the high-priority rebuild can significantly reduce the disk rebuild time at the expense of degraded handling of I/O requests.
  When the rebuild priority is set to low, the rebuild I/O requests can execute only if there is no pending system I/O requests.  In a moderate to heavily loaded system, low rebuild priority will increase the disk rebuild time significantly and provide better system performance.
  Note:  Rebuild priority can be changed without affecting data in the logical drives.

o Parity placement - RA
  Warning: Once a parity placement scheme is chosen and data stored, it cannot be changed without destroying data.
  Parity placement defines how parity is placed in the disk array with respect to data.  The following illustration shows both the Left Symmetric (LS) and Right Asymmetric (RA) parity placement in a four-drive disk array.  Here AAA, BBB, and CCC are the data stripe units, and PP0 is the corresponding parity.  Similarly DDD, EEE, and FFF are the data stripe units, and PP1 is the corresponding parity.

  Right Asymmetric (RA)            Left Symmetric (LS)
  Disk  Disk  Disk  Disk          Disk  Disk  Disk  Disk
   1     2     3     4             1     2     3     4
  PP0   AAA   BBB   CCC           AAA   BBB   CCC   PP0
  DDD   PP1   EEE   FFF           EEE   FFF   PP1   DDD
  GGG   HHH   PP2   III           III   PP2   GGG   HHH
  JJJ   KKK   LLL   PP3           PP3   JJJ   KKK   LLL

  In some situations you may want to try LS parity placement to improve performance.  The default parity placement is RA.

o Read ahead - On
  Normally the IBM SCSI-2 Fast/Wide Streaming-RAID Adapter/A transfers data from disk to its local cache in steps of stripe-unit size.  This provides excellent overall performance when workloads tend to be sequential.  However, if the workload is random and system I/O requests are smaller than stripe-unit size, reading ahead to the end of the stripe unit will result in a wasted SCSI bus bandwidth and wasted disk utilization.  When read-ahead is set to Off, the size of data transfer from the disk to local cache is equal to the system I/O request size, and no read-ahead to the end of the stripe unit is performed.
  Notes:
    1. Read-ahead setting can be changed without loosing data in a logical drive.
    2. When configuration is saved on floppy, RAID parameters are saved also.

Administration Monitoring Utilities
Several of the operating systems that your server supports also support (for disk-array models) RAID monitoring programs. The monitoring programs are:
o OS/2(*) RAID Controller Administration and Monitor
o OS/2 RAID NetFinity(*) /Alert Manager
o OS/2 RAID Controller Administration for NetWare(**)
o IBM RAID Controller Administration for Banyan(**) VINES(**)

     These programs include many of the functions contained in the IBM RAID configuration program, but unlike that program, they reside on top of your operating system and do not require you to start the program from a startable diskette or from a startable compact disc.  You can start these programs from your active operating system desktop. Each of these monitoring programs allow you view the RAID configuration, reconfigure the array when replacing a defunct drive, and perform tuning tasks such as changing the write policy.
   To monitor the drive status with OS/2, Novell(**) NetWare, Microsoft(**) Windows(**), and Banyan VINES, you must run the administration programs.  The RAID controller diskette contains files that must be installed when you use OS/2, NetWare, Windows, or Banyan VINES.
   See the README file on the RAID controller diskette for installation and usage instructions for OS/2 RAID Controller Administration and Monitor, OS/2 RAID Controller Administration for Netware, and IBM RAID Controller Administration for
Banyan VINES.  For OS/2 RAID NetFinity Alert Manager, see the ServerGuide CD documentation.

Configuring the Disk-Array

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