[nycbug-talk] highpoint RAID drivers on FreeBSD
Mon Dec 13 14:39:56 EST 2004
On Mon, 13 Dec 2004, Isaac Levy wrote:
> The nutshell version, the HighPoint has FreeBSD drivers for their 1640 SATA
> RAID card on their website, it's just the installing disk drivers on boot
> volumes that bites. These things are cheap, solid, SATA RAID- who doesn't
> want that? (regardless if I want it, I've now got one :)
> If anyone can point me to the right person, or URL, I'd seriously appreciate
> it- this situation is right on the cusp of being VERY cool, IMHO.
Can you tell us more about the driver? Is it tacked-on to the existing
ATA stuff, or is it more like the 3Ware (which presents itself more like a
scsi device to the OS)? If the latter, a quick shout on -hackers should
find you the right person. A few people that may or may not work on this
stuff but are quite smart and easy to work with are:
-Mike Smith (really really great guy - if he's got the time and the commit
bit, he'd probably help)
-Scott Long (mostly adaptec stuff, but who knows...)
And while I appreciate Soren's work, he's not the most cooperative or
helpful person in the group, so I'd steer clear.
Again, if this is a more scsi-like driver, asking on -scsi is good - most
anyone who works on any RAID cards is going to be there.
> Details below- Rocket-
> The Raid card is the 'HighPoint RocketRaid 1640'
> It's a 4 channel SATA card, and they're fairly inexpensive. With that,
> HighPoint actually states FreeBSD support on their website, PROVIDES DRIVERS,
> and both 'CLI' and 'GUI' management tools- all fine and dandy (they can't be
> any clunkier than aaccli eh?). Right now the card hovers around $100- very
> accessible, very replaceable.
> (( DRIVERS EXIST!! ))
> There is online access to the card's drivers from the manufacturer, and they
> have actually gone to considerable effort to support FreeBSD through 4.x and
> 5.x (as well as Linux), though I have not yet seen any clear license
> concerning driver redistribution etc... (excepting a general copyright header
> in the manual), so I'd assume that with a little prodding even, HighPoint
> could be convinced to slap an MIT or BSD style license in there, so we can
> have the open inclusion of the driver or source in *BSD/*NIX source. Someone
> within FreeBSD may have tried this already and failed, but I haven't been
> able to find anything about this online.
> (( HOW INSTALLING DISK DRIVERS ON BOOT MEDIA BITES ))
> Installing the drivers, ESPECIALLY during a system install, is a real manual
> pain in the tail. The instructions provided by HighPoint call for a sequence
> + booting from FreeBSD install CD
> - pausing before the kernel loads
> - loading the driver off a floppy
> + One then proceeds with a standard FreeBSD install
> - and at the end, one has to instal the HighPoint drivers on the fresh system
> - Then one manually has to add the driver to boot.load on the fresh system,
> so it bloody loads at boot time.
> The install sequence is documented in a PDF, in the tarball of stuff that
> comes with the driver images:
> (( WHY DRIVER INSTALL BITES ))
> Driver install takes a inordinate amount of time, (hardware RAID being
> something I use, for one, because it SAVES me time). In addition, I have no
> floppy on this system- and don't plan to install one, so getting this to work
> involved a 3rd disk, then copying the install, and driver, etc... to the RAID
> once it was working. Now, thinking foreword to a time when there is some
> sort of critical problem with the system, I shudder to think what kind of
> boot-ballet I'll have to deal with, should I need to boot from emergency
> repair media- seeing as whenever that kind of thing happens, it's always
> under time pressure, anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
> I could create my own install/repair CD's based on the minidist releases, but
> this is a loosing proposition as well- seeing as I currently will be
> supporting 1 of these buggers, and what the heck happens when there is some
> Zero-day system exploit, where I'll need to do some major upgrades within
> (( WHY DRIVERS INCLUSION FOR SOURCE/INSTALLER MEDIA SOLVES EVERYTHING ))
> It's simple- All of the above install issues for boot volumes disappear for
> this card.
> IMHO, this enables all of us to use fast and inexpensive RAID in places that
> would otherwise be cost-prohibitive (slap RAID in that little dev box in your
> closet). I'd personally start using the cards all over in clusters of
> redundant servers, where fast/cheap replacements are key for me...
> For advocacy purposes, this is the kind of situation that I think creates bad
> perceptions about Open Source- and BSD- HighPoint folks really are putting
> effort into supporting FreeBSD, but I'd hate to be a newbie who just bought a
> HighPoint card for my first FreeBSD install!!!
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