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Old 08-29-2009, 12:39 AM   #1
RebateMonger
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Default Answered - Do HighPoint 2xxx Series RAID Controllers Allow "Duplication" of an Existing Drive?

Edit:
In my next post, I reached HighPoint Support and they provided an answer. The answer is "No".


I've got a HighPoint 2310 RAID controller that I purchased a while back. I planned on creating a RAID 1 (mirroring) array on my Server 2008 Hyper-V server. As I was exploring it, I was surprised that it didn't seem to have the ability to "Duplicate" an existing disk, creating a RAID 1 array that's based on an existing disk with data already on it.

The much-cheaper RocketRAID 133 (IDE) controller allowed the creation of a RAID 1 array that copyied an existing disk to an empty second disk, creating a mirrored array. But the HighPoint 2310 controller talks about "initialization" of any redundant array and states that initialization will erase any existing data.

The manual does mention "Foreground initialization", which zeroes out all data on the array, and "Background initialization", for RAID 1 and RAID 10 arrays, which "results in data being duplicated identically to the mirror pair". Does this mean that "background initialization" is the equivalent of the older "Duplicate" option when creating a RAID 1 array?

HighPoint 2310 RAID Controller User Manual

This isn't life/death. I can always create a new (empty) array and restore from backups. But if I can perform a RAID 1/Duplicate operation, I'd prefer that.

Anybody ever done this with the HighPoint 2xxx series?

Thanks for any help.

RebateMonger

=================
Relevant sections of the 2310 User Manual:

Disk initialization

Initializing a disk writes necessary RAID configuration information to that disk. Disks
must be initialized before configuring them into RAID arrays. The initialization
process will destroy all data on the disk.

Disk Status

New
The disk contains no data and has not been initialized.
Initialized The disk has been initialized and can be used for array creation.

Configured
The disk has been assigned to one or more arrays, or configured as a
spare disk.

Legacy
The disk was used on other controllers before use with the
RocketRAID 231x (see legacy disk below).

Array initialization
A redundant array (RAID5, RAID1, RAID10) needs to be initialized to ensure full
performance and reliability. Non-redundant arrays (RAID0, JBOD) do not need to be
initialized.

When you create a redundant array using the host adapter?s BIOS Configuration
Utility, it will create the array in un-initialized state. The initialization process can be
completed after installing the driver and management software.

When creating an array using the HighPoint RAID Management Console software,
you can specify an initialization option (Skip initialization, foreground and
background).

Foreground initialization
Foreground initialization will zero-out all data on the array. The array is not accessible
by the operating system until initialization is complete.

Background initialization
Background initialization allows the array to be used immediately. For RAID1 and
RAID10 arrays, initialization will results in data being duplicated identically to the
mirror pair. For RAID5 arrays, initialization will result in parity being generated from
all array members.

Note: An un-initialized RAID1 or RAID10 array can still provide redundancy in case
of a disk failure. A RAID5 array, however, is not fault-tolerant until initialization is
finished.
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Old 09-07-2009, 04:37 AM   #2
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Default Answered - Do HighPoint 2xxx Series RAID Controllers Allow "Duplication" of an Existing Drive?

I ended up calling HighPoint on a late Thursday afternoon. I got quickly directed to a Support person.

He told me that "design compromises" required that the HighPoint 2310 RAID PCI-E controller does NOT have a way to "clone" a hard drive onto a second hard drive, resulting in a RAID 1 array. Specifically, he said that giving the card other features (including the ability to do an online capacity expansion and the ability to change RAID types online) made them drop the ability to do a migration from a single disk to a RAID 1 array without losing the data on the single disk.

To build any type of array on the HightPoint 2310 controller, you have to start from scratch:
1) Create a new disk array
2) Install Windows (for a boot array) or move your data to the new array (for a data-only array).

This was very disappointing because HighPoint's low-end RocketRAID IDE controllers have this features.

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