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zeroibis

[Feature Request] Soft RAID Physical Disk Support

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I remembered from a previous conversation that the issue with implementing support to get SMART data from a soft raid set is more of an implementation issue than a technical one. I wanted to put forward a suggestion on how this could be implemented in what would hopefully be a way that would not require a ton of work.

First a why this is important. Currently if you have drives in a Soft RAID set lets say in a Storage Spaces array for example StableBit Scanner will pick up the RAID set and can perform a surface scan and file system check on it. This is fantastic and you want this sort of action being preformed on the array itself and not on the individual underline drives. However, no smart data is available for the drives in the underline RAID. Now it is possible to pull this data using other software if you want o manually read it but the larger issue is that you will not get a alert from Stable Bit Scanner that the SMART data on one of the underline drives is indicating trouble like you usually would. This leads us to the first request/suggestion.

1) Make it so that at minimum we at least can get an alert that a drive has a SMART warning. Even if we can not view the smart data within the program and even if lets say we do not know what raid set the drive belongs to at minimum just knowing drive with SN: XYZ is having a problem with the automated email function would be a massive improvement.

The next logical question becomes hey lets say we do know what drives are in the RAID set but how do we present this info to users in a meaningful way that does not require massive GUI changes. This leads to the second suggestion.

2) Allow the SMART data of underline drives to be viable to the user so that a user can select a soft raid disk and be able to view the status of drives that make it up. See the images below for a suggestion on how this could be implemented.

 

 

1.PNG

2.PNG

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It's much more complicated that that, and it's something that has been well requested. 

Specifically, we'd really want/need to support: 

  • Dynamic Disks
  • Storage Spaces
  • RAID arrays

While this sounds simple, let me assure you that it is far from simple. 

First, is displaying all of this information in a meaningful way.  That's a challenge in and of itself.  Especially for weird disk configurations (such as when using Dynamic Disks).

The second issue is how to *get* that information.  For Dynamic Disks and Storage Spaces, that's pretty simple. 
But for RAID controllers.... that's a nightmare, at best. Many manufacturers don't not provide an API to support this. At all.  So we'd either have to use proprietary commands and hope we don't brick the drive (ie, we are NOT going to do this), or just deal with the fact that some RAID controllers cannot and will not be supported.  

Related is that for the RAID controllers, we'd have to get hands on them, to inspect, and implement.

Additionally, because the priority for StableBit Scanner always has (been and probably will always be) the surface scans.  If that works, well, that's what matters.  SMART and other information is secondary to that. 

 

So, this is something that we've given a lot of thought to.  It's just not something that is easy.  We'd love to implement it, and we may do so in the future.  But we don't have plans for doing so in the immediate future. 

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Did not know that you guys even considered looking at raid controllers I can only imagine the mess that would be. Yea my main focus was just asking for support of HBA drives used in soft raid configurations as I know that you already have access their their data.

The other part of my request was actually more of a suggestion which deals with your first response about displaying the info. I was hoping to provide in those photos a suggestion of how you could add support for this information without turning the UI upside and inside out to add support.

As for dynamic disks yea I get how that can be a mess because a single physical disk could belong to multiple different virtual disks. Still though you could just have that same physical disk listed for multiple virtual disks because what the user really cares about is looking at their virtual disk what physical disks make it up and if they are healthy or not.

 

Either way, looking forward to seeing this implemented at some point in the future. It is really the only major feature that is keeping the scanner from being 100% perfect lol. (at least for my use case rofl)

Also a big thanks for all the work that has gone into this, I can no longer imagine running a server without the scanner!

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On 12/4/2018 at 5:40 AM, zeroibis said:

Did not know that you guys even considered looking at raid controllers I can only imagine the mess that would be. Yea my main focus was just asking for support of HBA drives used in soft raid configurations as I know that you already have access their their data.

Yup.  We would love to add it.  But it's not simple. And if we add support for just one... well, we couldn't really stop there. The framework for other setups would be there, and people would demand that we add support for it (or at least a LOT of people would request it).

On 12/4/2018 at 5:40 AM, zeroibis said:

 The other part of my request was actually more of a suggestion which deals with your first response about displaying the info. I was hoping to provide in those photos a suggestion of how you could add support for this information without turning the UI upside and inside out to add support.

Yup, there are ways to do this. But "complicated" is still a very apt description of what it would be to implement. 

 

On 12/4/2018 at 5:40 AM, zeroibis said:

Either way, looking forward to seeing this implemented at some point in the future. It is really the only major feature that is keeping the scanner from being 100% perfect lol. (at least for my use case rofl)

I definitely know what you mean.  And I do periodically push this topic.  

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