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OK, the moment of truth. Would everything actually work?
Well after power was applied the first change to make was to enter the
SCSI BIOS and enable the SCSI card to see all LUNS this is not the default
on Adaptec cards.
OK next came the trusty Linuxcare BBC and Debian slink was started to
The first thing that I noticed was that the debian install could only
see two SCSI drives hda and hdb.
I presumed that the Kernel on the CD was not compiled with ability to
address different LUNs or was simply too old.
To check this I rebooted with the ILUG BBC and all 16 drives were visible.
Well back to the debian install, I installed on sda.
Next I did a dist-upgrade to woody and set about installing a new kernel.
When I was finished all this and rebooted I gratified to see that all
drives were visible.
Next to decide on how to actually partition up the drives the scheme I
came up with was to partition the first 8 drives with the first partition
being 1G and the second one being the remaining drive.
Two of the 1G partitions were to be set up for software mirroring to hold
the root partition.
The remaining 6 1G partitions were set up as Swap space specifying the
same priority on these cause Linux to stripe across them.
The remainder of the 8 drives were configured in Software RAID5.
The other 8 drives were fully used for Software RAID5.
The two RAID5 arrays were them used for LVM volumes.
ReiserFS is the FS of choice.
I really recommend using a journaled file-system on one of these boxes.
I really don't want to sit there waiting for over 1TB of that to be fscked.
In the end I have just short of 1.3TB of space.
I can hear some of you saying but there are 16 100GB drives that should
Unfortunately hard-drives manufactures use 1000000000 bytes as the definition
of 1Gigabyte where as the true definition of 1GB is more like 1073741824 bytes
(1024 x 1024 x 1024) so in reality each drive is about 93GB and in turn
I loose the capacity of two of these drives to the parity in the RAID5 arrays.
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About the author, Mark Kilmartin.