Table of Contents
If you've added a Highpoint NVME RAID controller to your build, understanding the basics of how to manage the controller is key to empowering your workflow. Each Highpoint controller is compatible with Highpoint's RAID Management and monitoring suite (HRM). Using a modern web browser you can access tools and reporting to further enhance the controller capabilities. While you can always use a 3rd party RAID management tool, we typically recommend using the OEM software designed for the controller. We've put together an introduction to the basics for how to build RAID arrays and navigate through the different optimization settings within HRM.
Installing the Management Software
By default, if you configure a Puget System with a Highpoint controller in your build, the Highpoint RAID management software will be installed as part of your operating system image. If you purchased a Highpoint Controller separate from your initial Puget build, performed a clean installation of the operating system separate from the Puget restore image, or do not own a Puget System, you can download the driver and management software from the software downloads page of the Highpoint controller series you are using.
Once you have installed the software, upon running it you will see the screen shown above. Under the Logical tab you will be able to view any created arrays and access some of the physical device information. To create an array, select the 'Create Array' option along the left hand column.
Similar to the HRM software being pre-installed as part of the operating system restore image, if you are receiving a new Puget System with the Highpoint controller and requested a RAID type, the array will already be created and ready to use. Feel free to skip down to subsequent sections in the article.
When creating a RAID array you will be able to specify the following:
|Array Type||Specifies the type of RAID. The highpoint 7505 controllers are capable of RAID 0, 1, and 10.|
|Array Name||What the array will be called.|
|Initialization Method||Whether or not data will be preserved. Initialization of a disk sets all data bits to 0. Some RAID setups will require everything to be wiped.|
|Cache policy||Settings for how the controller will optimize write caching. Write back caching improves performance but increases risk of data failures. Write through sacrifices performance for increased protection during power outages or other failures.|
|Block Size||Adjusts the size of the blocks on the disks. In most RAID configurations, data on the virtual drive is spread across the physical drives. Specifying the block size can improve performance based on the usage. Generally speaking, smaller I/O requests perform better using larger blocks, while larger I/O requests perform better with smaller blocks.|
|Available Disks||Selects which physical disks to form the array.|
|Capacity||Sets the total amount of space on the RAID array. Is limited by the smallest disk configured in the array.|
|Sector Size||Specifies the logical sector size for the array. [Default 512 bytes]|
After the RAID is created, it will appear as a logical device and will output the name, type, BlockSize, SectorSize, OS Name, and Status at the top of the Logical tab. From here you can now use the 'Maintenance' options to rename and delete the array.
In order for the virtual drive to be accessible by the operating system it will need to be initialized, formatted, and assigned a drive letter.
Monitoring Health and Temperatures
Using the Event and SHI (Storage Health Inspector) tabs you can check for symptoms of failing drives, including failing blocks, read or write errors, operating temperature, and more.
It can be useful to check the Event tab on occasion and especially if you have a critical status reported by the logical disk or other symptoms related to irregular storage performance. You can download a log file and clear all log entries within this tab. By itself, the Event view won't usually provide the full picture – so it is useful to supplement with the SHI tab's information or other storage monitoring tools to view SMART errors. Keep in mind that most info and even some of the warning events are part of normal operation.
The SHI tab shows you which controller is paired with which drive, the RAID type, drive temperature, the total bytes written, and SMART errors. There is also the ability to set drive temperature threshold warnings. Many manufacturers recommend keeping temps to 70C or less, but check the documentation for your drives to see their max operating temperatures.
When configured by Puget, we will leave everything else at the default settings. Using the Setting tab you can change the following:
|Enable auto rebuild||When a drive fails, the controller will bring the drive offline. One the disk is replaced, this setting controls whether or not the array will automatically rebuild.|
|Enable continue rebuilding on error||When enabled, during rebuilding of arrays the controller will ignore bad disk sectors and continue rebuilding until completion.|
|Restrict to localhost access||Enabling restricts remote access to the controller.|
|Rebuild priority||Specifies the amount of system resources to dedicate to rebuilding an array. [Lowest, low, medium, high, highest]|
|Port number||The port number the Highpoint controller listens to. [default: 7402]|
|Temperature unit||Outputs the monitoring in Celsius or Fahrenheit.|
|Password setting||Changes HRM login credentials.|
That covers the basics of using the Highpoint RAID Management software and will hopefully provide you with the information required to setup and monitor a Highpoint RAID. There are more advanced features to the software including SMTP settings, the Health Inspector Scheduler, Cross-sync, further delegation controls and more which we plan to cover in a subsequent article. As always, if you need help troubleshooting your Puget Systems RAID or have questions about the Highpoint features with your Puget configuration, please reach out to our technical support department.
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