I have been fortunate enough to have friends who have old server hardware junk to jettison. This has provided me with opportunity to lace up my home server with SCSI disk arrays. Just last night a consideration sparkled through my mind - I have enough disks of the same model - why haven't I tried to implement a RAID 5 configuration via Windows 2003's disk management system? (yes, OS level, not hardware level)
So i got about to deallocating seven of them and united them into a single large entity. At 16.95GB each, I get redundant storage bin of 101.71GB with 14% wastage. It was only this morning did I remembered an important fact; one of the disks was located on another SCSI controller card (i have two).
Maybe this is perfect timing, I thought to myself, to test how the RAID 5 implementation will cope if I dislodge that lone disk to relocate it on the other rack with the rest of its brethren? So I shutdown the machine, swap the disk over to the other spare slot, and powered it up again. I was thinking through what needed to be done for re-adding the "newly detected" disk back to the array, but guess what?
Event Type: Information
Event Source: dmio
Event Category: None
Event ID: 34
Time: 1:11:55 PM
dmio: Harddisk14 is re-online by PnP
For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp.
0000: 00 00 00 00 03 00 4a 00 ......J.
0008: 00 00 00 00 22 00 05 40 ...."..@
0010: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ........
0018: 01 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ........
0020: 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ........
I did not have to do a single thing at the OS to have it recognise the disk re-attached at the other array is one of the RAID 5 disks. This is probably old news, but I am impressed. Each individual hardware device being universally recognisable, regardless of which interface it uses to make contact with the OS. This is the way it should be.