To start in order to access the raid configuration utility you will need to boot the system and during POST press Ctrl+R when POST references the PowerEdge Expandable Raid Controller.
Virtual Disk Management
into the configuration utility you will initially be greeted by the
Virtual DiskManagement screen which is where all of the disk groups
and virtual disks created on the raid controller will be visible.
Most of the configuration can be done from this screen by highlighting the very top line which will reference the H730 controller and once highlighted you will press f2 to open up a drop menu with a number of options.
The first of which is going to be create Virtual Disk.
Create Virtual Disk
Once you’ve selected create Virtual Disk you will be greeted by a new screen with options for the raid level, selections for Virtual Disk size and name and selection of what available disks will be a part of the array being created.
Once the VD is created you will get a message saying newly created Virtual Disks should be initialized, in order to do this you will need to scroll down to the newly created Virtual Disk and press f2 once highlighted. It will pull up a drop menu with Initialization being the first option. Press the right arrow and it will bring up a secondary menu with Start Init, Stop Init, And Fast Init. being options. Fast Init will only take a few moments but it will do a full initialization in the background after the fact. Start Init will start the full initialization which can take hours depending on the size of the Array.
The next option within the f2 menu is Clear Config which does exactly what the name suggests. It will wipe out all raid arrays that have been created on this system. This should only be used if your intent is to start fresh with the drives and controller.
Foreign Config is the next option but will only be selectable in very specific circumstances. Generally speaking this will only come up when dealing with drive failures or replacing of drives. If you’re experiencing issues and some or all of your drives have gone into a foreign state and you’re not familiar with raid you may want to contact a consultant or IT professional with experience as there can be multiple different triggers for this and data loss is possible depending on what has gone wrong and what actions have taken place to attempt to fix it.
Security Key Management
Next is Security Key Management which will be used when setting up SED drives(Self Encrypting Drives) This allows you to set the security key for your SED drives so that if the drives were ever stolen the data on the drive is entirely encrypted and inaccessible without the key. This is entirely unused when using standard drives.
Converting drives to RAID and Non-RAID
Lastly there are the options for Converting drives to be RAID capable and Non-RAID. This allows you to use individual drives as a passthrough whereas in RAID capable mode the drives need to be in a raid configuration to even be accessible by operating systems. This is a new feature on the H730 as prior to this you would be required to create single drive RAID 0 devices to utilize single drives.
Physical Disk Management
The PD Mgmt screen is where all of the information about individual drives is located and will give you drive type information, size information, what State the drive is in, what Disk Group they are in and the drive Vendor.
There are 6 different drive states that a drive can be in.
- Ready: Means the drive has no current configuration and is ready to be used.
- Online: Means the drive is currently in an array and functional
- Failed: Means the drive is failed and unusable.
- Foreign: Means the drive has a configuration on it that doesn’t match what the raid controller expects. If this has happened on a previously functional system there is likely an underlying issue or error that forced the drives into a foreign state.
- Hotspare: Means the drive is currently setup to automatically rebuild into an array if a drive fails.
Non-RAID: Means the drive is currently in passthrough mode and will allow the drive to be accessed individually within an Operating System.(Image 6 and 7 show all the different drive states.)
The Controller Management screen has a number of options for the raid controller itself and an option to factory reset the controller to default settings.
The Properties screen is where you will find information about the controller itself such as the Firmware version, Temperature readings and controller status.