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KB40034 - Overview of software RAID on the PSA7000 next generation hardware

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Last Modified Date5/17/2019 4:00 PM
Synopsis
This article describes the use of software RAID on the PSA7000 models.
Problem or Goal
The PSA7000 models have two hard disks but, have no hardware RAID controller. In PCS 8.2, RAID functionality is enabled through the software RAID available in Linux. Software is used to create RAID devices in the RAID 1 layer. These individual disk partitions can also be used as regular partitions. All partitions, which include boot, root, data, var, tmp, swap, and so on are created out of the software RAID. 
Cause
Solution
Pulse Secure's next generation hardware model PSA7000c (copper network interfaces) and PSA7000f (fiber network interfaces) come standard with two hard drives configured as RAID 1 - Mirroring.  The difference between the RAID 1 configuration for this hardware compared to previous models such as SA6500/IC6500 (FIPS and Non-FIPS models) and SA6000/IC6000 (FIPS and Non-FIPS models) is noteworthy specifically during maintenance caused by drive failures.

The next generation hardware models PSA7000c and PSA7000f come with Software RAID as opposed to Hardware RAID used in the previous models.  The functionality is similar to hardware RAID in that in the event of a single drive failure, the second drive continues to function and provide all system operations.  The process for replacing a faulty drive with software RAID is different than hardware RAID and is noted below:  

Hardware RAID drive replacement for SA and IC platforms (no interruption to service while these steps are being performed):  
  • Identify and physically remove defective drive.  
  • Physically insert new blank drive and wait for at least 45 minutes until mirroring completes.
Software RAID drive replacement for PSA7000c and PSA7000f (no interruption to service while these steps are being performed):
  • From the serial console menu, remove defective drive from RAID configuration.
  • Physically remove defective drive.
  • Physically insert replacement (blank) drive.
  • From the serial console, add the new drive to the RAID configuration which will start the drive sync process. 
Note: The remove command must be ran any time the disk is physically removed from the slot.  When the remove command is ran, the RAID arrays will be deleted and the disk will no longer be bootable.  The add command must be ran to rebuild the RAID arrays again.

In PCS 8.2 there is a new serial console menu option labelled Manage RAID that should be used to perform drive replacements.

To remove a disk from the second slot in the system:
  1. Select Menu option: 4. System Operations
  2. Select Menu option: 20. Manage RAID
  3. A prompt appears: Are you sure you want to manage RAID? (y/n)
  4. Enter y for the prompt.
  5. Choose Menu option: 2. Remove Disk2. This will detach the disk in the second slot from software RAID.
  6. Physically unplug the disk from the second slot.

To insert a disk to the second slot in the system:
  1. Physically plug in the disk in the second slot.
  2. Select Menu option: 4. System Operations
  3. Select Menu option: 20. Manage RAID
  4. A prompt appears: Are you sure you want to manage RAID? (y/n)
  5. Enter y for the prompt.
  6. Choose Menu option: 4. Add Disk2. This will attach the disk in the second slot to the software RAID. 

To check the status of RAID and individual disks from the Web UI go to System > Platform.  The status of the disks and RAID are displayed there.

The following table shows the disk and RAID statuses:

Disk and RAID statuses


 
Related Links
Attachment 1 
Created ByFelipe Acusa

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