flexConfig … so what’s in a name?

June 28, 2013

Howdy folks,

Been a while since I put fingers to keyboard in this application because I’ve been getting my head around some fancy new changes we made to our RAID cards in our Series 7 range.

In years gone by (and for a long-long time) we hid all drives from customers that were not part of RAID arrays. Basically, if you wanted to use the disk you had to do something with it (make it part of a RAID array or make it a volume/JBOD etc). This meant configuration requirements for those disks – not a bad thing if you are a system admin trying to keep your job, but some customers just don’t want to have to touch the raid card or it’s management software all the time.

Hence flexConfig.

This is a new name for a change to our RAID code, thought up by the lads in our product marketing team (I have to be nice, my Editor is one of those “lads” :-)). However it’s much more than a name change – it’s a bit of a game changer for RAID cards once you get your head around it.

We have RAID cards and we have HBA cards. RAID cards do fancy things with redundancy, performance, capacity etc, while HBA cards do very little/none to any of those functions – they just present cards to the OS. So why would you want one or the other? That’s totally up to your system and software design, and we know that lots of people want each of those card types. We also know that some (many) customers want a bit of both – ie the flexibility to do one or the other, or both at the same time, in the one card.

A RAID card AND an HBA? (and at the same time?) …

I’m not going to try and explain all the functionality here because that’s the job I do at the PMC University where we have revived the ACSP Guides from years gone by and tried to bring them into the 21st century.

Suffice to say:

1. There are now three modes a card can run in: RAID mode, HBA mode, Auto Volume mode
2. There are now three modes a disk can exist in (RAW, READY and MEMBER)

We’re working on complete explanation to go up on our University site (http://www.adaptecuniversity.com/) … and no that’s not me sitting back looking smug on the front page.

So register yourself (free) in the Uni and take a look at the information there – especially the “flexConfig” module that will be up in a week or two.



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