Discovering FakeRAID in the Real World



  • Something that used to catch people offguard with FakeRAID...

    They'd start with a Windows system or something that had the RAID software on it. They'd use their box for a while. Then one day they'd install a different OS, one that doesn't include the driver, and suddenly their Windows data, and their RAID, is all gone. Just... poof.

    Hardware RAID, even if coming from a motherboard, would still have the data there because it doesn't depend on the OS for the RAID. Download something like Dragonfly that doesn't include FakeRAID drivers and file up a LiveCD or whatever. The RAID won't be there, proving the motherboard, or any hardware, isn't providing it. The only thing removed is the OS that was doing it.



  • @dustinb3403 said in Discovering FakeRAID in the Real World:

    The drivers you mention needing to install pre-installation (which are now included in most OS's) would be supplemental packs that you would install.

    Right. Used to be required all the time. Now they are rarely needed. Nearly all FakeRAID vendors, especially the big mobos and Intel, have moved to standard, signed drivers that Microsoft bakes in for them. It's tiny code, so not a big deal in the grand scheme of the OS storage. Fedora, Ubuntu, all do the same thing.



  • Not long ago, almost no Linux included FakeRAID drivers. But as Linux use on consumer equipment got more popular, people wanted it for whatever reason. So they started including them. I think this was likely sponsored by the FakeRAID vendors because they wanted to make it less casual to accidentally prove that the system had no RAID on it like they'd been led to believe when they paid extra for the motherboard.



  • And what lets you do this by default out of the box. What's the enabler? Is it the power supply you are configuring? No, it's the motherboard. This is all about the motherboard doing this. This is what I mean by coming with RAID. THe means, the how, fakeraid/software/hardware whatever... makgin a config somewhere for software raid and drivers to pick up later after the OS is loaded, all irrelevant for my original point and the point i've been makign this whole time.



  • @obsolesce said in Discovering FakeRAID in the Real World:

    And what lets you do this by default out of the box. What's the enabler?

    The OS, as I delved into above.



  • @obsolesce said in Discovering FakeRAID in the Real World:

    No, it's the motherboard. This is all about the motherboard doing this.

    Beaten to death. The motherboard is not doing this. Why would you think that it is? How do you think that that is even possible?

    The motherboard, of all things, is not the enabler of FakeRAID. It's the mobo manufacturer in this example making it fake, but it's not the motherboard providing any functionality.



  • @obsolesce said in Discovering FakeRAID in the Real World:

    This is all about the motherboard doing this. This is what I mean by coming with RAID.

    Exactly, I understand that. And like I said, it's that the motherboard ISN'T doing this, is why I say it does NOT come with RAID.

    Read my example of how it works. The RAID is, and always was, in the OS. It's provided by the OS installer, it doesn't exist without the OS installer. But it CAN exist without the motherboard.



  • @obsolesce said in Discovering FakeRAID in the Real World:

    THe means, the how, fakeraid/software/hardware whatever... makgin a config somewhere for software raid and drivers to pick up later after the OS is loaded, all irrelevant for my original point and the point i've been makign this whole time.

    We've covered this too. You can't state that your point is that it is hardware, then claim that it being hardware doesnt' matter. You can't have it both ways. The discussion is that we had said it was FakeRAID (not FROM the mobo), and you claimed it was hardware RAID (FROM the mobo.) That's the whole point. Anytime you say that this doesn't matter, conflicts with what you say the point is.

    Bottom line, motherboard does not create, maintain, provide, or power the RAID. The RAID isn't part of the motherboard. The RAID exists with or without the motherboard. The RAID comes from the OS and / or third party drivers installed onto the OS. That installer is not from the motherboard.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Discovering FakeRAID in the Real World:

    @obsolesce said in Discovering FakeRAID in the Real World:

    No, it's the motherboard. This is all about the motherboard doing this.

    Beaten to death. The motherboard is not doing this. Why would you think that it is? How do you think that that is even possible?

    The motherboard, of all things, is not the enabler of FakeRAID. It's the mobo manufacturer in this example making it fake, but it's not the motherboard providing any functionality.

    If you got a motherboard that didn't "come with RAID", you'd have to either install hardware, software, or both to make a RAID. Regardless if the OS you use has the drivers/software built in, it won't do anything, because the motherboard doesn't have it in there to configure.

    Now, if you buy a motherboard that does have RAID built-in, then you don't have to do anything other than have or install a regular OS.

    In the case the motherboard didn't come with RAID built-in, well, then as i said above, you need add a RAID card, or do extra stuff to create a software RAID, like configure Windows software RAID. But when the motherboard has it built-in, you don't have to do anything.



  • @obsolesce said in Discovering FakeRAID in the Real World:

    @scottalanmiller said in Discovering FakeRAID in the Real World:

    @obsolesce said in Discovering FakeRAID in the Real World:

    No, it's the motherboard. This is all about the motherboard doing this.

    Beaten to death. The motherboard is not doing this. Why would you think that it is? How do you think that that is even possible?

    The motherboard, of all things, is not the enabler of FakeRAID. It's the mobo manufacturer in this example making it fake, but it's not the motherboard providing any functionality.

    If you got a motherboard that didn't "come with RAID", you'd have to either install hardware, software, or both to make a RAID.

    Right, and I covered this ad nauseum. You DO have to install it to make a RAID and you do, every time. Are you telling me you didn't install an OS? If you installed an OS, then you installed the RAID software.



  • @obsolesce said in Discovering FakeRAID in the Real World:

    Regardless if the OS you use has the drivers/software built in, it won't do anything, because the motherboard doesn't have it in there to configure.

    Incorrect, most of us do this all the time. Normal RAID has no such limitations. @WrCombs just did this in the other thread, in fact, while we were having this discussion.



  • @obsolesce said in Discovering FakeRAID in the Real World:

    In the case the motherboard didn't come with RAID built-in, well, then as i said above, you need add a RAID card, or do extra stuff to create a software RAID, like configure Windows software RAID. But when the motherboard has it built-in, you don't have to do anything.

    In both cases you have to configure it and install the OS containing the software. The motherboard doesn't simplify the process. At best, you are arguing that you like one particular software RAID's menu better than another's. That's not really relevant.

    In both cases you have to configure the RAID, and install the software. They are, quite identical. Except one tries to trick you into thinking your hardware is doing part of the work, and the other is honest. That's about it.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Discovering FakeRAID in the Real World:

    @obsolesce said in Discovering FakeRAID in the Real World:

    Regardless if the OS you use has the drivers/software built in, it won't do anything, because the motherboard doesn't have it in there to configure.

    Incorrect, most of us do this all the time. Normal RAID has no such limitations. @WrCombs just did this in the other thread, in fact, while we were having this discussion.

    You took this out of context.

    However, when in context, you'll agree that simply installing an OS does not give you RAID. That was the point there. You'd need to set up a RAID first, whether via hardware raid, software, or whatever. Don't take thigns out of context like that.



  • Many enterprise software RAID systems also do RAID without any work, out of the box. In fact, one could argue that most FakeRAID takes MORE work, and provides less than many normal software RAID systems.

    Windows software RAID is clunky and confusing, and handled late in the process. That's unfortunate. But you can't use that one bad software RAID example to determine "how software RAID works." Take a Synology box, that will do RAID with far less configuration than any FakeRAID system I've seen.

    FakeRAID could do a totally transparent install, too, if it wanted. Any software RAID could. It's not that one is easier than the other, it's that both are just the same thing. Both are software RAID. Neither has an advantage at the code level.

    It's just the one is promoted unethically as a scam, and the other is up front and honest.



  • @obsolesce said in Discovering FakeRAID in the Real World:

    However, when in context, you'll agree that simply installing an OS does not give you RAID. That was the point there. You'd need to set up a RAID first, whether via hardware raid, software, or whatever. Don't take thigns out of context like that.

    I had already written something up that disagreed with this.

    In both cases, you have to set up the RAID equally. The motherboard doesn't make things easier here.

    Both cases you configure, both cases you install. In both cases, the installation is typically done as part of the OS install and totally transparent. Both optionally require manual acquisition and installation.

    But some software RAID, like common in a NAS, does not require that and does it all automatically. So even the configuration piece is not always required. That's simply a choice of the implementer.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Discovering FakeRAID in the Real World:

    In both cases, you have to set up the RAID equally. The motherboard doesn't make things easier here.

    Yes it does.

    When the motherboard DOES come with RAID:

    1. Configure RAID in BIOS
    2. Install OS

    That it's fakeRAID is irrelevant here. I'm just saying RAID.

    When your motherboard does NOT come with raid:

    1. Install separate RAID hardware
    2. Configure RAID
    3. Install OS

    or

    1. Install OS
    2. Configure software RAID in OS


  • @obsolesce What you are missing (it's easy to miss) is in the first scenario you are setting the options on a config file (at best) and the OS installation process is smart enough to see that the configuration file is "setup" and applies those settings while installing.



  • @obsolesce said in Discovering FakeRAID in the Real World:

    Yes it does.

    When the motherboard DOES come with RAID:

    1. Configure RAID in BIOS
    2. Install OS

    or...

    ) Install OS

    When your motherboard does NOT come with raid:

    1. Install separate RAID hardware
    2. Configure RAID
    3. Install OS

    or

    1. Install OS
    2. Configure software RAID in OS

    or...

    1. Install OS

    In both cases you are making incorrect assumptions about what is needed. Both can be as simple or as hard as they want. In neither case is it the FakeRAID making the difference.

    And, FYI, enterprise Software RAID can do all that BIOS menu stuff, too. That's not what makes it FakeRAID. So everything you are describing as an advantage, is equal. Silly, most people don't want that, but definitely an option to do.



  • @dustinb3403 said in Discovering FakeRAID in the Real World:

    @obsolesce What you are missing (it's easy to miss) is in the first scenario you are setting the options on a config file (at best) and the OS installation process is smart enough to see that the configuration file is "setup" and applies those settings while installing.

    Right, instead of doing the setup in reverse... starting the install then configuring. But if you need to configure it, it's the same two steps either way. Same effort.



  • @dustinb3403 said in Discovering FakeRAID in the Real World:

    @obsolesce What you are missing (it's easy to miss) is in the first scenario you are setting the options on a config file (at best) and the OS installation process is smart enough to see that the configuration file is "setup" and applies those settings while installing.

    I'm well aware of that, but is besides the point.



  • @obsolesce said in Discovering FakeRAID in the Real World:

    @dustinb3403 said in Discovering FakeRAID in the Real World:

    @obsolesce What you are missing (it's easy to miss) is in the first scenario you are setting the options on a config file (at best) and the OS installation process is smart enough to see that the configuration file is "setup" and applies those settings while installing.

    I'm well aware of that, but is besides the point.

    That is the whole point though, yes there is a config file that you are setting up through a BIOS menu. No the hardware isn't actually doing it.

    It is 3rd party software to the entire setup.



  • Too many post in this thread for me to read but I just wanted to chime in and say that Supermicro for instance have a couple of motherboards in each generation that has a LSI/Broadcom RAID controller on them. It's real hardware raid but low end. I haven't actually used it for hardware raid but it makes a decent HBA for chassis with SAS/SATA drives and port expanders.

    For instance this: https://www.supermicro.com/products/motherboard/Xeon/C620/X11SPH-nCTPF.cfm



  • @pete-s are you certain it isn't the same FakeRAID we're discussing here?

    I'd be interested in seeing what models specifically include this.



  • When I buy a motherboard that comes with RAID, vs one that does not come with RAID, the difference is significant if your end goal is to have a RAID5 for example. So, lets assume that you want to build a home computer that has a RAID5:

    Motherboard that comes with RAID:

    1. Configure RAID in bios
    2. Install OS

    You now have an OS installed on RAID5.

    Motherboard that does NOT come with RAID:

    1. Install additional hardware RAID card
    2. Configure RAID
    3. Install OS
      or
      1.) Install OS
      2.) Configure software RAID
      (yes, software RAID here is superior in this case)

    You now have an OS installed on RAID5.

    Yes you CAN do other things, but is not typically... I'm talking 99% of the cases would be like above.

    99% of typical motherboards you buy do come with RAID, so the first scenario is the one that will be in the case you want a RAID. This is easy.



  • @pete-s that board appears to have fakeRAID

    Intel® C622 controller for 10 SATA3 (6 Gbps) ports; RAID 0,1,5,10
    Broadcom® 3008 SW controller for 8 SAS3 (12Gbs) ports; RAID 0,1,10


  • @obsolesce said in Discovering FakeRAID in the Real World:

    When I buy a motherboard that comes with RAID, vs one that does not come with RAID, the difference is significant if your end goal is to have a RAID5 for example. So, lets assume that you want to build a home computer that has a RAID5:

    Motherboard that comes with RAID:

    1. Configure RAID in bios

    You can't configure raid in BIOS, period.

    You can setup a configuration file, but the OS installation is setting up the array way after the installation has started.



  • @dustinb3403 said in Discovering FakeRAID in the Real World:

    @pete-s that board appears to have fakeRAID

    Intel® C622 controller for 10 SATA3 (6 Gbps) ports; RAID 0,1,5,10
    Broadcom® 3008 SW controller for 8 SAS3 (12Gbs) ports; RAID 0,1,10

    With this we can assume that raid 0,1,5,10 are all FakeRAID? this that correct?



  • @dustinb3403 said in Discovering FakeRAID in the Real World:

    @obsolesce said in Discovering FakeRAID in the Real World:

    When I buy a motherboard that comes with RAID, vs one that does not come with RAID, the difference is significant if your end goal is to have a RAID5 for example. So, lets assume that you want to build a home computer that has a RAID5:

    Motherboard that comes with RAID:

    1. Configure RAID in bios

    You can't configure raid in BIOS, period.

    You can setup a configuration file, but the OS installation is setting up the array way after the installation has started.

    For simplicity, I'm referring to the hitting of CTRL+R after POST as the RAID BIOS.



  • @dustinb3403 said in Discovering FakeRAID in the Real World:

    @obsolesce said in Discovering FakeRAID in the Real World:

    When I buy a motherboard that comes with RAID, vs one that does not come with RAID, the difference is significant if your end goal is to have a RAID5 for example. So, lets assume that you want to build a home computer that has a RAID5:

    Motherboard that comes with RAID:

    1. Configure RAID in bios

    You can't configure raid in BIOS, period.

    You can setup a configuration file, but the OS installation is setting up the array way after the installation has started.

    wouldn't CTLR+R (or in my case it was F for Fast track) allow you to configure RAID? and make sure Bios are set to boot with the RAID ?

    @Obsolesce is that what you are talking about? I'm just trying to learn, I knew nothing about RAID at the beginning of the day...



  • @dustinb3403 No, Broadcom 3008 has it's own integrated cpu, on board memory etc. It's just not enough performance for it to do all kinds of raid. It's the same controller as Dell H330 and a bunch of others make cards with it as well.

    From the specs:

    The SAS 3008 offered with the Avago Integrated RAID (IR) feature is a
    low cost, high performance RAID solution designed for blade, entry and
    mid-range servers that require redundancy and high availability but where
    a full featured RAID implementation is cost prohibitive or not desired. The
    Avago advanced Integrated RAID options include Integrated Mirroring
    (IM), which is RAID 1, Integrated Mirroring Enhanced (IME), known as RAID
    1E, Integrated Striping (IS), which is RAID 0, and Integrated Mirroring and
    Striping (IMS) which is RAID 10. By simplifying the RAID configuration
    options, Integrated RAID is easy to install and configure and meets the
    needs of most internal RAID requirements.


Log in to reply