Posts Tagged ‘mount’

Properly Partitioning a HW RAID Volume over 2TB in size

Like most geeks I’ve got lots of files and a need for spacious network shares. However, as soon as you go over a 2TB partition, you’ll encounter problems w/ how to correctly partition a drive or RAID volume using the newer 4096 sector spec called simply Advanced Format. I initially stumbled upon a series of articles written by Roderick W. Smith over on IBM’s DeveloperWorks when searching how to properly check partition alignment under Linux for SSDs but quickly had an “Uh Oh” moment when I realized SSDs weren’t my only problem and I had in fact been flying blind on larger than 2TB partitions under Linux. Thankfully I didn’t have systems in production where this was a problem but I was literally building a system at work where this could bite me in the rear!

To bottom line it for you, if you’re using software RAID or a true HW RAID setup, you need to stripe your file system across the partition in accordance to the number of discs involved, type of RAID and the stripe size in KBs. My example below is strictly regarding Areca ARC RAID cards and might not be applicable to your setup.

I’m using an ARC-1680ix-24 w/ 4GB of ram on board. I’ve got 24 – 500GB HDs with one volume using all HDs in a RAID 6 raidset. So, for me the math is such when using EXT4 filesystem:

chunk size = 128KB (For Areca ARC-1680s it's your Stripe size.)
block size = 4KB (My desired partition is over 2TB. 6.5TB to be exact.)
stride = chunk / block 
       = 128KB / 4KB 
       = 32
Stripe-width = stride * (( # disks in RAID) - # of RAID parity disks)
             = 32 * ((using all 24 disks) - RAID 6 uses 2 parity disks)
             = 32 * (24 - 2)
             = 32 * 22
             = 704

so in other words, once I’ve created the basic partition on my device and I’m ready to format it as EXT4 I’ll end up using:

mkfs.ext4 -v -m .1 -b 4096 -E stride=32,stripe-width=704 /dev/sdd1

I’m not going to go into every detail of the line so please read RAID Setup over on for the skinny.

So from Soup to Nuts:

    Use parted to create the partition table on my new volume & create a massive single partition at the right offset:
parted /dev/sdd
    Once in the parted tool:
mklabel gpt
unit s
mkpart primary 2048s 100%
name 1 BFS


    Next, you’ll need to create an EXT4 filesystem inside your newly created partition from above:
mkfs.ext4 -v -m .1 -b 4096 -E stride=32,stripe-width=704 /dev/sdd1
    Now you’ll want to add it to your fstab file so let’s grab the UUID from blkid next:
blkid -o list
    And edit your /etc/fstab file so it will automount it at boot time
UUID=8e0a7d10-blah-blah-tomatoes-are-yummy-b4a0f6a13c15 /bfs ext4 defaults  1 2
    Finally, create the mount point and mount it.
sudo mkdir /bfs
mount /bfs

Here’s a couple of links I found note worthy while going down this rabbit hole: (shows the actual formula shown above & values) (a great read)  (Rod weighs in with helpful advice in the Ubuntu forums)  (parted’s man page over on GNU.ORG)  (talks about 4KB sector size disks and let the panic ensue!)  (lots of theory but looks incomplete)
Last 4 links are from Rod Smith:  (using gdisk but applicable to parted)  (main gdisk site!)  (talks about the severe performance effects if you gloss over this stuff!)  (good overview of GPT & understanding why they’re moving away from MBR)

(Personal Note: By finally posting this up on my blog I can close 10 tabs I’ve had open since middle of 2011!)

Diskpart FTW!

So I’m playing around w/ a SAN for home use. We’ve virtualized about 80% of our infrastructure at work but most of our VM hosts are standalone with local storage only. So, I’m spending a lot of time at home recently building a SAN on OpenSUSE 11.3 with high hopes of getting iSCSI to play nice. Part of this equation is getting another box to run vCenter Server which will need access to the iSCSI LUNs the VM hosts see.

Hence the title. Windows has a utility called Diskpart.exe which will allow you to turn off auto mount BEFORE you connect your Windows’ iSCSI initiator to your iSCSI target.

Open up a command prompt and type:


Once you’re in the diskpart tool, type ‘automount’.

DISKPART> automount
Automatic mounting of new volumes enabled.

Then finally, ‘automount disable’.

DISKPART> automount disable
Automatic mounting of new volumes disabled.

This will keep your OS from trying to mount your iSCSI volume and mess with your VMFS partition!

Keep in mind, this means any new volumes your system sees will need to be mounted manually w/in the disk partitioning tool.

While you’re in there, type just a ‘?’ and see the whole list of commands you can play with. See the Microsoft KB article below for a more thorough introduction!

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