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[ The PC Guide | Systems and Components Reference Guide | Hard Disk Drives | Hard Disk Performance, Quality and Reliability | Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive Disks (RAID) | RAID Configuration and Implementation | RAID Management ]
All RAID controllers come with some sort of software that lets you manage the controller and its connected arrays and drives. This software can range from very simple to very complex, depending on the type of controller and the number of features it supports. Most hardware controllers come with two different software components:
I couldn't even begin to describe in detail all the features and options found in the software utilities that come with high-end RAID controllers--they often come with manuals that approach 200 pages in length. Of course, the software also varies significantly from one manufacturer to another, and one product to another. Regardless of how it is set up, the functionality of RAID management software allows you to perform the following basic categories of functions:
Tip: As I mentioned
above, RAID controllers normally come with extensive documentation. You can usually find
the manuals for most RAID products in downloadable form on the web site of their
manufacturer. Reading through the software manual for a controller you are considering
buying can give you a much clearer picture of the controller's capabilities and
limitations than you will get from glossy marketing blurbs.
How about software RAID? Well, there's no surprises here: a management program is required to manage all RAID features. There is obviously no BIOS setup program because there is no controller BIOS, so everything is done at the operating system level. RAID management functionality for Windows NT and 2000 is integrated into the Disk Administrator tool that is used for managing disk volumes.
Next: Remote Management