1 2 Previous Next 21 Replies Latest reply on Nov 16, 2009 4:42 PM by kolotyluk

    Can S5520SC Support Concurrent RAID 0 and RAID 5 Volumes?


      Last week I was experimenting with a Dell Optiplex 960 making RAID configurations. On a 2-disk system I found it relatively easy to use Intel's Matrix Storage Manager in the BIOS to configure two volumes (virtual disks) on the array - one was RAID 0, the other was RAID 1.

      Last Friday I was trying to set up my S5520SC system (with 5 disks), and had a really frustrating time. First off it's hard to get to the RAID setting in the BIOS, you have to diable quiet boot mode (which makes no sense). Then when I got into the RAID settings they were not the nice Intel Matrix Storage Manager I used on the Dell, they were a really crummy interface that was confusing to use. After many tries I was able to configure two volumes of RAID 0, or two volumes of RAID 5; but I could find no way to make one volume RAID 0 and the other volume RAID 5. Can anyone confirm whether it is possible to configure the S5520SC this way? This must be a BIOS limitation because both the S5520SC and Dell Optiplex 960 use the same ICH10R. Are there plans to fix the BIOS in a new update?

      Is the reason for this difference in BIOS because the S5520SC is EFI and the Dell is not?

      I also tried using the bootable CD with the GUI based setup utilities. The utilities are great if you want to update the BIOS, but they are even worse than the BIOS RAID setup. They are increadibly confusing and limited. Are there any plans to fix this in a new version? I was using version 3.1. In any case I had even less luck setting up a working RAID with these utilities.

      Cheers, Eric

        • 1. Re: Can S5520SC Support Concurrent RAID 0 and RAID 5 Volumes?

          Hi Eric,


          S5520SC onboard RAID is Intel® Embedded Server RAID Technology II (ESRTII), which is different from Intel Matrix Storage Manager. For detailed information, please refer to the TPS of S5520SC http://www.intel.com/support/motherboards/server/s5520sc/sb/CS-030231.htm .


          For detailed info on ESRTII, you can refer to the user guide at http://www.intel.com/support/motherboards/server/sb/CS-022358.htm.




          • 2. Re: Can S5520SC Support Concurrent RAID 0 and RAID 5 Volumes?

            Thanks for the references Grant - I checked them out.


            According to CS-022358, in Chapter 5, Intel Embedded Server RAID BIOS Configuration Utility: it says you can set the RAID level when configuring a virtual drive. It has no warning or notice of the fact that with multiple virtual drives, all drives must have the same RAID level. This indicates either a defect in the RAID BIOS Configuration Utilitiy or in this document. I have tried several times to create two virtual drives, but the utilitiy will not let me configure each with a different RAID level - I can only create multiple RAID 0, or multiple RAID 5, but not one RAID 0 and another RAID 5. Such a combination is easy to create with Intel Matrix Storage Manager.


            In the same document Chapter 6 is Intel RAID BIOS Console 2 Utility - it says:


            Start the Intel RAID BIOS Console 2 Utility

            1. When the system boots, hold down the <CTRL> key and press the <G> key when the following is displayed:
              Press <Ctrl><G> to enter the RAID BIOS Console
              After you press <Ctrl>+<G>, the Controller Selection screen appears.


            At no time after I power on my system does it ever say "Press <Ctrl><G> to enter the RAID BIOS Console." Is there some special trick to getting this prompt, or otherwise getting into this Console 2 utilitiy? I have pressed <Ctrl><G> several times during the boot sequence and have never found a way to get into this utility.


            It was difficult for me to find out how to get into the first RAID BIOS Configuration utility. I first had to set the BIOS setting "Quiet Boot" to disabled, only then did it display "Press <Ctrl>+<E> to start the Intel Embedded Server RAID BIOS Configuation utility." I tried pressing <Ctrl>+<G> at this time but that had no effect.


            Any additional information you could give me would be greately appreciated.


            Cheers, Eric

            • 3. Re: Can S5520SC Support Concurrent RAID 0 and RAID 5 Volumes?

              Hi Eric,


              To answer your question, yes S5520SC will support concurrent RAID0 and RAID 5 volumes.

              But for RAID5 you need to have seperate RAID key..


              please see the link where you can see the help video to setup using SW raid.




              2. You can also achieve this using Intel Deployment Assistant aswell.

              below is the link where you can download the utility to do the same.



              3. CTRL- E issue:

              In BIOS setup -> Massstorage control-> Set SW RAID -> save settings -> AC cycle.

              Now you will see the Option ROM CTRL E display..  By pressing CTRL+ E you should be get in to the utility easlily.. ( Please see the help video)


              - Tested your issue.. its working..


              Let me know if i can be of any assistance in setting this concurrent RAID.




              • 4. Re: Can S5520SC Support Concurrent RAID 0 and RAID 5 Volumes?

                Thanks for the respose Kamal


                Yes - I do have the RAID 5 key installed.


                The S5520SC may be able to support concurrent RAID 0 and RAID 5, but none of the utilities will let me configure it. I have tried using both the BIOS RAID setup, and the Intel RAID Web Console 2. Both had the same problem. After creating the first volume with RAID 0, when I configured the second volume the software would not let me select RAID 5. Similarly if I created the first volume with RAID 5, the software would not let me configure the second volume with RAID 0.


                If you tested this can you please give me the details on exactly what you did, and what utility you used.


                I watched the video, but it does not apply to my configuration - possibly because I did not have the SAS module installed. According to the Video you must disable Quite Boot in the BIOS settings before being able to get to the RAID prompt. This is consistent with my experience. Even if you set the Storage Controller to SW RAID, you must still disable Quiet Boot.


                Could you please tell me what version of the BIOS you are using.


                Cheers, Eric

                • 5. Re: Can S5520SC Support Concurrent RAID 0 and RAID 5 Volumes?

                  Hi Eric,


                  Apologoies for the delay. caught up in day work.


                  Hope you have a 5 HDD connected  and latest BIOS ver :41


                  After you getting the Option ROM display message " press CTRL E" , follow the steps below mentioned.



                  Configure -> new configuration->yes->press tab key for port#->F10 ->press tab key->F10 -> Enter in RAID-> select the RAID 0

                  Configuration meenu -> view/add configuration -> < follow the same steps as above. and select RAID 5.


                  In this way, first 2 HDD can be configured as RAID0 and rest 3 as RAID 5.


                  If you want to have this concurrent RAID configuration(0 and 5) with 4 HDD then you need to use hardware add-on RAID card.

                  In S/w RAID option you need to have 5 HDD.. thats a limitation of S/W Raid Option.



                  Hope this helps you..



                  • 6. Re: Can S5520SC Support Concurrent RAID 0 and RAID 5 Volumes?

                    OK - now I comprehend our misunderstanding...


                    You configured two different set of disk drives - one a two disk array RAID 0 and the other a three disk array RAID 5.


                    What I am trying to do is configure 5 drives in one array, then define two virtual disks on the array - one a RAID 0 virtual disk and the other a RAID 5 virtual disk. I am still convinced this cannot be done on the S5520SC with the current set of tools. I believe this to be a limitation of the BIOS and the RAID Web Console 2 utility, because it is not a limitation of the ICH10R southbridge. It could also be a limitation of the motherboard as for some silly reason Intel intentionally crippled the RAID 5 function with the RAID 5 key feature, and it may be affecting the perfectly normal operation of the ICH10R.


                    Someone should file a bug report on this problem. If you tell me how/where I will file the bug report.


                    Cheers, Eric

                    • 7. Re: Can S5520SC Support Concurrent RAID 0 and RAID 5 Volumes?

                      Yes Eric,


                      I totally agree with you.

                      Having said,thats a limitation of SW Raid.


                      Not sure, how to raise a feature bug on this!




                      • 8. Re: Can S5520SC Support Concurrent RAID 0 and RAID 5 Volumes?

                        OK, I've heard the same thing from Intel Customer Support - that the Intel(R) Embedded Server RAID Technology II does not support creating virtual disks with different RAID layouts over the same array of disks.


                        He also used the term SW Raid - citing that the Intel Matrix Storage Manager uses the onboard controller. I'm really confused now. According to the S5520SC Technical Spec Manual the IESRT-II uses the ICH10R southbridge - which is an onboard controller. I also noticed that in the BIOS settings you have to set the disk to "SW RAID" - does this mean that the ICH10R is not actually used for RAID operation?


                        I'm having a hard time comming to grips with the fact that a $500.00 S5520SC with an ICH10R southbridge has inferior RAID functionality to a $200.00 motherboard that also has an ICH10R southbridge.


                        Cheers, Eric

                        • 9. Re: Can S5520SC Support Concurrent RAID 0 and RAID 5 Volumes?

                          That's too bad about the lack of support for two RAID volumes for the onboard RAID on the S5520SC. I think that Intel makes the onboard RAID, even with the activation key, pretty basic on purpose. They wish to steer users to the add in module (SROMBSASMR for S5520HC or SC) or a dedicated RAID card. Of course, they have a full line to sell to you (rebranded LSI hardware), but you would definitely get more features and performance. Running 5 drives as you are, it might make sense. (see http://www.intel.com/support/motherboards/server/sb/CS-030320.htm for Intel's RAID positioning)


                          I'm just about to build a S5520HC based system in the Intel SC5650DP chassis, using the SROMBSASMR controller. Just need to get the last few components in - should be a week or so.

                          • 10. Re: Can S5520SC Support Concurrent RAID 0 and RAID 5 Volumes?

                            The main problem with the SROMBSASMR is that it disables the 4-lane PCI Express slot on the motherboard. I plan to put a FusionIO board in that slot some day. Ultimately I plan to run my system (C:) drive off the FusionIO board (when they have their bootable drivers working) and use my RAID 5 array as my data (D:) drive. In the mean time I wanted to create two Volumes on the array: a RAID 0 for my C: drive and a RAID 5 for my D: drive - but doesn't seem possible now.


                            I'm hoping Intel will send a replacement for my failed S5520SC before Labor Day so I can have a long weekend to put my system back together.


                            Cheers, Eric

                            • 11. Re: Can S5520SC Support Concurrent RAID 0 and RAID 5 Volumes?

                              So, Eric, I guess this means that your two x16 and one x8 slots are full? Otherwise, couldn't the FusionIO go in one of those? Since you have or are considering a FusionIO, what speed benefit do you aim to achieve over, say SSDs in RAID, SAS drives in RAID or simply fast RAID with SATA drives? Also, what does a fully configured FusionIO cost?

                              • 12. Re: Can S5520SC Support Concurrent RAID 0 and RAID 5 Volumes?

                                So my plan is to populate both 16-lane slots with graphics cards running crossfire, and populate the 8-lane slot with the FusionIO. The 8-lane slot is mechanically 8-lanes, but elecrically only 4-lanes (the same as the FusionIO board). I had considered running a RAID of SSD, but the FusionIO board makes more sense and has about 600 MB/s of I/O bandwidth - the same as a RAID 0 of SSD. With a RAID 5 of conventional disk I'll have more than enough storage. Ultimately I plan to back up the FusionIO board to the RAID 5.


                                Cheers, Eric

                                • 13. Re: Can S5520SC Support Concurrent RAID 0 and RAID 5 Volumes?

                                  OK - I finally got my RAID 5 configuration working. I was not able to create two virtual disks like I wanted to, the BIOS would hang every time I tried to accept the second VD. Pretty buggy software in my opinion. I tried configuring the RAID from the Intel Deployment CD, but it would not boot as long as I had SW-RAID selected in the BIOS. This must be another bug because I was able to do this before with a previous S5520SC workstation board. At one point I had Intel Tech Support on the phone and he said my problem was that I was using 2 TB hard drives which are not supported by the controllers.


                                  At any rate I did manage to get the RAID 5 configured with 1 VD and installed Windows 7 on it. It seems to run ok, except the disk performance totally sucks. I ran HD Tune and I'm toping out at 120 MB/s but my average is half of that. This is not at all close to other benchmarks I've seen with the ICH10R controller before.


                                  My quesitons is: does my RAID performance suck because I'm using Intel Embedded Server RAID Technology II?


                                  I know I've seen better performance with Intel Matrix Storage Manager on the ICH10R.


                                  I notice that the BIOS referes to this as SW-RAID. Is this because the IESRT-II runs in the BMC, and does not use the firmware RAID in the ICH10R?


                                  At this point the S5520SC is hugely disappointing in terms of RAID support - which is strange because it's a high-end workstation board.


                                  Cheers, Eric

                                  • 14. Re: Can S5520SC Support Concurrent RAID 0 and RAID 5 Volumes?

                                    Hi Eric,


                                    I read your benchmark results at RAID 5 so I just had to run my own and compare: I am at 117MB/sec average using HD Tune Pro 3.50. I attached my screenshot for reference. I think you may have some failing (I guess Seagate) drives, not everything can be Intel's fault!


                                    Hope this helps, or at least makes you smile if not laugh right out loud.

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