One well-supported host-based hardware RAID controller (i.e, a controller for which there exists a driver under Linux) is one that is made by DPT. However, there exist other host-based and SCSI-to-SCSI controllers which may work under Linux. These include the ones made by Syred, ICP-Vortex, and BusLogic. See the RAID solutions for Linux page for more info.
If, in the future, there is support for other controllers, I will do my best to incorporate that information into this HOWTO. Please send me any such information you think is appropriate for this HOWTO.
This document is currently DPT-oriented. Essentially all the SmartRAID IV controllers are supported.
ICP vortex has a complete line of disk array controllers which support Linux. The ICP driver is in the Linux kernel since version 2.0.31. All major Linux Distributors S.u.S.e., LST Power Linux, Caldera and Red Hat support the ICP controllers as boot/installation controllers. The RAID system can easily be configured with their ROMSETUP (you do not have to boot MS-DOS for configuration!).
With the monitoring utility GDTMON it is possible to manage the complete ICP RAID system during operation (check transfer rates, set parameters for the controller and hard disks, exchange defective hard disks, etc.). Currently available are: 1 and 2 channel wide and ultra SCSI controller for RAID 0 and RAID 1 1, 2, 3 and 5 chn. wide and ultra SCSI controller for RAID 0, 1, 4, 5 and 10 1 and 2 channel wide and ultra2 LVDS SCSI controller for RAID 0 and RAID 1 1, 2, 3 and 5 chn. wide and ultra2 LVDS SCSI controller for RAID 0, 1, 4, 5 and 10 1 and 2 port Fibre Channel controllers for RAID 0, 1, 4, 5 and 10 Pretty soon there will be also 64-bit controllers available.
ICP is transitioning the entry-level RS series from Ultra2 SCSI to Ultra160 SCSI. The drivers, firmware, features, capabilities etc remain the same. They are still 32 Bit cards with the i960RS processor working at 100MHz. The only difference is they will work at Ultra160 (data transfer rate of 160MB/sec) rather than Ultra2 (data transfer of 80MB/sec).
Effective immediately, the GDT7523RN units will become GDT8523RZ and the GDT7623RN units will become GDT8623RZ. The transition from 33MHz on the PCI bus to 66MHz represents a huge potential performance increase. The new cards will have the new Intel 80303 "Zion" processor, allowing bus master transfer rates of up to 528MB/sec, and will take up to 256MB of ECC RAM on PC133 SDRAM Dimms.