How do I figure hardware compatibility when the vendor lists only RedHat?

Phil Meyer pmeyer at
Wed Jul 23 20:40:47 UTC 2008

Rob Tanner wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm looking at several different vendors for hardware RAID.  The box I 
> intend the RAID for will be built with Fedora Core 8.  The problem is 
> that the vendors don't list Fedora Core at all under Linux systems.  
> What versions of RedHat should I look for in the vendor's 
> compatibility lists to know whether the card is compatible with Fedora 
> Core 8.
> Thanks,
> Rob Tanner
> Linfield College

Hardware based raid on intel platforms is a BIOS level utility.  The 
BIOS simply presents the disk units as the raid controller gives it.

Virtually all hardware based raid cards will work with any OS, because 
at that level, a drive is a drive.  What you won't always get, is the 
ability to manipulate the RAID device from within Linux.

The exceptions to that rule are the fibre channel or some fibre 
connected devices, because those may need OS level support to see the card.

You can have a healthy assurance that almost all scsi or SATA raid cards 
will work.

Most fibre connected scsi will also work, since SUN donated the driver 
code to RedHat and it went upstream into the main kernel.  (mdm as I recall)

The other common fibre connected devices use the qla2xxx drivers.  Some 
vendor cards work better with vendor supplied versions of that 
particular driver.  Our HP blades, running RHE Linux, like the HP 
version of that driver better, but that it is likely that HP botched the 
spec on the card. :)

For reference:

I don't notice anything 'special' about any of those cards, and that is 
fairly representative of what is out there.

Good Luck, and buy from somewhere where a return is possible, just in case!

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