JP Vossen on 7 Oct 2010 22:23:44 -0700

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[PLUG] CentOS 5 on >2TB disks

I have a case where I need to have LOTS of space in some servers. Right now we're using Dell PE R710's with 6x 1TB drives like:
	1+1 RAID1 mirror = ~1TB
	4x  RAID5 = ~3TB

The 1+1 mirror is a total waste, since all it has is the OS and some apps. I'd much rather use all 6 drives in RAID5 for ~5TB.

But if I do that, the boot device is >2TB and so the stock grub1 will barf. And grub2 doesn't seem to be in the repos, and it's still a bit unclear to me if it can boot >2TB. (I *think* it can, but...) I'm not sure I really think grub2 is mature enough for critical production, but it it's the only game in town...

I'm also not sure if there are any kernel issues with this. Right now I'm using the stock CentOS kernel, but at some point I want to move to a custom, monolithic kernel.

Throwing different hardware at the problem is a possibility. The R710's are maxed out for drives, and I'm don't think there's a CF-Card or other option to stick the OS on so it's less than 2TB. We're looking into R510's or something that can have more drives, so we might get smaller OS drives internally and leave the externally accessible ones for a big RAID. But sooner or later I'm gonna need to deal with this on the R710s too.

Is anyone booting Linux (esp. CentOS) on a boot device larger than 2TB? Grub2 for CentOS? Clues?

JP Vossen, CISSP            |:::======|
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