Hi folks,

I have a HP DL320s 2U server with 12 500 GB SATA drives and Smart Array P400 
RAID controller. The machine will be a video streaming server for a public 
library. The system I am installing is 7.0-RELEASE, amd64.

I made 2 RAID6 volumes, one 120GB for the system and one 4.3TB for the 
streaming media content. The first problem I have encountered is that during 
installation, the large RAID volume wasn't visible. No problem, because I could 
install the system to the small 120G volume.

After the base system installation I decided to delete the large volume using 
the HP ACU and create a few smaller 1TB volumes, which will hopefully be 
recognized by the kernel. They were, buth when I ran the fdisk from sysinstall 
it always reported:
WARNING:  A geometry of xxxxxxx/255/32 for da1 is incorrect. Using a more 
likely geometry.  If this geometry is incorrect...

I was trying to do a few 1TB vinum partitions and tying them together into 
single concatenated volume (I already did something similar in linux using LVM 
and it worked great). I had no success.

Then I searched the web and found this patch 
http://yogurt.org/FreeBSD/ciss_large.diff and hoped it will resolve the geometry 
problem. It did not, but one other thing it should do is allow kernel to get da 
device for an array > 2TB. It did!

I deleted the smaller 1TB volumes and recreated one large 4.3TB RAID volume. 
The kernel recognized it perfectly as /dev/da1. Great! Then I tried to create a 
slice using sysintall fdisk and a filesystem using sysinstall label. Nothing 
but trouble!

I searched the web again and found a possible solution to my problem. I used the "newfs -U -O2 
/dev/da1" command to create the filesystem directly on the RAID volume. It worked without a 
problem. Then I mounted /dev/da1 to /var/media and here is the output of "df -h" command:

Filesystem     Size    Used   Avail Capacity  Mounted on
/dev/da0s1a    4.3G    377M    3.6G     9%    /
devfs          1.0K    1.0K      0B   100%    /dev
/dev/da0s1e    7.7G     12K    7.1G     0%    /tmp
/dev/da0s1f     36G    1.6G     31G     5%    /usr
/dev/da0s1d     58G     25M     53G     0%    /var
/dev/da1       4.3T    4.0K    4.0T     0%    /var/media

Is it somehow bad to make a filesystem directly on a storage device such as 
disk drive or hardware raid volume?


Joze Volf
iLab d.o.o.
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