High Availability Linux with Software RAID
Using a combination of software RAID and a recovery CD, a high availability Linux server can be set up and configured easily. It is conceivable that a drive could fail, putting the RAID into degraded mode, without the system administrator knowing immediately. A cron job could be created to periodically examine the /proc/mdstat file and send an e-mail or page if the RAID volumes were found to be in degraded mode.
After testing with VMware, I used the same technique outlined above to install Red Hat 8.0 on my physical machine. I also went through the same testing procedure on the physical machine, including failing a pure RAID drive, failing the first mixed RAID and native drive, restoring RAID volumes in degraded mode, booting of the recovery CD, rebuilding the native partition and installing the boot loader on the MBR. It worked flawlessly, and my system has been reborn as an HA server.
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In modern computer systems, privacy and security are mandatory. However, connections from the outside over public networks automatically imply risks. One easily available solution to avoid eavesdroppers’ attempts is SSH. But, its wide adoption during the past 21 years has made it a target for attackers, so hardening your system properly is a must.
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