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RAID Fail Test

I performed our usual pull-the-drive test on the N3200 and it passed with flying colors. I first enabled email notification (Figure 8) to see how that worked. The Notification feature has probably the most complete set of email configuration options that I have seen on a networking product.

Figure 12 shows that the SMTP port can be specified along with three authentication methods. I first tried the on Auth Type, but eventually found that login worked for me.

Email notification configuration

Figure 12: Email notification configuration

I then started a large folder copy, waited until it was underway, then pulled a drive. Within 30 seconds, the front panel display changed to tell me that a drive had been removed. The internal beeper also sounded off with a continuous, loud tone that was as ignorable (and loud) as a smoke alarm. Fortunately, I was able to silence the alert tone by pressing the ESC front panel switch.

I also received the following email within 10 seconds of pulling the drive:

Hello tim@*********
This notification message is generated automatically from N3200 (10.168.3.167).
The system experienced the following event(s).
Disk 1 on "N3200" has been removed.
Please be aware of the event(s) above. Also if necessary, please react to the event(s).
==============================================
The automated message is generated at 2008-07-30 00:25:07 by N3200 (raid5) (10.168.3.167).

It was followed shortly by another email telling me that the NAS was operating in a degraded condition. I then reinserted the drive and soon received another email telling me that the drive had been inserted.

I logged into the admin interface to see if there was any indication of failure. But, as is typical with most NASes, there was no alert shown on the Status > Product Information (About) page that is shown upon login. I had to navigate to the Storage > RAID page, where I found that the system was automatically rebuilding the RAID volume (Figure 13).

RAID recovery in progress

Figure 13: RAID recovery in progress

The rebuild finished in just about an hour, confirmed by a final email. By the way, the filecopy continued uninterrupted throughout the test, just as it should.

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