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How to Create & Work With LVM RAID on CentOS 7 | A Working Example

We have a server with a bunch of hard disks that need to be combined to create one large filesystem. Further to that, we want some redundancy so we’ll need RAID. In our case, we’ll be using RAID 6. In this walk-through, we’re using a CentOS 7 server with 7 physical hard disks. We’re going to create a RAID 6 so the result will be 50TB’s of disk space minus a little overhead.

But first a little context: The server has 8 physical hard disks. The first disks is allocated to the operating system (CentOS 7) while the remaining 7 will be used in RAID 6 (5 disks for data and 2 for parity). This walk-through uses the remaining 7 disks to create an LVM RAID 6 volume.

See the Reddit topic for a running commentary on this.

Throughout this walk-through, we’ll be using the name “storageVolumeLMV” for the logical volume, and “storage” for the volume group.

For more information about LVM and the terminaology, please read “https://access.redhat.com/documentation/en-US/Red_Hat_Enterprise_Linux/6/html/Logical_Volume_Manager_Administration/”. For more information about LVM RAID, please read “https://access.redhat.com/documentation/en-us/red_hat_enterprise_linux/6/html/logical_volume_manager_administration/raid_volumes”.

First we need to tell LVM which physical hard disks we intend to use:

[[email protected] ~]# pvcreate /dev/sdb /dev/sdc /dev/sdd /dev/sde /dev/sdf /dev/sdg /dev/sdh
  Physical volume "/dev/sdb" successfully created.
  Physical volume "/dev/sdc" successfully created.
  Physical volume "/dev/sdd" successfully created.
  Physical volume "/dev/sde" successfully created.
  Physical volume "/dev/sdf" successfully created.
  Physical volume "/dev/sdg" successfully created.
  Physical volume "/dev/sdh" successfully created.

Run “pvscan” to show what we have so far:

[[email protected] ~]# pvscan
  PV /dev/sda3   VG centos          lvm2 [94.07 GiB / 4.00 MiB free]
  PV /dev/sdc                       lvm2 [<9.10 TiB]
  PV /dev/sdb                       lvm2 [<9.10 TiB]
  PV /dev/sdf                       lvm2 [<9.10 TiB]
  PV /dev/sde                       lvm2 [<9.10 TiB]
  PV /dev/sdd                       lvm2 [<9.10 TiB]
  PV /dev/sdh                       lvm2 [<9.10 TiB]
  PV /dev/sdg                       lvm2 [<9.10 TiB]

Notice the first disk in the list above. It's the primary hard disk that the OS is on. We'll be ignoring that for now.

Now we create the new volume group:

[[email protected] ~]# vgcreate storage /dev/sdb /dev/sdc /dev/sdd /dev/sde /dev/sdf /dev/sdg /dev/sdh
  Volume group "storage" successfully created

Again, let's see what we've got so far:

[[email protected] ~]# vgs
  VG      #PV #LV #SN Attr   VSize   VFree  
  centos    1   2   0 wz--n-  94.07g   4.00m
  storage   7   0   0 wz--n- <63.67t <63.67t

We can see in the above output that we have a new volume group.

Now we need to create the new logical volume as a RAID 6:

[[email protected] ~]# lvcreate --type raid6 -i 5 -l 100%FREE -n storageVolumeLMV storage
  Using default stripesize 64.00 KiB.
  Rounding size (16690681 extents) down to stripe boundary size (16690680 extents)
  Logical volume "storageVolumeLMV" created.

The above shows the result of creating a new logical volume in RAID 6, we've specified 5 disks automatically allowing 2 for the parity, we're using all available disk space, where the name of the new logical volume is "storageVolumeLMV" and it's applying this to the volume group "storage".

Let's have a look again at what we have so far:

[[email protected] ~]# lvs
  LV               VG      Attr       LSize   Pool Origin Data%  Meta%  Move Log Cpy%Sync Convert
  root             centos  -wi-ao----  93.13g                                                    
  swap             centos  -wi-ao---- 956.00m                                                    
  storageVolumeLMV storage rwi-a-r--- <45.48t                                    0.00

Now we need to format the filesystem. We'll use XFS:

[[email protected] ~]# mkfs.xfs -d su=64k,sw=5 /dev/storage/storageVolumeLMV
mkfs.xfs: Specified data stripe width 512 is not the same as the volume stripe width 640
meta-data=/dev/storage/storageVolumeLMV isize=512    agcount=46, agsize=268435440 blks
         =                       sectsz=4096  attr=2, projid32bit=1
         =                       crc=1        finobt=0, sparse=0
data     =                       bsize=4096   blocks=12208035840, imaxpct=5
         =                       sunit=16     swidth=64 blks
naming   =version 2              bsize=4096   ascii-ci=0 ftype=1
log      =internal log           bsize=4096   blocks=521728, version=2
         =                       sectsz=4096  sunit=1 blks, lazy-count=1
realtime =none                   extsz=4096   blocks=0, rtextents=0

Then go ahead and mount it. I've added the following line to the "/etc/fstab":

/dev/storage/storageVolumeLMV /mnt/storage xfs defaults 0 0

And make sure the mount point exists:

[[email protected] ~]# mkdir /mnt/storage

You should be left with something like this:

[[email protected] ~]# mount /mnt/storage
[[email protected] ~]# df -h
Filesystem                            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/mapper/centos-root                94G  1.1G   93G   2% /
devtmpfs                              7.5G     0  7.5G   0% /dev
tmpfs                                 7.6G     0  7.6G   0% /dev/shm
tmpfs                                 7.6G   11M  7.6G   1% /run
tmpfs                                 7.6G     0  7.6G   0% /sys/fs/cgroup
/dev/sda2                             947M  146M  802M  16% /boot
tmpfs                                 1.6G     0  1.6G   0% /run/user/0
tmpfs                                 1.6G     0  1.6G   0% /run/user/1000
/dev/mapper/storage-storageVolumeLMV   46T   35M   46T   1% /mnt/storage

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One comment

  1. Thanks, this helped a lot, and everything seems to work. However, there doesn’t seem to be anything connecting it to the mdadm, but shouldn’t it be? Isn’t that what needs to manage the raid arrays?

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