Manageability tools are the most commonly overlooked component of a scalable and reliable RAID array system. How do you know whether a disk in your RAID 5 array fails or a power supply fails? Unfortunately, such failures can kill performance because a RAID array that is operating in fault mode (such as one with a failed disk in an array) runs slowly.
You need to ensure that your RAID array includes built-in manageability tools, and you need to learn how to use them. Typically, these tools let you configure and monitor your RAID array. These tools often include an array agent that runs as a service under Windows NT. The array agent closely monitors the performance of your RAID array solution. If a disk or another component in the array fails, the array agent records the failure in NT's event log. Also, you can configure array agents to send email, provide a visual alert, or even page you as needed (depending on the vendor's implementation). Diagnostic lights on the outside of the RAID array are cute, but who wants to sit in a computer room and watch some lights blink on and off or listen for audible alerts? Instead, you can easily automate the diagnostic monitoring and ensure that your RAID array is running flawlessly.