‘1000 marketing people at the bottom of the ocean’ -> a good start.
So, I needed a couple of servers. Had my trusted hardware vendor slap them together. They felt that I could use the ‘Intel server boards’. Since the price was ok, why not. And in the end they are not bad: 4x Sata, dual gigE, overall standard stuff. I had been told (by its builder and by the boot screen) that the motherboard would have a ‘Raid controller’.
“Cool” me thinks: Hardware raid, one thing less to worry about. Turns out it’s a ‘marketing raid’ that intel present here. There are drivers (no source …) that play together with the bios a software raid. Which is maybe ok for Windows, but certainly stupid for Linux: mdadm & Co work really well and are equally well documented.
Next time sink was the fact that I ended up being conservative in picking the debian ’sub distro’.
Only after picking the future ‘etch’ that is currently the ‘testing/unstable’ stream things worked fine. With this iso
I could make the software raid right in the install menu. Before I wasted pretty much two days compiling kernels, installing lilo, compiling more kernels etc. Google shows you years worth of hacks and workarounds. Just that they are obsolete by now.