SMARTD, a brief intro …

S.M.A.R.T.D

Whats it?

  • Smartd stands for SMART Disk Monitoring Daemon.
  • smartd is a daemon that monitors the Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology (SMART) system built into many ATA-3 and later ATA, IDE and SCSI-3 hard drives.
  • SMART is a monitoring system for computer hard disks to detect and report on various indicators of reliability, in the hope of anticipating failures.

Smart Developers:

  • Bruce Allen (Initiator and Project Leader)
  • A professor of physics at the U. of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, and a Director of the Albert Einstein Institute in Hannover
  • Home page is http://smartmontools.sourceforge.net/

Windows interface & cygwin package

  • Christian Franke (Developer and Maintainer)?
  • other open source contributions include some small patches for Cygwin and Mozilla.org (Firefox/Thunderbird/SeaMonkey and Bugzilla) codebase, a Windows port of hdparm, and a recent Cygwin port of GRUB2.

Other Contributors

  • Casper Dik (Solaris SCSI interface)?
  • Christian Franke (Windows interface and Cygwin package)?
  • Douglas Gilbert (SCSI subsystem)?
  • Guido Guenther (Autoconf/Automake packaging)?
  • Geoffrey Keating (Darwin ATA interface)?
  • Eduard Martinescu (FreeBSD interface)?
  • Frederic L. W. Meunier (Web site and Mailing list)?
  • Keiji Sawada (Solaris ATA interface)?
  • Sergey Svishchev (NetBSD interface)?
  • David Snyder and Sergey Svishchev (OpenBSD interface)?
  • Phil Williams (User interface and drive database)?
  • Shengfeng Zhou (Linux Highpoint RocketRaid interface)?

Installation

  • On Debian based systems

# apt-get install smartmontools

  • On rpm based distros

# yum install smartmontools

 

  • Path

/usr/sbin/smartd

How to check if the harddisk is smart capable?

# smartctl -i /dev/hda

If we get the following output for the above command then its smart capable.

SMART support is: Available – device has SMART capability.
SMART support is: Enabled

Enable smartd at startup

  • To Enable at bootup

# /sbin/chkconfig –add smartd

  • To disable at bootup

# /sbin/chkconfig –del smartd

Starting & Restarting

  • smartmontools provides a start-up script in

# /etc/rc.d/init.d/smartd which is responsible for starting and stopping

  • start smartd by giving the command:

# /etc/rc.d/init.d/smartd start

  • and stop it by using the command:

# /etc/rc.d/init.d/smartd stop

  • smartd will attempt to enable SMART monitoring on ATA devices and polls these and SCSI devices every 30 minutes (configurable)?
  • The default location for these SYSLOG notifications and warnings is /var/log/messages.
  • smartd can be configured at start-up using the configuration file /usr/local/etc/smartd.conf

Checking overall health

  • Performing a SMART overall-health self-assessment test

# smartctl -Hc /dev/hda

  • For vender specific SMART attributes

# smartctl -A /dev/hda

 

smartd.conf: sample entries

  • /dev/hda -a m admin@example.com,root@localhost
  • /dev/hdc -a -I 194 -I 5 -i 12 -s L/../../7/03

Checking status using signals

  • the superuser can make smartd check the status of the disks at any time by sending it the SIGUSR1 signal
  • kill -SIGUSR1 <pid>

or

  • killall -USR1 smartd

Advantages

  • smartd provides a flexible way by which we can monitor hard disk health.

Disadvantage

  • We can only predict a certain percentage (64%) of hardisk failures by smart.
  • Failures that occur abruptly such as defective electronic equipment or mechanical failure may lead to failure of harddrive without any earlier warnings.

References

Article Authored by Rahul Janak

Author, Rahul, is a Systems Engineer with SupportPRO. Rahul specializes in Level 1 Linux Administration. SupportPRO offers 24X7 technical support services to Web hosting companies and service providers.

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