Can USB 3.0 and eSATA drives be monitored and managed?  The 2 Bay HR, FirstRAID, and 2 Bay RAIDFrame models all have Automatic Mirroring Technology.  This means they are all intelligent Direct Attached Storage (DAS) devices with a high speed mirroring or RAID board.  There is an associated utility (HW RAID Manager) that runs on the Windows host machine.  The utility doesn’t support snmp or popular Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) tools like Labtech, Kaseya, Level Platforms, n-Able, GFI Max, SpiceWorks etc.  However, it does send emails.  You can you get emails, logs, or other alerts if something goes wrong,  i.e. a mirroring failure, drive failure etc.   If you can configure your RMM tool or SNMP manager to alert you when these emails occur, it may well give you enough remote alerting to get the job done.  The email server has to accept unencrypted authentication but you can configure emails to go out upon basic events. See the screen shot.

Screenshot of the the email configuration

Screenshot of the the email configuration page in the HW RAID Manager

Notice that is a free email POP3 server we found which accepts unencrypted authentication (Exchange servers won’t).  A test configuration is shown in graphic.

For Non-AMT devices such as a 5 Bay High-Rely classic, SNMP capability can actually provided by the Windows machine the device plugs into (it plugs in USB3.0, 2.0, or eSATA).  What you do is install the free SNMP software included in Windows by going to control panel, add/remove windows components.  This link has a good run through.  (If the link is broken just refer to installing the free SNMP service on Microsoft technet)    Obviously, you’d have to find the specific MIBs for events that Windows throws when it sees a plug/unplug of external drive(s).  We’ll give a free slimline (a $225 value) to any customer who writes a whitepaper for us showing screenshots of USB3 or eSATA drive removal and showing the relevant MIB strings and events in a SNMP management system!

This SNMP strategy outlined above would  be less useful with AMT devices.  If mirroring were turned on, windows wouldn’t see anything.  For example, you pull the bottom drive of a Premier AMT system.  Mirror is indows doesn’t know the 2nd drive is there so information about mirror health would be unavailable to you from the Windows SNMP client.

This utility works when your AMT device is plugged into Jmicron or Silicon Image based eSATA cards but not Marvell eSATA cards.   It works when it is plugged in USB 3.0 ports.  For devices with mirrored RAID (FirstRAID and 2 bay RAIDFrame) please note that the utility may not show health or drive status on the underlying RAID array – only of the high level mirror set.