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Drive size expansion?

Occasional Contributor

Drive size expansion?

Hi guys,

I need some help with following:

I have HP Proliant DL380(Windows 2000 server) with Smart Array 5300 controller. On our file-server, free space is running out and the External storage doesn't have any free slots for hard-drives. There is now 13+1 drives and they are 36,4Gb.
What would be the simplest way to get some more space? Should I buy another external storage and attach this to the server? Or should I Replace the 36,4 disk with larger disks? And how should this be done?
Many thanks in advance!

Kind Regards,
Michael Steele_2
Honored Contributor

Re: Drive size expansion?

Hi Ville:

You have to consider all the alternatives for budgetary reasons since somebody else holds the purse strings. You have to prepare a pro and con presentation for the purse strings holder. Your homework will involve calling your HP sales representative who will include a very important piece of information that is relevant to this posting, man hours. How many man hours for a HP CE to perform either procedure? For every procedure total man hours and a breakdown explanation / justification for these man hours will be provided. In short, HP will tell you the upgrade procedure for either, disk or cabinent. HP will provide as detailed an explanation as you require in order to make the sale. HP will put you in touch with a lead engineer who will explain each procedure in order to make the sale. So this is your best weapon in the tool box and a leverage that you should use to your own satisfaction.

Note that you do have a choice from an educational / experience side and you should consider this, what choice will make me a better administrator? The more difficult procedure will be the most labor intensive procedure and that will be the disk exchanging procedure. But it will also probably be the cheaper procedure.

Look into the maintenance and warranty side of the two deals, since a new cabinent will probably be costlier then the increased maintenance / warranty on bigger disks.

Find out what happens to the old disks. You should get some kind of buy back or HP credit for these old disks, unless you want to line up a third party to buy them directly from you. Also note the restoration of data procedure reccommended by HP, as well as the data destruction procedure on your old disks. This data destruction procedure will involvde writing 'zeroes' to every byte on every disk in order to maintain company secrets. It may not be possible to sell these old disks due to company secrets. And for this reason alone you may have to no other choice but to add a new cabinent. Also note that adding in new disks in a Raid array becomes more time consuming as the raid level increases. What is your raid level?
Support Fatherhood - Stop Family Law
Occasional Contributor

Re: Drive size expansion?

Hi Michael,

My RAID-level is 5.

Steven Clementi
Honored Contributor

Re: Drive size expansion?


Probably the easiest thing to do is add a second external disk shelf, if the server will support it.

The second option you have is to simply replace the hard drives, one at a time letting each one rebuild in between each replacement. This will take a long time to complete because you have to replace the disks one at a time and each replacement can take minutes to hours to rebuild.

After replacing each drive, the extra space will then be available for either a new Logical Drive or to expand your existing Logical Drive.

There are some more steps to take after extending a logical drive so let us know...

1. The OS running on the File Server
2. Which way you think you will go to expand your available space.

Steven Clementi
HP Master ASE, Storage and Clustering
MCSE (NT 4.0, W2K, W2K3)
VCP (ESX2, Vi3, vSphere4, vSphere5)
NPP3 (Nutanix Platform Professional)
kris rombauts
Honored Contributor

Re: Drive size expansion?


since it concerns your external storage, so most probably not containing the boot/OS disk(s),how about :

- backup the external storage data
- test the backup media (see if a partial
restore works)
- shut server and remove old disks in ext. storage
- install the new disks and create new raid5
- restore backup
- besides buying a second external enclosure, this will be the quickest way to provide you a larger external storage

If something goes wrong with the restore, you can still revert back to the original disks by doing this :

- shut server + remove new disks
- install old disks again and boot server
The SmartArray controller will read the
raid and logical drive information back
from the disks and be happy.

This is also the time now to upgrade your server and controllers to newer firmware.



Occasional Contributor

Re: Drive size expansion?

Hi guys,

The server is Proliant DL380 G3, and O/S is Windows 2000 server.

I think I will replace all the disks in the external storage, insert the new disk and then restore from backup. Would this be good choice? Or should I maybe replace the disk one at a time and wait until they rebuild?

Can you guys give some instructions to this since I haven't done an operation like this before?

Is there a limit how big disks can i buy?