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MSA30 Pre setup help

Frequent Advisor

MSA30 Pre setup help


Can I please get some advice re a new purchase of a MSA 30/Smart Array 642.

How current setup is as follows:

2gb Ram
Smart array 642 with 6x72gb SCSI Disks
C Drive (system 20gb)
D Drive (Data, remaining space)
1 Logical Raid 5 Array with HotSpare.

We wish to install the second 642 controller and then connect the MSA30 to it.

With the MSA30 we have 6 x 300gb disks

Our idea is to create a second Raid 5 Array with 1 Logical Drive and a HotSpare, this should give use around 1200gb of new data space.

Does anyone have any comments on the above ? (good/bad/ don’t DO ?)#

Once the above is setup and installed I was thinking to use Windows Disk Mgmt to simply create a Single Dynamic Disk. This way in the future when we purchase more drives windows will let us add the space to the existing Data Area.

I have been doing some searching and it looks like people don’t like using Dynamic disks, I don’t understand why? Also if I’m not to use Dynamic Disk what other way can I do this project. Bearing in mind that our requirement is very simple, one Drive (E Drive) that all users will have access to as there will be a simple Share called DATA and we will need to add Disks to this array as and when.

My other questions is regarding TIME, I am doing some testing, I’ve setup the system using 4 drives in a Raid 5 array with 1 Hotspare, created a Dynamic Disk, then created a dummy folder and shared it. All is good, then I decided to add a 300gb disk to the array and extend the array, its doing it, but taking forever and ever. So far its been running for around 1 day and still only on around 18% ???????????

Thanks to all for any input as I don’t want to find I install this system wrong.

Stephen Kebbell
Honored Contributor

Re: MSA30 Pre setup help


to speed up the expansion you could go into Array Configuration Utility and set the expand priority higher. But this might have an impact on the performance of the share (so you would only do this during off-peak time, preferably a weekend, when it's in production)
I'm not so sure why Dynamic disks are unpopular, but I don't use them either. Most of my experience is in SAN and when Windows is in a SAN, it's normally for clustering, where dynamic disks are not supported (unless you buy expensive extra software). You don't actually need Dynamic Disks for your setup. You can start with a basic disk. When you want to expand, you add your disk, expand the array and logical drive. Then you will see the extra space in Windows. Windows 2003 has a command line tool called DISKPART which you can use to expand basic disks online. It's also available as a download for Windows 2000, have a look on Microsoft's site. The only restriction with diskpart is that you cannot expand system drives, but that should not be an issue for you.

Warning: DISKPART can cause serious damage if used incorrectly, so back everything up first!!