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Upgrade Hard Drives in Raid5 configuration

Matt Lawrence
Occasional Advisor

Upgrade Hard Drives in Raid5 configuration

I am fairly new to the Raid environment. I have an ML370 with 4 18.2Gig SCSI drives running Raid5. I am running out of drive space and need to replace the existing drives with new, larger drives. I am not sure how to do this. Any help is greatly appreciated.

Matt
8 REPLIES
Uwe Zessin
Honored Contributor

Re: Upgrade Hard Drives in Raid5 configuration

Matt,

I guess you have a Smart Array controller in your ProLiant ML370 server. As far as I know you can not just replace the disks one by one and then have free space in the array(of disk drives). The reason is because you can mix different sized disk drives in an array, but the controller will treat all disk drives as having the size of the smallest disk drive.

I am afraid you have to backup your data to a different disk or tape first. Then you delete the logical drive and remove all disk drives through ACU (Array Configuration Utiliy).

Now you pull the disk drives one by one a little out of the bay until it looses power and give it some time to spin down. After a minute at most you can pull them out completely and plug in the bigger disk drives. You create a new array(of the disk drives) and slice a new logical disk out of the array. Now you can restore your data to the larger logical disk and enjoy the additional space.
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Matt Lawrence
Occasional Advisor

Re: Upgrade Hard Drives in Raid5 configuration

I do have a Smart Arry controller. I guess What I will do is Ghost and image to another server, replace the disk as discribed, then Ghost the image to the new logical disk. Does that sound about right?
Mohamed K Ahmed
Trusted Contributor

Re: Upgrade Hard Drives in Raid5 configuration

backup and restore data would be the best solution in your case. You have to recreate the raid on the new big drives

Mohamed
Uwe Zessin
Honored Contributor

Re: Upgrade Hard Drives in Raid5 configuration

Yes, if you have enough free space and enough network bandwith that sounds like the best idea. I don't know if your version of Ghost attempts to retain the original partition's size[*], so I would make sure that Ghost creates a new partition with the desired size before restore.

[*] I only have little experience with an old version, but I still use it for boot disk backups/restores.
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Mike Povall
Trusted Contributor

Re: Upgrade Hard Drives in Raid5 configuration

Hi Matt,

It is possible to replace the disks one at a time. I would still advise that you have a full backup just in case. All that you need to do is replace the 18GB disks with your chosen capacity drive one at a time and let the array rebuild. Once the array has rebuilt swap the next one and so on. Once the last drive has rebuilt you will be able to use ACU to configure the unused space.

Cheers, Mike.
Uwe Zessin
Honored Contributor

Re: Upgrade Hard Drives in Raid5 configuration

Hello Mike,
that was new to me. Is that described somewhere?
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Matt Lawrence
Occasional Advisor

Re: Upgrade Hard Drives in Raid5 configuration

Mike,

That would be great. Still, everyone I have talked to about the procees you descrided say it does not work that way. Before I try it I too would like to see some documentation about it. I may try this on another server to see how it works.

Dale Marino
Occasional Contributor

Re: Upgrade Hard Drives in Raid5 configuration

Matt, I am going through the process as you are. I have done some research and yes you can replace each drive, from what I understand it takes about 20 min per gig to rebuild. You will end up with free space and using the ACU you should be able to add the extra space into an existing array or volume. I am running Windows 2K and so far after all the merging, the only method to add the extra space is to remove the partition and then re-add it, keep in mind, I partition my systems with 2 partition, a C and a D, the C is primary for the OS so I remove the D partition then delete the logical drive then using the ACU I re-add it with the extra space and then do a restore the D partition. I am still waiting for more solutions but this, so far is what I found, One other note, if you build your systems in Dynamic mode to start with, its much easier to extend or expand your array/raid 5. Hope this helps some..
Dale