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MSA1500cs/MSA30 - want to add space to a Raid 5 volume

 
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Tom Blanken
Occasional Visitor

MSA1500cs/MSA30 - want to add space to a Raid 5 volume

Hello - complete MSA1500CS/MSA30 newbie here.

My "cost conscious" boss wants me to add space to an existing Raid 5 volume without losing the data already on the volume. I think what I want to do is fairly straightforward and am looking for some reassurance/guidance/gotchas.

The equipment involved is a MSA1500CS (I think it has a single controller in it), two MSA30 SCSI disk enclosures, a fiber switch and a HP Win 2K3 server that I am using as the "SAN controller".

There are 3 arrays defined on the SAN. Array C is a RAID 5 volume with 3x300GB disks. In W2K3 server, this volume shows up as a BASIC disk. This volume is strictly for dumping backup files to (no OS here).

I've plugged in two more 300GB disks and the 1500's display shows them as hot plugged.

This is what I am proposing to do:
- run the Array Configuration Utility 7.60.18.0
- click on Configuration Wizards
- click on Expand
- select Array C
- select all new drives (the two new drives do show up here)
- click Finish

This is where I am unsure what needs to happen next. My research leads me to these observations and questions:

1. It will potentially take MANY hours/days for the expand operation to complete. If so, I can still use the array while this sync is happening, but with degraded performance, right?

2. To actually see the extra space, I might need to use W2K3 disk manager to expand the volume OR the ACU might take care of this for me. Can anyone tell me how this actually worked out for them? I would really like to hear if there is any issue with this volume being a BASIC disk vs. DYNAMIC. Does the volume need to be dynamic? If so, is it fairly safe for me to convert it? If I need to convert it, should I do that first?

3. Do I actually have to wait for the expand in step 1 to finish before I "resize" the partition in step 2?

4. Am I missing any important steps? Are there any other important issues that I should be aware of before I start?

Any suggestions/questions/thoughts would be greatly appreciated and thanks in advance for any help you can give!

-Tom

7 REPLIES 7
Uwe Zessin
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: MSA1500cs/MSA30 - want to add space to a Raid 5 volume

1. yes.

2/4. If I remember correctly, you will have to EXTENT the logical disk next. You did only expand the disk drive array and the MSA controller did move part of the data to the new disk drives.

You could also create a new logical disk in the free space of the disk drive array - not that you want to.

3. Yes. You can check the progress in ACU.

There is no need to convert your disk from BASIC to DYNAMIC. After you have EXTENDED the logical disk within ACU:
- run the disk manager in Windows
- choose 'rescan disk' (a 'refresh' might work, too)
- now you should see unpartitioned space at the end of the extended disk
- open a command window ("DOS BOX" ;-)
- type "diskpart"
- DISKPART> list volume
- choose the one to extend, e.g.
-- DISKPART> select volume 2
- DISKPART> extend
- DISKPART> exit

If you now check in the disk manager, you'll see that DISKPART has extended the partition table and the file system and the best thing: it is still a basic disk.
.
Tom Blanken
Occasional Visitor

Re: MSA1500cs/MSA30 - want to add space to a Raid 5 volume

Uwe - thanks for the quick reply and the information! What you said makes sense to me. I will be trying this out this weekend.

Another total newbie question - at the end of your statement, you say "...the best thing: it is still a basic disk." Can you tell me why that is a good thing?
Uwe Zessin
Honored Contributor

Re: MSA1500cs/MSA30 - want to add space to a Raid 5 volume

A dynamic disk uses much more complicated data structures (it's Veritas Volume manager 'light' implementation). Not all tools can deal with them; last time I checked, you could not use them in MSCS; I've read that they are very sensitive to minor SAN disruptions; ...
.
Tom Blanken
Occasional Visitor

Re: MSA1500cs/MSA30 - want to add space to a Raid 5 volume

Uwe - thanks again for the excellent answers and information! Everything worked exactly as expected. My Raid 5 volume is now expanded/extended/diskpart'ed we now have more space for our backups.

-Tom
J Peters
Occasional Visitor

Re: MSA1500cs/MSA30 - want to add space to a Raid 5 volume

I am doing a similar project. We have an MSA30 attached to an HP server that is running ESX 3.1. My problem is when I booted the server from the HP CD after adding 4 new drives, the ACU only sees one of the new drives (the one in bay 8). I went ahead and expanded the Raid 5 array to this new disk assuming it would only see 1 disk at a time. After a quick call to HP I learned that the ACU should see all 4 disks and I should have been able to add them all at once. My plan now is to power everything down, reseat the remaining three disks, power up the MSA30 and then boot the server from the HP cd and HOPEFULLY it will see all the drives. Any ideas if it does not?