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Adding SATA RAID to GL350 G5

 
Chris Babb
Occasional Visitor

Adding SATA RAID to GL350 G5

I'm the computer tech (read: receptionist with a bit of computer skills) for a small law firm. We're running the GL350 G5 server with three 146GB SAS drives in RAID5. The other day, the drives reached capacity. We archived some old data, but that only gave us about 10 gigs, so we're going to need an upgrade. After looking at the pricing for more SAS drives, I'm considering just buying a PCI SATA controller and running RAID1 on a couple TB SATA drives.



The questions I have are these:

1. Is this something that would be likely to cause conflict issues with this server?
2. Will the SATA drives be reliable enough that I won't need like 6 extras?
3. What would the best drives to purchase be, considering that the primary reason to purchase them is cost-effectiveness?

I appreciate any and all answers, as I'm very new to working with servers. I just want to be able to give the partners the best options. Thanks!
5 REPLIES
TTr
Honored Contributor

Re: Adding SATA RAID to GL350 G5

Would that be an ML350 G5 (not GL)?

If so, most likely it has an E200i SmartArray controller and has room for 8 small factor drives (or six large ones).

You can add SAS or SATA drives to the same E200i controller and you have many options.

You can add drives to the existing array or create new arrays. You can also add SAS or SATA drives but the SATA drives must be in a separate array.

The server maximum capacity drives are 146GB for SAS and 120GB for SATA (SFF) and 750GB SATA and 300GB for SAS LFF.

http://h18000.www1.hp.com/products/quickspecs/12475_na/12475_na.HTML

However I think you can use larger drives. The above drives were the maximum capacity available at the time the specs were written.

If you look at the E200 quickspecs you will see that large drives are supported.

http://h18000.www1.hp.com/products/quickspecs/12460_na/12460_na.html

A few words of caution about the larger drives (the 1TB you are considering). You need a lot more space and time to back them up, they are slower than SAS and smaller drives and in a case of a failure they take very long time to rebuild.

Consider smaller drives and add one or two drives to the existing array and add another two or three for a new array.
Chris Babb
Occasional Visitor

Re: Adding SATA RAID to GL350 G5

If it would be best to continue to use smaller drives, we may just stick with the SAS drives for reliability. What would be the benefit (if any) of adding another array, rather than just expanding the current one?
TTr
Honored Contributor

Re: Adding SATA RAID to GL350 G5

The E200 (if that's what you have) is a low end raid controller. I don't think it will make much of a difference if you go with one or two arrays. If you max out the drives (8 drives) and you expand the existing array, you might lose some performance (minimal) as opposed to creating a new array.

If you require one huge drive in windows, you should go with one array.

If you create a new array then you automatically will have a minimum of two logical drives in windows.


Right now with raid5 and three 146GB drives you have the equivalent space of two drives (the third drive is used for parity). So your OS sees about 270GB of disk space. (If that's not the case you may have unallocated space in the array).

With every drive you add to the existing array you increase the space by the same amount. If you add one 146GB SAS drive you will end up with about 405GB and so on.

If you create a new array, you will need at least one disk for overhead (mirroring or raid5 parity) so you have to buy 2-3 disks.
Chris Babb
Occasional Visitor

Re: Adding SATA RAID to GL350 G5

That makes sense. We're showing 248g on our current setup, but we also have a 25g partition for C:\ which is where I imagine the remainder has gone. I may create a new array for generic storage and just use the current array for the OS and the exchange.

Forgive me, as I'm still very much a noob to server administration. Would there be anything preventing me from using the remaining 5 drive bays for a new array? That is, is the hardware set up so that the drive box will only work for one array?
TTr
Honored Contributor

Re: Adding SATA RAID to GL350 G5

The server should be all wired up to add drives to empty bays and see them right away within the E200 controller.

As far as I remember there are no limits on the number of arrays you can create.

Do you have ACU installed on the server? Most likely you do. Run it and you will see how the e200 is configured and where the physical and logical disks are.