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DL380 G3 space issues

Ron Havlen

DL380 G3 space issues

I currently have 4 DL380 G3 servers, all with two 36gig drives as the operating C: partition hardware mirrored, and four 72gig drives as the data D: partition, raid 5. All have SmartArray 641 array controllers with write cache.

I am running out of space, but cannot afford to change servers, nor obtain an external SAN. So I plan on replacing the hot swap drives with larger compatible ones to obtain enough storage that we will be able to hold out for a while longer, before having to bit the bullet. Currently these servers are performing adequately for our needs.
My plan is to purchase enough 146gig drives to replace the current 72gig drives. Then in each server, I plan to replace one at a time the existing 72 gig drives. I should be able to do this on the fly, so that pulling an existing 72 gig drive will cause the system to invoke the hot spare drive (also 72gig), let it build, then insert a 146gig drive in place, and let the array build back. Once I have done this with all 4 data drives replacing 72gig with 146gig, including hot spare, I should then be able to extend (or expand, need to check terminology) the array to use the additional space. I should end up with a data drive D: almost twice as big as it currently is.
Then I plan on taking the 72gig drives I took out of the server, and one at a time again remove a 36gig operating system drive, let it rebuild with the hot spare, then insert one of teh 72gig drives and let it build back. After replacing both C: operating system drives, I should then be able to extend(expand) that array to have twice as much C: drive space as I had before.
Does anyone see any difficulty with that plan of operation? It will take a while to perform, but my machines should not have to go down for any time frame. We are a hospital and can't have the servers down for the length of time it would take to fully remove, initialize, reinstall operating systems, and then finally restore from backups.

Will I have any problem with taking one of the 72gig drives from my Data drives, and inserting that in one of my C: drive locations? I don't believe it should be an issue as even though it will have data on it, the system should be able to determine which drive was removed, and which drive was installed, so that when the rebuilding occurs it is over-writing the existing data on the 72gig drive I insert.
Anybody see any issues with this plan?
Thanks for your help.
Honored Contributor

Re: DL380 G3 space issues

A few comments to your plan.

1. Ensure you have got a good backup. And emergency restore plan.

2. Check all drives for surface errors, before begining.
Use the System Management Homepage.
Click on each drives, and check all statistics.
If there's a bad disk. Replace that first.
Also do check the ID on all disks.

3. Check how you extend the parttion on the OS level, before beginning.

4. Replace the hot spare first. The hotspare must the same size or bigger, than the biggest disk.

5. No need to waite for the Hot spare to rebuild.
Remove the disk that you want to replace.
Waite 30 sec.
Insert new bigger disk. Then waite for that to complete.

6. When all disk has been replaced. Open ACU. extend logical drive.

7. On the os, extend the partition.

Ron Havlen

Re: DL380 G3 space issues

Thanks for the help, especially the confirmation of my plans. I'll will incorporate your suggestions, and proceed. Thank you.
Honored Contributor

Re: DL380 G3 space issues

Frequent Advisor

Re: DL380 G3 space issues

I would point out -- If budget is that much of a consideration (not a bad thing, it is for me), the surplus equipment market can offer some amazing deals on DL, ML and GL servers alike. I've had excellent results supporting our own 'net presence this way, mostly on systems retired from service at Boeing and sold through their auctions.

Just poke around Ebay for the model numbers. I would suggest sticking with a reputable (by feedback) vendor, one who has a history of good feedback responses selling Proliants.

Happy hunting.
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Michael A. McKenney
Respected Contributor

Re: DL380 G3 space issues

Be very careful swapping disks. Make the new disk a spare. Then fail one drive. Allow the spare to spin up for 24 hours. Backup. Add the next spare and do it again. Backup fully in between swapping drives.