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Expand capacity of a RAID1 on SA E200i

kinto
Occasional Advisor

Expand capacity of a RAID1 on SA E200i

Hi all,
I have an HP Proliant ML350 G5 server (https://h10057.www1.hp.com/ecomcat/hpcatalog/specs/provisioner/05/458244-421.htm) with a RAID 1 of two 500GB SAS disk.
It's the tower version and no hot plug disks
.
I'm planning to expand the disk capacity and I have doubts on the best strategy.

The controller is a SA E200i with 64MB cache.

I was thinking to one of this solutions:

1) replace first one disk and then the other one, rebuilding the raid 1 two times and only after the two bigger disks are in place to proceed to expand capacity

2) take an image of the system with some software, change the disks, build the new RAID 1 and apply the image to the new volume

3) adding two new disk to the controller and build a second separate RAID 1 (I don't know if this is possibile with the E200i).

Some suggestions?

Thanks very much!

4 REPLIES
waaronb
Respected Contributor

Re: Expand capacity of a RAID1 on SA E200i

The first solution should work, in theory. You can definitely replace a "failed" drive with one that's the same size or larger. If you do that one at a time and let it rebuild the mirror on the new one, then replace the other, that should work. I've done that several times, but only on P400/P410/P420 controllers.

I've never tried it on a couple of G5's with an E200i controller, but that part should work.

The part that I'm not sure about is whether the E200i can do an array expansion to let you grow the size of the logical drive with the new space. I know the E200i has some limitations like it can't do RAID 5 and it might not support capacity expansions or changing RAID levels (between 0 and 1).

I'd check the specs on it first to see if expansions are possible, otherwise option 2 is looking better.

PS - I just took a quick peek... the E200i, just like the P400 and up models, will do capacity expansion, but only with the BBWC option.
http://h18000.www1.hp.com/products/quickspecs/ds_00055/ds_00055.pdf

Sounds like you have the base model with just 64MB of read-only cache, no battery. Looks like option #2 unless you wanted to upgrade to a larger BBWC cache anyway.
kinto
Occasional Advisor

Re: Expand capacity of a RAID1 on SA E200i

Thanks for the replay waaronb.

 

For the second option I have some doubts:

 

1) If I build a new RAID1 with two new disks is it possible to go back to the older raid configuration if something goes wrong? Or changing the disks on the controller will broke the previous raid too?

 

2) what software should I use to image the system and bring it back on the new raid configuration?

 

3) Where can I find a list of HP disks compatibile with my system?

kinto
Occasional Advisor

Re: Expand capacity of a RAID1 on SA E200i

OK the question number 3) is resolved.

 

But I have another question about the controller.

 

- Is it possible to add two new disks on the E200i/64MB and build a seprate RAID 1 with this two new disks?

 

Thanks again.

waaronb
Respected Contributor

Re: Expand capacity of a RAID1 on SA E200i

I think the E200i will support at least 4 hard drives total, so you should be able to add 2 more drives to the existing 2, and make the 2 new drives it's own RAID 1.

I don't think the E200i built in management utility (that you access while booting up) lets you change which array is the boot volume though. I'm pretty sure you can't do that in there, and I'm not even sure if the E200i lets you change the boot order at all.

For imaging tools, I used to use Ghost but the last time I dusted off my old copy of that was a few years ago. I've used some online utilities since then to make copies of a running system onto a new drive (replacing my desktop drive, for example).

I think I used EaseUS Partition Manager, the free version, to copy from one drive to another. It uses VSS to snapshot the entire drive so you can do it in the OS itself.

I guess you could add the 2 new larger drives, use whatever utility to copy your existing drive onto the new one, and then shut down, remove the two old drives, and start back up.

With the old array gone, the E200i *should* boot off the new one since it's the only array there. Just be aware, and I think I've had this happen, that if you create a new array on there at some point, the controller still thinks your "boot" array is "array B" or something, not the first one. Any new one you create might be "array A" and it could try booting off that one.

Maybe the SSA CLI will let you go in there and set that new array to be the bootable one; I've never tried it that way, but it's worth looking into.