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ML350 with SA-532 - Growth Needed

 
Coldfirex
Occasional Contributor

ML350 with SA-532 - Growth Needed

Howdy,

I have been put in charge of increasing the I/O of an existing SQL server and DC (Very poor SQL performance - mostly writes). It currently is running Windows 2000 Server SP4 with SA-532 raid card (4x36gb raid 5 with no spare). I am wondering if there is a way, without having to reload Windows or the domain, to accomplish this:

*Replace SA-532 with a SA-641 with 128mb BBWC
*Add 2x36gb drives (mirrored), set as OS array, and somehow transfer old root partition to this mirror without having to reload anything.

Any ideas (or improvements to my thoughts) if this is all possible?

Thanks in Advance,
Alan
4 REPLIES
Gus Kwong
Respected Contributor

Re: ML350 with SA-532 - Growth Needed

Hi Alan,

By looking at what you have (the hardware and 6 slots of disk drives), I assume your ML350 is a ML350g2?

Replacing SA-532 with a SA-641 will work without problem. Windows 2000 will boot as normal (although I always install the card first, boot it up, power off, uninstall the SA532 and connect the drive cage to the 641)

However, you wouldn't be able to transfer the OS partition to a new set of RAID1 --- not unless you have Symantec Ghost (which literally rebuild all RAIDs and then Ghost the build down the way again).

You could also utilise both of your Smartarray cards by adding another drive cage (capable for 2 Hot Plug SCSI) which you can then use that for System, and the rest for data. Thus you'll have both running but on separate SCSI channels!

Gus
Learning never ends
Mike Bollman_1
Respected Contributor

Re: ML350 with SA-532 - Growth Needed

Alan, the best advice I can give you is buy another server and promote to a dc, seize the FSMO roles, DNS, etc. A DC only server can be something small/cheap just redundant. Demote the existing SQL/DC box so it is just a member server. Backup the SQL DB to tape/disk. Reload the Server with your new configuration. Also, If you have a heavy write SQL DB you do not want to run RAID5 as you will incur a write penalty. I would look at running RAID0+1.

Also, on the ML350 you can get up to 8 spindles in that box if you add the optional hot plug cage. If so I would look at a 6402 controller and run 1 channel for the OS (Raid1) and the other channel for the 6 remaining drives (RAID0+1).

Coldfirex
Occasional Contributor

Re: ML350 with SA-532 - Growth Needed

Due to the size of the office I couldnt justify purchasing another server for them unfortunately.
Close, its a ML350 G3.
Gus: Do you know what version of Ghost, or similar, I would need to perform the imaging process? I've used the old Ghost versions (bootable floppy) to ghost normal drives, but never from a raid volume and only Disk to Disk. Any tips?
Gus Kwong
Respected Contributor

Re: ML350 with SA-532 - Growth Needed

Hi Alan,

I use Ghost Corporate Edition 7.5 (there is a much newer version nowadays). The alternative would be "Ghost4Unix", although I have not really tried it yet.

When you ghost a server, I believe it treats every "Logical" RAID set as a physical drive --- just ghost them separately as if individual hard drives!

One important factor you should always bear in mind --- if you use SA641 make sure you DO have Ultra320 SCSI drives. If you have Ultra3 drives, you are going to be worse off because SA641 will downgrade ALL Ultra3 drives to Ultra2 mode.

Thanks,

Gus
Learning never ends