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Smart Array 431 RAID1 Array Expansion

David Sutcliffe
Occasional Advisor

Smart Array 431 RAID1 Array Expansion

I posted a few weeks ago regarding how to expand an existing RAID1 array to RAID5.

In summary my situation is this ; We have a Compaq ML370 Server with a Smart Array 431 Controller installed, and connected to that controller are two 18.2GB Ultra2 SCSI disks, configured as a RAID1 array.

The data on the array is made up of a small DOS partition, and the remainder allocated to a Netware partition.

We are to upgrade the current OS, NW5.1 to NW6.5, but the existing DOS partition is too small, so we need to both a) increase available disk space and b) use ServerMagic to manipulate the existing partitions, in order to resize the existing DOS partition from 200mb to 2gb.

In order to increase the disk space, we have purchased two additional 18.2gb disks with a view to migrating the array to RAID5 with a hot-swap spare.

A response to my initial posting told me to do the following in order to expand the array ; Insert a third disk, use the 'cpqonlin' utility which would recognise a third disk in the server, and also recognise this configuration was no-longer compatible with RAID1 and give the option to migrate to either RAID0 or RAID5. I was to let this initial expansion complete, then insert the fourth disk which would be configured as a hot-swap spare.

This in mind I was under the impression that the cpqonlin utility would simply 'extend' the existing logical drive onto the third disk, leaving me with a single logical drive, all-be-it bigger in size. I then thought I could use the ServerMagic product to move the existing netware partion partially into the new free space on the logical drive, leaving free unallocated space adjacent to the existing DOS partition, into which I could resize it.

I've done this on a test server, but instead of expanding the existing logical drive, it has created a second logical drive. This leaves me unable to manipulate the partitions as I'd hoped to with the ServerMagic product... as I can't simply move the partion into the free space, I can only move it between logical drives.

Have I made an error in the array expansion? or am I misunderstanding how the process takes place?

Any comments would be greatly appreciated!


6 REPLIES
Seth Parker
Trusted Contributor

Re: Smart Array 431 RAID1 Array Expansion

David,

This could be a tough one, as I've seen what you're experiencing. Are you using the latest version of the CPQONLIN tool? There's one that was released 12/17/03 at http://h18023.www1.hp.com/support/files/server/us/download/18751.html but I'm not sure if that'll resolve your problem.

I know for a fact that you can use the Windows ACU to extend an existing partition with an added drive, but I don't know if the NLM tools allow for the same functionality. There may be more than just semantics going on with the use of "expand" instead of "extend" in CPQONLIN. It's probably worth a call to HP to get a definitive answer.

One thing to remember is that you can have volumes that span logical/physical drives, so you might see if Server Magic can work some real magic and make that work...

Regardless, I'd love to hear what you find out.

Good luck!
Seth
David Sutcliffe
Occasional Advisor

Re: Smart Array 431 RAID1 Array Expansion

Seth,

I tried numerous things using the 'cpqonlin' utility in Netware, but the only option it allowed was to create a second logical drive.. the version on the utility I have is 2.70, which I believe is the latest.

I got to thinking that I might be able to use the Compaq SmartStart CD to modify the array, and indeeed it seems possible. I ran the Compaq ACU from the CD and it began a wizard, stating I had unused space on the array. The Wizard seemed hell-bent on creating a second logical drive just like the cpqonlin utility, but when I cancelled out of the wizard I found I could select the existing logical drive and 'extend' it. I'm waiting for it to complete to see what happens, but it's looking good. Sure it means I'd have to expand the array off-line, but I can live with that.. I'll let you know how I get on!
Seth Parker
Trusted Contributor

Re: Smart Array 431 RAID1 Array Expansion

David,

I thought of something similar this morning when I was thinking through the process as it's done in Windows. You extend the array using the Compaq utilities, then you extend the actual partition to fill the resized logical disk.

Since CPQONLIN doesn't seem to be able to extend the logical drive, you're going to have to do that offline, like you said. As for making the partition fill the larger logical drive, MS has a utility to do that (Diskpart.exe), but I don't think Novell does. So, I'm thinking you're stuck with whatever Server Magic offers. Still, from what I've seen, it should be able to grow the NetWare partition to fill the larger logical disk.

At least it looks like you're getting someplace! I can't believe I didn't think of suggesting using the SmartStart utilities, since I bet it's basically the same as the Windows ACU.

Good luck!
Seth
David Sutcliffe
Occasional Advisor

Re: Smart Array 431 RAID1 Array Expansion

Seth,

You are indeed right, it looks like the functionality of the Novell utility is somewhat limited... it seems it simply cannot extend an existing logical drive.

The Smartstart CD seems to be doing the trick, but it didn't until I'd upgraded the adapters firmware... and boy was the firmware update hard to find.. burried away on the SmartStart CD - the web wasn't any help with that one as the update I found was reliant on a newer version of the SmartStart CD, which is incompatible with the generation of ML370 I am using.

The array is expanding now.. when it finishes hopefully I'll be able to expand the existing logical drive into the new space, and if that works ok using ServerMagic to manipulate the partitions 'should' be relatively simple!!

...its just annoying having to wait hours for the array to rebuild!
Seth Parker
Trusted Contributor

Re: Smart Array 431 RAID1 Array Expansion

Hehe, remember it's hopefully doing two things at once: changing the RAID level and extending the drive. You're getting the double-whammy!

Look on the bright side: at least you'll have an idea how long it's going to take on your production server when you do it for real...

Regards,
Seth
David Sutcliffe
Occasional Advisor

Re: Smart Array 431 RAID1 Array Expansion

My thoughts exactly! ..thought hopefully the production servers will have slightly more up-to-date firmware levels on their RAID cards, as they are second gen. ML370's.

It's all good fun in the end!

Regards,
David.