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Smart Array P410i

 
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keke99
Collector

Smart Array P410i

Greetings,

 

We have a Proliant DL380 G6 running Windows Server 2008 R2 x64.  The Smart Array is configured using RAID 5.

 

I want to replace the 4 main disks (900GB Total RAID 5) with 3, larger SSD drives (1.5TB RAID 5).

 

  • At first, I wanted to swap 1 disk at a time with an SSD Drive (using 4 SSD disks in this scenario).  Once all disks had been rebuilt, I was going to expand to use the full capacity.  That didn't work. I later read online that you can't mix Spin Drives and SSD Drives on a given RAID.

 

  • Then, while the machine was running, I inserted 3 SSD drives into available bays.  I then created a second RAID 5 out of those 3 SSD disks.  That part worked ok.  Let's call this RAID "3SSD-RAID5" (vs the old RAID "4SPIN-RAID5").

 

  • Using PartitionWizard, I cloned my 4SPIN-RAID5 into the newly created 3SSD-RAID5.  That worked (in Boot mode).

 

  • Once the 3SSD-RAID5 was created and the computer was turned off, I removed my 4SPIN-RAID5 out of the bays.  Then, moved my 3SSD-RAID5 into the first 3 slots where my 4SPIN-RAID5 was.

 

  • Rebooted the machine... Got a big red warning that I had performed an illegal disk move and that reconfiguring my RAID was going to result in the original RAID (and the data) being lost.

 

  • Got a little scared... turned the machine Off... Removed the 3SSD-RAID5 and replaced my original 4SPIN-RAID5 into their original bays (in proper order), but I did NOT replace the 3SSD-RAID5 back into *their* bays (the ones they were in when I built the second RAID in Windows). 

 

  • Rebooted and got disk failure messages on my original disks.  

 

  • Turned off computer... inserted the 3SSD-RAID5 into their original bays, while keeping my 4SPIN-RAID5 as they were.  Rebooted.

 

  • Everything was back to normal.

 

  • Changed my underwear

 

 

So based on what I read, the RAID info is contained on the controller, but also on the disks as well.

 

Why wasn't the controller able to just pick up the 3SSD-RAID5 I had moved from their original locations into the 4SPIN-RAID5 bays?  I thought the controller would just detect a new disk configuration... re-read the disk info... and re-configure its settings accordingly??

 

I suspect that maybe, I did too many things at once.  Maybe once the 3SSD-RAID5 was done being cloned, I should have turned off the computer... remove the 3SSD-RAID5 from the bays.  Let the controller first detect that.  Then, remove the 4SPIN-RAID5 and let the controller detect that.  Finally, place the 3SSD-RAID5 back into the first 3 bays.

 

Don't know.  Seems to me that as long as you move the whole RAID block at once (while the computer is Off, of course)... the controller should pick up the changes just as you can move around single disks on a regular PC.  You may need to make boot order changes, but your data is just going to be fine.  The parallel seemed obvious to me... but I guess it wasn't.

 

 

Now, my next plan is to do:

 

  • CloneZilla disk image of my 4SPIN-RAID5.

 

  • Remove the 4SPIN-RAID5 and build a new 3SSD-RAID5 into the first 3 bays.

 

  • Restore the CloneZilla disk image onto the 3SSD-RAID5.

 

Is there a more efficient way to do this?

 

Thanks... and sorry for my long message...

 

7 REPLIES
Jimmy Vance
HPE Pro

Re: Smart Array P410i

The RAID configuration is stored on all the disks, not the controller.

 

Very old Smart Array controllers wouldn't let you move the drives to different bays, but I'm pretty sure that is supported with the P410.

 

What you probably need to do is remove the spin drives, then from within ACU delete the missing array, once that is done you should be able to move the SSD drives. When you move the disks, you should get a message that the drives have been moved and the configuration information is being updated.

 

As always, anytime you're messing wth the drives, make sure you have a valid backup. 

 

As for best method, personally, I'd start from scratch. Backup the system, setup the new disks, clean install of the OS, then restore the data.




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keke99
Collector

Re: Smart Array P410i

Thanks for your answer Jimmy,

 

I accidently pressed the "Accepted Solution", btw.  Not that you answer wasn't useful... just that I'd like to know a bit more about the controller's capabilities in definite terms.

 

A couple of things... I do think the RAID settings are *also* stored on the controller, otherwise it wouldn't have complained about the change in configuration, I think??

 

As for rebuilding everything from scratch... If I was going to do that, I'd start with Server 2012 and do this on a backup machine.  Can't have that main machine unavailable for that long.  But it's something I'm now considering.

Jimmy Vance
HPE Pro
Solution

Re: Smart Array P410i


keke99 wrote:

 

 

A couple of things... I do think the RAID settings are *also* stored on the controller, otherwise it wouldn't have complained about the change in configuration, I think??

 


The RAID information is stored on the drive in what is know as the RIS (RAID Information Sector). The disk stores array information about all arrays, not just the one it is part of.  This information is seen by the controller and stored in memory, but it is not save in the controller. At every power up the controller gets the RAID information from the disks.




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keke99
Collector

Re: Smart Array P410i

Ahhhh... well, that would explain it then!

Thanks for the info.
keke99
Collector

Re: Smart Array P410i

According to this then, I should be able to:

 

  • Build my 3SSD-RAID5 diskpack on the first 3 bays of an identical, backup machine.
  • Restore my CloneZilla image onto it.
  • Pull the 4SPIN-RAID5 diskpack out of my original machine.
  • Insert the 3SSD-RAID5 dispack in it, instead.
  • Seemingly Power up the machine.

All of this, without any controller warnings since each dispack would have been configured by itself, using the proper bays.  Correct?

Jimmy Vance
HPE Pro

Re: Smart Array P410i

Should work




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keke99
Collector

Re: Smart Array P410i

and it did... :)

 

Simple, once you know how things work... thanks again for your inputs.