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Netraid RAID 5 array expansion problem..

 
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Netraid RAID 5 array expansion problem..

Hi Guys..
Just a quick one if i can..

currently have a NetRaid 1M controller running 3 x 36Gb Drives in RAID5.. i now need to expand the array and add another 36Gb drive.. easy enuff..

So.. under Netraid Assistant, i select the new 36gb drive and the array and /Logical Drive /change config / add capasity and i get the error : "The Logical Drive cannot be re-constructed"

So i thought.. 'ok.. lets make sure the virtual sizing is enabled'.. so change config / virtual size / enable

message "Use Netraid express tools to change this" (which is obviously the BIOS config program)..

So.. my question is... (finally).. this RAID5 array is LIVE data.. i CANNOT destroy anything on it.. what is the safest procedure to expand the array without ANY data loss ?

Thank you..
Steve
9 REPLIES 9
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Re: Netraid RAID 5 array expansion problem..


steve, think you should expand the array using ACU or similar - ensure your array controller supports this facility tho...
gary
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Solution

Re: Netraid RAID 5 array expansion problem..

Steve,

this should just work fine and the Virtual Sizing setting in the BIOS should not matter to allow you to expand an array.
The virtual sizing is just a setting such that the controller fakes a very large logical drive to the Operating System so you can later on let it grow in size if needed (after expanding the array physically).

If your 3* 36 Gbyte RAID5 is however divided in more then one logical drive then you cannot expand the array, this is a limitation that most PCI raid cards inthe industry have. So check if your A0 (raid 5 array) shows more then just LD0 so i.e. also a LD1 then this means you have more then one ALD (Logical Drive)and then a expansion is not possible.

Other then that i am not sure what else prevents you from expanding, have a look at the procedure in the user manual.

Also remember that if you plan to use virtual sizing in order to expand your drive letter at the Windows level i.e. D:\ disk, this is possible but not the C:\ drive.

Before you start the expansion, the disk drive you added should be in the Ready state.


HTH

regards, Kris
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Re: Netraid RAID 5 array expansion problem..

Kris.. you are a genius.. ;)

I actually spoke with HP tech support about this issue today, and they could not give me a reason or workaround other than 'upgrade the BIOS to the latest version and try again'.. (im running .01 revisions down from the last release, and reading the release notes, the upgraded firmware wouldnt have helped anyway)..

But yes.. you are absolutely correct.. there are two logical drives on the array.. they originally partitioned it as C drive and D drive in different logical drives..

The manual dosent actually state that you cant add capasity if there is more than one Logical array on a single physical array.. (or if it does its so cryptic no-one can understand it..)..

So now i suppose it'll be a full backup and reconstruct and restore ... ugh..

Thank you though for clearing up what the issue is.. its GREATLY appreciated..

Steve
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Re: Netraid RAID 5 array expansion problem..

Steve,

check page 106 in the (old) manual :

http://h200005.www2.hp.com/bc/docs/support/SupportManual/lpn11620/lpn11620.pdf

it says :

· You cannot use Online Capacity Expansion with an array that contains more than one logical drive. The logical drive being expanded must be the only logical drive in the array.

and page 126:

NOTE The Online Capacity Expansion feature is supported only on arrays that contain just one logical drive each.


glad you have the answer now.

Kris
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Re: Netraid RAID 5 array expansion problem..

Hi Chris,

In the event that there's a power failure, and the raid expansion is still running in ACU.

Can we shutdown the server gracefully and continue with the expansion once power source is back.

There're UPS running, but we wouldn't know how long till the power source is back.

Anyone has encountered this kind of situation before.

Regards,
Yong
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Re: Netraid RAID 5 array expansion problem..

Hello Yong,

just to clarify here, you talk about ACU but this thread was about the Netraid controller and Netraid Assistant, ACU to me means the SmartArray controllers utility, can you specify pls ?

I know for sure that for a disk rebuild process their is no problem to shut/reboot the server, the rebuild will just continue after the server rebooted.

For a array expansion i am not sure but i can test that out if you want.
Ols clarify if you talk about a Netraid controller or SmartArray controller configuration.

Kris
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Re: Netraid RAID 5 array expansion problem..

Hi Chris,

I'm referring to SmartArray controllers utility. I'm using smart array 642 to run the extension. Just worry that a shutting down/reboot the server could cause data loss/ rebuild process to start from scratch.


Thanks,
Yong
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Re: Netraid RAID 5 array expansion problem..

Hello Yong,

it would have been better to open a new question/tread for this SmartArray expansion question you have but anyhow i did a test with a SmartArray 6402 and 3 * 73GByte disk in raid5. After the array was made and one logical drive was created in it (and it was configured in w2k3), i added a 73 GByte disk and started the array expansion process. After 3% of expansion, i rebooted the system and after the reboot it just continued the expansion process. I then extended the logical drive also to the max size (to include the free new space in the array into the logical drive also).


After the reboot during the expansion process, at POST time i got this message from the SmartArray:

HP Smart Array 6400-128 Controller (version 2.34) 3 Logical Drives Array Accelerator is temporarily disabled.

1768-Drive Array resuming Logical Drive Capacity Expansion process




So for both a disk rebuild process or a raid expansion process the controller can survive a shutdown/reboot since it keeps track of the progress/status where it is at while doing the rebuild or expansion and saves that stsus onto the disk in a special area where no data is ever written. So it looks like you are safe if you ever have to restart due to power loss while performing a expansion.
In order to safeguard the data while expanding, the controller automatically disables the Write Back cache so that no unwritten data resides in cache in case power fails (and you have no UPS). This can be seen in the messages that are logged in the Windows eventlog by SmartArray notification driver cpqcisse i.e.

Event Type: Warning
Event Source: Storage Agents
Event Category: Events
Event ID: 1204
Date: 10/18/2005
Time: 1:51:55 AM
User: N/A
Computer: xxxxx
Description: Drive Array Accelerator Status Change. The array accelerator board attached to the array controller in Cabinet 0, IO Bay 0, IO Chassis 1, Slot 7 - Connected To - Cabinet 0, Cell 1 has a new status of 4.
(Accelerator status values: 1=other, 2=notConfigured, 3=enabled, 4=tmpDisabled, 5=permDisabled)


This is a extra safeguard measure that is build in to the HP SmartArray firmware, once the expansion is finished, it re-enables the Write Back cache again :


Event Type: Information
Event Source: Storage Agents
Event Category: Events
Event ID: 1204
Date: 10/18/2005
Time: 2:39:00 AM
User: N/A
Computer: xxxxxx
Description:
Drive Array Accelerator Status Change. The array accelerator board attached to the array controller in Cabinet 0, IO Bay 0, IO Chassis 1, Slot 7 - Connected To - Cabinet 0, Cell 1 has a new status of 3.
(Accelerator status values: 1=other, 2=notConfigured, 3=enabled, 4=tmpDisabled, 5=permDisabled)



Before the expansion i saw this at the Windows level (see disk 1 details):

Microsoft DiskPart version 5.2.3790.1830
Copyright (C) 1999-2001 Microsoft Corporation.
On computer: OLY-LAN3

DISKPART> list disk

Disk ### Status Size Free Dyn Gpt
-------- ---------- ------- ------- --- Disk 0 Online 34 GB 0 B *
Disk 1 Online 136 GB 191 KB *
Disk 2 Online 29 GB 335 KB *
Disk 3 Online 39 GB 223 KB *

DISKPART>



After the expansion and logical drive extension it looks like this now:
(notice the size increase from 136 to 203 Gbyte)

DISKPART> list disk

Disk ### Status Size Free Dyn Gpt
-------- ---------- ------- ------- ----
Disk 0 Online 34 GB 0 B *
* Disk 1 Online 203 GB 68 GB *
Disk 2 Online 29 GB 335 KB *
Disk 3 Online 39 GB 223 KB *



HTH

Kris

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Occasional Advisor

Re: Netraid RAID 5 array expansion problem..

Hi Kris,

Great Info
Thanks very much

Yong