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Adding Disk Array to SUN Server

Posted on 2003-03-21
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-27
Hi all,
I have a SUN Ent. 450 server (Solaris 2.6) and I am planning on adding a SUN Ent. R420 server (Solaris 8)and a SUN Disk Array to the network . I would like to then move the existing user home directories to the new disk array, which will be conncted to the R420. Basically, both servers will have the OS and apps on them and the disk array will have the home directories.

What is the best way to do this while keeping it seemless for the users and how should I go about mounting the new disk array drives to the server?

Appreciate any help.
Question by:lehan
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Assisted Solution

bummerlord earned 200 total points
ID: 8188103
It feels like this question have been answered a few times here... Sorry for not going through all possible steps/choices there is when adding disk and/or changing system topology, again.. :-)

All the info you need is at


(use search)
If you can't find/understand enough details there, or are having problems that are not dealt with in the documentation, I'll be happy to assist (If I can).

Also depending on what type or array you have, and if you require data redundancy, look for "raid manager" and "disksuite" (software needed to manage/setup raid volumes) at docs.sun.com. Most installation guides and user manuals   are there ;-)

Since you don't specify how you intend to access the data (/export/home) from the E450 machine, if at all you were, I'd just like to rais a flag of warning.
Don't connect the array to more then one machine unless you intend to run Sun Cluster software. (or split the array into two, using half for each machine if there are two channels)

Just start by mounting the hardware as specified in the installation guide, and if/when you encounter difficulties post your "specific" question and we'll (not necessarily I) work them out one by one.


Accepted Solution

SumeshDaftary earned 380 total points
ID: 8195520
First of all, In order to recognize the disk and configure
# drvconfig
# disks

Now you can format this new disk as per your requirement
# format
(necessary steps)
# newfs /dev/rdsk/c#t#d#s#
create directory names on root for new mount point
# mount /dev/dsk/c#t#d#s# /mountpoint(your new name)
(put this entries in vfstab, If you need as permanent )

than copy your data to new place by tar (cvf from old place and pipe it to new place and xvf at new place.)

(If you have good hand on unix than you should by able to finish with this).

If you need I can give you step by step procedure.


Author Comment

ID: 8196809
I will not be using raid in the disk array. The array is a standard SUN SCSI D1000. I think that should make this project a little easier.

Sounds like configuiring and mounting the drives is straight forward. What I am not clear about is when I tar the existing user home directories to the new disk array, wouldn't that affect their home directory path and logon scripts such as their .cshrc file? do I have to change something on the 450 server to make it point to the R420 server?

I will be implementing this project next week and will let you know how it goes as I go along.

Thank you both for the help so far, its much clearer to me now. Just need to make sure that users will not have any problems.

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Expert Comment

ID: 8196886
Yes , your thought is correct, you should be carefull with their home directory and profile.

but The way I mentioned, I will do in this way,

First, I would take tar backup on tape or somewhere on other disk by

# cd /export/home
# tar cvf home.tar *

than, I would unmount /export/home and remount new mount point as /export/home

plus change /etc/vfstab file to new disk name to /export/home

#cd /export/home
#tax xvf home.tar (from that device)

How is that ?

Expert Comment

ID: 8197845
Note that all processes with files or directories open in the /export/home path need to be terminated before the umount.
To make sure(*) no user logs in while you are "down for maintenance" you could create the file /etc/nologin containing "System is unavailable due to maintenance. Try again later." in there.
(* applies to telnet and ssh if correctly configured at least)

Since you seem to care for the users comfort, why not use raid1 or raid5 to care for their data?


Author Comment

ID: 8392460
Hi guys,

First, I am sorry for the very late reply but we had a long delay in receiving the new system.

Now that the new system is up and running, here is what I had done so far:

The 420 server is running solaris 8 with 2 disk drives. Attached to it is a D1000 disk array with 12 disk drives (no raid).

all the D1000 drives are mounted on /export/home6....home17 on the 420 server (the drives are all exported using dfstab).

on the old server (450) the user home directories exist on /export/home1....home5.

The 450 will remain the NIS server and will hold all the user accounts and passwords.

what I need to do is move some of the user's home directories from the old server to the new one.

You mentioned using tar to do this, can you please be more specific on how to use it, or any other suggestions?

lets assume user "Joe" has a home directory "/export/home5/joe" on the old server and I want to move it to "/export/home6/joe" on the new server.

whats the best procedure to achieve this without having the user really notice any change?

sorry for the long message...
Thanks in advance,

Author Comment

ID: 8719675
So I finally got this thing to work - I was working on it on and off and that's why it took so long.

I was able to mount the new disk array drives to the server no problem as you suggested. I then exported all the file systems using /etc/dfstab.
Once the file systems were exported and the NIS server is able to see them, I moved the user home directories using the tar command. Then, I modified the user home path name in /etc/auto_home to reflect the new location and pushed the new changes in yp: /var/yp/make.
At this point, my users were able to login normally to the system with their home directory being on the disk array - then just I deleted the old home directory - seems to be working so far.

The tar command I used was as follows:
tar cvf - username | rsh newsystemname cd /export/homedirectoryname \; tar xvpf -
Issue this command from the NIS server (original system) and make sure you can remote login to the new system using rsh.
To check, "#rsh newsystemname date" you should get the date back. If you dont, add the old system name in /.rhosts file on the new system and it should work.

Thank you all for the help.

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