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Dell PowerEdge 2900 RAID 5 hot spare PERC 5 question can I take a drive out of the raid 5 array?

Posted on 2007-04-09
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Just got a Dell PE 2900.  I ordered it with 5 drives.  I was thinking of having a raid 5 array with 1 hot spare.  I am installing SBS 2003 on it myself.

it came configured with all 5 drives in raid 5.  is there a way to move 1 drive out of the array into hot spares?

If not, I have to start from scratch, right?  build an array of 4 and 1 in the hot spare section?  How do I install the dagnostic partition in the system?

and the audible alarm doesn't exist, right?  How would you test that anyway?  Pop out a drive?

thanks!
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Question by:babaganoosh
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David Wall earned 2000 total points
ID: 18880766
To reduce the drive you will have to rebuild the array as you suspected. Assuming that the array already consists of all five drive drives.

I have never come across an audible alarm for a raid array or server come to that. But pul;l a drive and see what happens Dell may be different. I just tried a unit here and hot a sound.

If you use the Dell system builder CD,s to setup the array it may give you the option to install a diagnostic partition.  
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Author Comment

by:babaganoosh
ID: 18881396
Thanks for the info.  What's your thoughts about a 5 disk array with 1 TB or 4 disk array with 750 GB and 1 spare... both are way more than we need at this point.  And can you expand an array without trashing everything? (if the answer is no, is that because of that specific controller or raid controllers in general just can't add or remove a drive and rebuild everything on its own?)
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by:David Wall
ID: 18881537
Most raid controllers will allow you to expand the array, they just dont allow you to make the array smaller.

Whatever you do you should always ensure you have a fall back position before doing so i.e. have a  full back in case all goes wrong.

On thing you may want to consider given that you have more disk than you need is running two sets of mirrors  and a spinning spare rather than an array. that way you put the os and possiblily the apps on one pair then all the data on the second pair. Hoppefully the array softwware will allow you to have a global spinning spare, if not assign it to the data partition.

Though given that you may be a small establishment running raid 5 with a spinning spare is a good option.

You may need to look at sbs's recommendations about disk setups to get the best options.
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Author Comment

by:babaganoosh
ID: 18881684
there's lots of talk about how big the C and D drives should be...  do you have a 1 to 1 ratio of raid arrays and lettered drives or are the C & D all sitting in a single raid array?
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Expert Comment

by:David Wall
ID: 18882839
In an ideal world you would have the os on one array or pair the apps on another and the data on a third in your case you could either put the os and apps(say c and d) on one array, with the data on (e: ) on the second.
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Author Comment

by:babaganoosh
ID: 18981649
thanks!
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