Extending RAID Drives in Proliant Servers?

Posted on 2007-08-03
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
We need to find a way to increase disk space in an existing system.

We have an HP Proliant DL360 G4 with (2) 72.8 GB drives running RAID 1.

Is there a way to install 146.8 GB drives without losing anything?  Can I just eject one of the drives and pop in a 146.8 and have it rebuild, then do the other drive?

How can we extend the drives?
Question by:ES13Raven
    LVL 26

    Expert Comment

    No, you can't. The only way to utilize the full 146.8 GB is backup rebuild RAID container with the new disks. For the existing container, when you replace the new disk to the old one, regardless the bigger size on the new disk, RAID will only pick up the same amount with the old one, so you basically waiste your spaces. The only way to get around this issue is using the third party software such as Acronis. Check this amazing product for $39.

    LVL 9

    Accepted Solution

    Yes you can.
    Check in ACU that your RAID1 is healthy.
    Remove one of the 72GB.
    Let the controller detect the failure.
    Replace it by a 146GB.
    Let the RAID rebuild itself.
    Apply the same procedure for the second drive.
    Once the rebuild is completed, go to ACU, select your logical drive and expand it.
    Once the expansion is finished, you will have additional free space.
    You can then create an new partition or extend the existing one.
    Check your Smart Array manual and HP web site for more info.

    LVL 26

    Expert Comment

    Yes, you can if you don't want to keep your data. I have never heard that you can expand your existing partition using any of HP utilities or application. I am in charge of over 350 HP servers in a large company. nightmare2, are you sure about your statement?


    Author Comment

    Yes, we do need to keep all the data and just extend the partition.
    LVL 9

    Expert Comment

    Yes: you expand you logical drive and this keeps all you data.
    At this point you will have the original volume (72GB) + 72GB of free space.
    You can make a new volume with this free space or extend your existing volume with a partitioning utility.
    LVL 26

    Expert Comment

    Don't you think Acronis Migrate Product worthes the risk of messing with your data and raid array container?. I would say you even be sure having a good backup before using Acronis, although the result is warranty. I will not take any chances on my production server.

    LVL 55

    Expert Comment

    Yes you can; it's a standard proceedure. You even get forced to do it if you have a server with 18GB disks and they start to fail since you can't buy 18GB ones new any more you end up with 36GB replacements.

    The risk of data loss is minimal because you've still got the old 72GB ones with valid data on.

    It's cleanest to shut down and power off before removing the first disk since unplugging live adds one to the hot-plugged count saved on the disk, don't plug the replacement in before powering it on again though since if this has been reused the controller may not know which has valid data on. Chech in ACU to see it's completed rebuild, repeat and rinse.

    If you're not worried about the hotplug count (and it's not really serious although HP suppoprt come out with nonsense about it since they see it in their ADU output decoder) just swap one at a time live, it will only tke about 15 minutes for each rebuild if the server is not busy serving data.

    There's even a HP doc on splitting off a disk from a mirror before a major software upgrade since it's a darned sight quicker to put the old disk back in rather than restore from backup.

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