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Adding Disk Space to Server

Posted on 2007-10-10
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I have a Dell Power Edge 2500 that I need to add more disk space.  It is running 2000 Server. It has three 36gig disks running raid 5. I have two partition drives. I purchased three more 73gig drives.
I was hoping to add the 73gig drives to the current setup and allocate  more space to both partition drives. I would like to keep the 36gig drives and add the 73 to the current array. Can you add different size drives to a raid5 config? If so, How and are there any drawbacks to doing this. I do not have the dell open manage server app loaded, but I have no problem loading that or any other app needed to accomplish this.
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Question by:Mopep
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rindi earned 1600 total points
ID: 20050784
It depends. You can add larger disks to a raid 5 array, but the size that is larger on those disks is wasted, as it won't be used. Those 73GB Disks will just act as 36GB disks. So this means you can add those disks to the array, but you will not be able to fully utilize them. In your case it would be better to make a new raid 5 array with the 3 new disks and run both arrays separately.
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by:Mopep
ID: 20051667
OK. If I ran both arrays seperately...I currently have two drives C:(4gig) and D:(63gig). Could I setup the new array(73G drives) and move the data from the D: to the new array and then keep the C: on the old array(36G drives). That would accually be a perfect senerio if that would work.
Would I use the DOSA or do you recomend something else?
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by:rindi
ID: 20052165
Normally there is no problem moving the data from D to the new Disk (E or whatever it'll be). I'd keep the OS on C as it is now, 4GB is enough for win2k. If there is any software installed on C, move that to the old D. You don't need the DOSA for that, but I'd install it nevertheless, it should help you monitor the array's state.
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by:jlycos1
ID: 20052264
I agree with rindi....
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by:Mopep
ID: 20052382
Would I be able to combine the old array together. In other words, merging the 4gig and 63gig partitions to make one C: drive with the space combined? Does that make sense??
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by:ArvinderGill
ID: 20053287
Combining the old array would mean rebuilding it, that would erase all your data on your partitions. Right?

Instead of using DOSA, why not try using the RAID BIOS, during boot up look for the RAID Utiliy being loaded and CTRL+S to go in. It's a bit more complicated but you'll learn and be proud of it.
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by:tlbrittain
tlbrittain earned 400 total points
ID: 20053454
Any time you change a raid configuration you wipe the data on the drives.  if you are moving all of your data off on to a seperate partition away from the 4GB and 63GB partitions, then you need to decide how important is the server.  Could you take the server down for a few hours and re-install the OS and all the programs (again making sure you have all your data saved on seperate partitions.  I don't suggest combining the 4GB and 63GB partitions but merely recreate the two say 10-20GB and 47-57GB.  Just break down the larger one and provide more room for patching for the OS.  For the larger partition this is where you can install all of your programs.  Just a suggestion.

Again I cannot stress the importance of determining the operational impact if the server is taken down for X amount of hours.  This is something you will have to determine.  No matter what when you insert the new drives you will have to reboot the server to get into the raid configuration.

Let us know what you decide to do.
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by:Mopep
ID: 20065091
Yes. This will definetly be an afterhours/weekend project.  Thank you all for your input. It gave me a better understanding of what is ahead.
I think I will add the new drives and create a new array. Move what data I can without causing any errors to apps(Employee folders,etc). That will relieve the disk space issue for the 63gig partition. Then allocate more disk space from the 63gig to the 4gig. What is the safest way to move space from the 63 to the 4?
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by:tlbrittain
ID: 20065266
You will have to reconfigure the raid configuration and that will repartition (wipe) the drives.
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