Getting a Global Hot Spare ready to go

Posted on 2009-05-28
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-14
I have a Dell 1950 as my SQL Server attached to a MD1000 with multiple RAID arrays for mass storage. A drive failed in the RAID5 virtual array, and my global hot spare took over, as is it went to Online status - no problem. I received the replacement, removed the failed drive and installed the replacement. The array manager now shows the replacement status as Ready.

1) Am I better off swapping out the former hot spare mfg in 2006, with the replacement drive mfg in 2008?
2) Before I press the replacement drive into service either as one of the next hot spares or swap it out, is there further prep work required on this drive?
Question by:mmshaner
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Expert Comment

ID: 24496813
As long as the original hotspare rebuild back into the array just fine I'd recommend leaving it.
The new replacement should be your new hotspare. You'll just have to use the Openmanage or CTRL R to set it as the new hotspare.
In the past working for Dell I've just seen to many problems arise when you start degrading the raid array just to get the original configuration.
If you were to swap them at this point; the PERC 5/6 controller will actually see the headers on the "original hotspare" and put it in a foreign state which would require you to clear foreign and a few other steps before you can rebuild.
Just not worth the hassle and possible problems as far as I'm concerned

Author Comment

ID: 24496938
Dell Support first wanted all drivers updated, etc just to determine the issue was indeed the drive itself. Then once I convinced them to replace the drive under the warranty and it worked, they took the position that if it is working,, to leave it alone. Seems contracictory to me. Anyway your comments are helpful. Once we got it working the MD1000 has worked like a dream for us.

Are there any considerations you can think of for the NEW hot spare, in the way of cconditioning or whatever, to be ready to join the array when it is called upon?

Accepted Solution

Hoard earned 1000 total points
ID: 24497008
As far as drivers/firmware for the RAID controller; it is always best practice to keep those updated.
I've always been a big advocate of keeping RAID drivers/firmware updated. I was an L2/L3 in the enterprise division for a few years and saw a lot off issues that would have never been issues if they had been proactive at updating firmware/drivers. (More so on the older controllers but still applies to the newer ones)

More than likely it was the drive. Simply because with the newer RAID controllers from Dell (IE PERC 5/6) they are a lot more reliable at determining a HDD failure due to the SAS/SATA technology. (If you ever run into problems like this using the PERC 2/3/4 using SCSI it very well could be something else causing the drive to fail and not the drive itself)

As for "conditioning" once you assign the new drive as the new global hotspare the RAID controller will do what is needed to prepare it for use. That is a relatively painless process.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 31586374
Ours is PERC 5e and yes the SAS technology seems much easier to deal with when things go bad, as opposed to SCSI. Thanks again for all your reassurances.

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