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Expanding server capacity.  What's the best way?

Posted on 2009-12-21
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-08
The business runs an SBS 2003 on a HP Proliant server which has a RAID 1 setup with 2 146gb harddrives.
There are 8 networked computer + the 1 server which is the DC & runs Exchange as well.
The original config was 15GB partition for C: and E: (Data) for 116GB and R: (RIS) with 5GB

All these drives are FULL. Errors are coming in thick and fast because there's no space.
I've ordered two 300GB drives which I was intending to put as a second RAID1 setup.

I'm starting to think a full server re-setup is in order so I can expand C:, E: & R:.

Any help/opinions on the best way to approach this would be appreciated!
Question by:TWistaff
LVL 14

Accepted Solution

Burns2007 earned 1000 total points
ID: 26100903
well you can't "expand" any of these drives onto another raid set.

What you can do is as follows:
Add the new disks, migrate data from E to the new 300GB partition.
C drive SHOULD be big enough at 15GB. As long as you relocate exchange logs and DBs to the other drive it should be big enough. To resize a system drive you need to use a 3rd party tool.
Partitino Magic Enterprise Edition is a good tool for resizing serers.
R drive you should be able to increase the size through the disk management utility once you deelte the existing E drive.

As always, before touching any partitinos on a server, especially system, take a full backup with osmething liek Acronis True Image.

LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 26101054
Since you mentioned SBS, also check to see where the User Shared Directories are located. The default install in SBS2003 placed them on the C: partition, I believe. The same would go with the fax and fax archive folders, if those features are being used.

Author Comment

ID: 26101145
Thanks for your replies.  The 15GB is too small for the C: mainly because Trend Micro products take up a whopping 4GB + Windows Installation 4GB + MISC program files + page file = 15GB

Burns2007, in your experience, do these 3rd party partitioning products result in a stable changes and continued good performance after partition changes?


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LVL 76

Assisted Solution

by:Alan Hardisty
Alan Hardisty earned 1000 total points
ID: 26101161
If you purchase a copy of something like Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery Small Business Server you can image the existing server (take the LAN cable out first so no modifications can get written post image), rip out the old drives, insert the new drives, set the new partition sizes (boot onto a Windows CD-ROM) and then replace the backup images onto the relevant partitions.
Even better would be to image the drives, install a new 3rd drive (if you have a RAID 5 capable controller) and configure them for RAID 5 (data parity with striping), which can later be expanded should you run out of space again.  Then create the partitions as desired, restore the images and reboot.
What RAID controller do you have what ProLiant server do you have Model & Generation (e.g., ML350 G3)?

Author Comment

ID: 26101182
ML350 G5

Author Comment

ID: 26109139
Alright, so I've installed the new 300gb drives. Moved the main space hungry files.  Now I need to modify the C: partition.

I just got to pick the right tool, what tools do you guys have experience with and suggest?
I'm looking at
http://www.acronis.com.au/enterprise/products/diskdirector/partitioning.html ($$$$)

What do you guys think?
LVL 76

Assisted Solution

by:Alan Hardisty
Alan Hardisty earned 1000 total points
ID: 26109158
I have a copy of the Paragon Partition Manager Server edtion and it works like a charm.  Just make sure you have a complete backup first in case it goes wrong.
LVL 76

Assisted Solution

by:Alan Hardisty
Alan Hardisty earned 1000 total points
ID: 26109169
You will need to free up some space after the C: partition first.
Either move or reduce the size of the existing partition to allow some space - apply the change.
Then if you have to move the partition, move it and apply the change.
Then expand the C: and apply the change.
Basically - perform one step at a time.

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