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Upgrading to faster server hard drives

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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
I am planning on updating the hard drives in our file and print server. This server is an IBM x3650. It currently has 3 500GB, 7200 SATA hard drives in a RAID5 configuration.

I want to replace these drives with 15000 RPM SAS drives. I am also considering installing 4 drives for the RAID array, and 1 drive to place the swap file on. I would then use the old drives elsewhere.

Any advice on the best way to go about this upgrade? I have an idea of what I want to do, but would like some opinions. Thanks.

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Doug WilliamsOfficer, Network Engineer

Commented:
I have just completed the same thing (on a Dell server running Windows 2003).  Perform a full backup first.  
I used Ghost to get a clone of the volume on the raid array to an image on a portable hard drive.  You must do some testing to make sure you have all the DOS drivers for the RAID controller and the portable hard drive (if needed).

Once the image is created, label and remove the old drives (in case it does not work), insert the new drives, configure your array with the neccessary virtual drives and ghost the images back to the array from the portable drive.

Commented:
d_willia has the process for doing the upgrade down pat if you choose to use Symantec Ghost. I personally use a product called Shadow Protect which works wonders.

There is only one issue that I am seeing with the request which is that you can't replace SATA drives with SAS drives. They use a different interface to connect the drives to the backplane (and subsequently to the RAID controller).

Can you give us the exact model of the server (info is on the front black sticker) and then we can really look at the upgrade process (and possibly provide part numbers that you can specifically look at to replace the drives)?

I don't want to give you incorrect information because you may also be looking at SFF SAS drives for your server.

Author

Commented:
Thanks for the replies guys.

The server is an IBM System x3650 Type 7979:

ftp://ftp.software.ibm.com/systems/support/system_x_pdf/44r5189.pdf

Documentation states that he controller does support SAS drives, but the drives actually in the server right now say SATA on them (IBM FRU 39M4533).
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Commented:
BigSchmuh answered this to the fullest. I would recommend everything he stated here and he also left quite a bit of good information there for you to digest.
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