HP 2012i virtual hard disk fails during expansion process

Znalost
Znalost used Ask the Experts™
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Hello Experts,
I apologize if this is not the right place to file this information but I want to make sure that others do not have to go thru the same hassle we had to, particularly restoring entire virtual disk (4TB) due to a failed expansion process. So this is not a question but more a warning.
We have started expansion of a virtual disk from 4TB (5 x 1TB SATA in RAID5) to 5TB (adding one 1TB hdd to total of 6 x 1TB). After one day, we found out that the process will take about 30 days (from our perspective, this is already unacceptable). We opened a case with HP technical support and the answer was "...can happen...".
Several days down the road the device reported error, we opened another case with HP, they gave us instruction on what to do and said the expansion process should complete successfully and then start a rebuild process automatically.
The rebuild process just completed, the virtual drive is offline (2 hdd offline), most likely all data lost.
We are waiting for HP support for their response.

In the meantime, recommendation: Do not perform expansion of virtual drives on these device, too risky. Rather create new virtual disks and make them available to your hosts/servers.
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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT Advisor
Top Expert 2008

Commented:
I think that expanding by such a large amount of drives could have been the culprit.  The max. I will do is two drives at a time to keep the load low.  Running one now and it's at 33% after 8 days.

Author

Commented:
paulsolov,
the expansion was from 5 drives to 6 drives (bey 1 drive) which cannot be called "a large amount of drives".
Paul SolovyovskySenior IT Advisor
Top Expert 2008

Commented:
I agree.  How much load was on the sytem during the expansion. I though you were expanding by 6 drives, I misunderstood.
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Top Expert 2014

Commented:
The initial build takes ages as well unless you use the offline option, I wonder if there's an option to take the LUNs offline and do a quicker expansion same as when creating?

Quite frankly I wouldn't do expansions on big SATA arrays, just with the faster SAS disks.
Paul SolovyovskySenior IT Advisor
Top Expert 2008

Commented:
I'm at 2 weeks and 55% done..so far so good.  At least I'm backing all the VMs via vRanger nightly. For my customer the IOPS is very low, we just needed more space and no funds for a second SAS shelf.
Commented:
Later I discussed this with other HP Strorage speciales and I do not recommend to perform online expansion on an array. They recommend creating completly separate array instead. I am closing this comment/question.

Author

Commented:
This was more comment than a question in order to share important knowledge and save somebody elso big headache.

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