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Can I move SATA RAID 1 array from HP ML310 G5 onboard controller to HP Smart Array P400?

Posted on 2010-11-11
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hi there,
We currently have a HP Proliant ML310 G5 running 2x 250Gb SATA hard drives in RAID 1 from the on-board RAID controller. This currently runs the OS, SQL Server and holds the SQL databases/transaction logs. We are considering purchasing a HP Smart Array P400 Controller (405132-B21) and 2x HP 300GB SAS Hard Drive (516814-B21) to hold the SQL databases/transaction logs. Is it possible to migrate/physically move the current SATA array from the on-board RAID controller to the new controller without losing data, add the two new SAS drives (creating a new RAID 1 array) so that we can then move the SQL databases/transaction logs to the new array. If this is possible, how would we do that? Many thanks in advance. Regards, Shaun Herridge – IT Manager.
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Question by:corecc
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RobinHuman earned 100 total points
ID: 34111013
Hi,

It's highly unlikely that you will be successful in transferring the drives to a new array controller and keeping the data intact;
I Would suggest imageing the current array using something like ghost or trueimage, adding the new array controller and drives and configuring the array, and then restoring the image to the new array.
ALWAYS, ALWAYS back up your data before working on the arrays....
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by:jakethecatuk
jakethecatuk earned 100 total points
ID: 34111021
it all depends on the internal raid controller Shaun.

I'm fairly sure that the answer is no as the controllers will be different and the raid signatures on the drives will be different.

Also, the disk drivers for the OS install will be different and incompatible.

I think you will be lucky if it works...however, if you have the opportunity, shutdown the server over a weekend and pull the current drives out and put them to one side.  Install the new 300gb drives and create a raid array on the built in controller and isntall an OS.  Then try moving it to the P400 card and see what happens.
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by:andyalder
andyalder earned 100 total points
ID: 34111151
The on-board controller is just the Intel chipset RAID, doesn't use compatible metadata (doesn't even use metadata) so you'll have to install the P400 without drives on it and boot Windows and install the Proliant Support Pack so the drivers are there, then image/backup/restore as above.

Not you shouldn't have the SQL data on the same spindles as the transaction logs, if you are only going to have 4 disks total it would be better to leave the logs on C:.
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by:dlethe
dlethe earned 100 total points
ID: 34111339
Yes, use the 2 new drives and put both controllers in the machine at the same time.
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by:corecc
ID: 34111490
Many thanks for all of your responses, very useful/interesting. Would it be possible to run one array from the onboard controller, with the OS/SQL Server and one from the P400 holding the databases? I am trying to avoid have to image disks/reinstall (risk and limited windows of opportunity) and hoping I would just have to move the databases?
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by:jakethecatuk
ID: 34111512
that would work.  You will have to add drivesr and arracy configuration utilities for the P400 to the installation of Windows.

once the drives are online, you can then move the databases.

you will have to make sure the BIOS is configured correctly for boot order so it doesn't try the P400 controller.
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by:andyalder
ID: 34111740
Unfortunately cabling the backplane wouldn't work, there's only one connector on the backplane which goes either to the motherboard or the Pxx, see page 60 of http://bizsupport2.austin.hp.com/bc/docs/support/SupportManual/c01272014/c01272014.pdf

note that although it says SAS hard drive cabling it means raid controller cabling since Pxx support both SAS and SATA.
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by:noxcho
noxcho earned 100 total points
ID: 34118525
I would suggest taking backup of the existing configuration first. Then move the array with drives to new server - run Paragon P2P Adjust OS tool from boot CD and adjust the OS to new hardware. Then boot to Windows - install missing chipset drivers (if needed) and enjoy.
From the same WinPE you can install RAID controller drivers if needed. P2P Adjust OS is a part of Paragon Drive Backup 10 Server tool: www.drive-backup.com
Get a look here: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Storage/Backup_Restore/A_2569-Migration-to-dissimilar-hardware-How-to-migrate-to-new-hardware-without-OS-reinstallation.html
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by:corecc
ID: 34145598
Thanks again for further comments. I am now plannng to leave the existing SATA array running from the system board (OS & SQL Server/transaction logs), adding a new SAS array running from a new P400 controller (holding only SQL databases). With reference to Andy Alder's comment, why would I not be able to do this considering the existing SATA array is attached to a SATA connector on system board and the new SAS array will be attached to a SAS connector on the P400 controller - the P400 controller being attached to a PCI Express slot on system board?
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by:jakethecatuk
ID: 34145732
Just had a quick look at the link that AndyAlder posted.

Look at page 60 of the PDF.  The cage that the hot swap drives plug into looks like it has one connector on it that allows you to either connect to the mobo, or a raid card - not both.

That is what Andy is alluding to when he says you can't have both.
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by:andyalder
ID: 34145846
They're also different cables so to use the P400 controller you need to buy the right cable. I suppose there may be a split cable available on the market with two SATA cables for the motherboard connection and the other two to the P400, but I don't think anyone makes one even though they're standard connectors.

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by:corecc
ID: 34171394
Just to update, HP Technical Support have told me that I would be able to leave the existing SATA array, from system board (setting bootable in BIOS) and be able to add the P400/new array to hold just SQL data. (Have had different advise on whether to move the databases or the transaction logs - not sure what would give best performance increase?) I am still not 100% sure how I would physically do this, as comments/guide indicates only one cable from hot-plug drive cradle? Therefore, I am thinking that the only way to do this must be to add the SAS drives to the P400 card 'outside' of the hot-plug drive cradle? Does this sound doable? Unfortunately, being a live server, I cannot/don't really want to open it up at the moment? Apologies if I am asking the same question again but just want to be sure I can do this before I get the purchase of the P400 & drives signed off as these are not cheap.
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by:jakethecatuk
ID: 34171639
It may be possible to add a second hard drive cage below the current one which can attach to your new controller.

http://h20141.www2.hp.com/Hpparts/%28X%281%29S%28zpvxn4io3i34qq55utnedru0%29%29/Search_Results.aspx?mscssid=A97E2E80660740459101D3EC50A1A413&SearchIn=Product

Product is called 'Cage'

Suggest you phone HP again and ask them if it is a valid option.
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by:andyalder
ID: 34177506
ML3xx drive cage is a SCSI option for older servers, but it should be possible to mount the current SATA drives in the removeble media bays where you would normally put a tape drive (although they'd stop being hotswap). You'd get a couple of spare hotplug caddies that way as well.
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