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Configuring RAID 5 Dell Poweredge 2950

Posted on 2011-03-17
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Last Modified: 2012-06-22
Hello,
Can someone please help me with configuring RAID 5 in a Dell Poweredge 2950?

I have 2 drives configured RAID 1 (running fine.)

I add 4 drives (2TB each), thinking that I should have about 6TB, but when I went into Windows 2008 Disk Manager to initialize, it only showed 3725.00, instead of 5,8xx (6TB).

This is what I have in the RAID configuration:

Disk Group 1 (this is for RAID 5)
under Physical Disks, I have 3 drives.
under Hot spares, I have 1 drive (Dedicated)

I must did something wrong, experts, please help.
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Question by:Paul-AC
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Expert Comment

by:EvaUnit01
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The hot spare, that is your problem. You setup the Raid 5 volume to use one of the 4 HDDs as a hot spare, so it is not included in the volume you see in disk management. Hot spares are just there waiting to kick in if a drive fails.
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by:Paul-AC
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So what you're saying is that I should setup all 4 of them as RAID 5 and Don't use Hot spare?
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Author Comment

by:Paul-AC
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Is so, then what does Hot spare mean?
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by:EvaUnit01
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Yes, exactly. RAID 5 setup already knows that is one drive fails to alert you and then you may replace the drive. All functionality continues fine, this is the way RAID 5 is setup to work. Hot spares are something independent of any RAID configuration. They are there to do exactly what they say, they are a spare, just sitting there waiting to pop in place in case a physical drive fails.

That is why when you are doing RAID 5 you use the formula of: n-1= total volume space  That minus 1 is for the space needed to spread the data across the other disks in the event a drive fails.
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Author Comment

by:Paul-AC
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Thanks, will try it right now.
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Author Comment

by:Paul-AC
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After removing the Hot spare drive, it said "Ready" under PD Mgmt.
But I don't see the that drive anywhere under "VD Mgmt.
please help, sorry, never done this before.
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EvaUnit01 earned 450 total points
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right, you need to also break the last RAID 5 config and start a brand new config this time including the 4th drive in the RAID 5.
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Author Comment

by:Paul-AC
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Thank you so much for your help. that did it.

It's a good thing that I don't haven't using RAID 5 yet, other it would be a mess.

one more question if you don't mind, (since you know the stuff).
Can I do Hot Swap on my RAID 1 (the first 2 drives) when 1 of them is down?

Thanks again for your help.
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Expert Comment

by:EvaUnit01
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This depends, also the same applies o the RAID 5, you will need to swap a drive in the event one fails. If this RAID is being controlled via a hardware RAID controller card then yes, usually the controller card has the capability to do a hot swap. Check the manual of the controller card, if it is a software raid then it depends, you would need to read the manual of the motherboard and verify with the manufacture.
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Assisted Solution

by:PowerEdgeTech
PowerEdgeTech earned 50 total points
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To clarify ... yes, all drives in a 2950 will be hot-swappable.

Where you had nothing on your 3-disk RAID 5, it was easy to wipe it out and create a new 4-disk RAID 5, but if you had had data on it and didn't want to - or couldn't - wipe it out, you can Reconfigure your 3-disk RAID 5 to a 4-disk RAID 5 without data loss through OMSA, Storage, PERC, Virtual Disks, Reconfigure from the dropdown menu for the RAID 5.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Paul-AC
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Thank you guys
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