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Install Raid On HP ML350 That Is Already Live

Posted on 2011-03-19
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I was asked to come in and look at a companies server because it was having problems.  The consultant they brought in to set it up originally is not answering their calls.  It is an HP ML350.  The first thing I noticed was there is only one hard drive installed.  I am going to make a lot of changes, but I want to continue to use the ML350.  This is their only server and they do not want to invest in a second at this time.

They are running MS Server 2008 with multiple apps, exchange, AD & as a file server.  It is setup running a virtual server, but I do not know very much about that portion.

I want to setup Raid on this server now.  I have not set this up after the server is in production before.  Can I get some recommendations for the hardware and the type of Raid to setup?  Any suggestions on the best way to accomplish this with the happy medium of redundancy, down-time, ease of installation/setup and reliability?

What am I missing?  
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Question by:khuff71
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by:rjpilcher
ID: 35172471
What platform is the virtual server running on?  VMware?  Hyper-V?

More importantly, what is the base OS that is on the server?  If it's Windows, you can build a software RAID and mirror to another drive of the same size.  

Ideally, you want to build a hardware RAID.  You can either build a RAID 1 (2 drives mirrored) or a RAID 5 (at least 3 drives striped).  For what you're after, RAID 1 is easier and cheaper.  

If you're running VMware, you can copy the VM somewhere else and then rebuild the server with a RAID.

Let me know what your base OS is and I'll give you direction on how to proceed
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by:khuff71
ID: 35172494
I do not know what platform the virtual server is running on.  I have never set one up and I know very little about it.

With Raid 1, do you recommend 2 drives or 3?

The base OS is MS Server 2008.  
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rjpilcher earned 2000 total points
ID: 35172518
RAID 1 is going to be 2 drives.  The drives will mirror each other.

You mentioned that there was a virtual server?  So the server boots into Windows 2008 and they are running a virtual server as well on top of that?  

The most painless method here is to just build a software RAID within Windows.  Add another drive of equal size, go to Disk Management, scan for the new disk, then right click on your original partitions and select 'Add Mirror'

If you're going to build a hardware RAID you're going to lose all your data.  If you're up for that, I can guide you down that road as well.
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Author Closing Comment

by:khuff71
ID: 35172537
They are running a virtual server on top of that.  I do not know why.

The software method is a little slower I think, but that is acceptable.  

I refuse to lose all of the data.  I have a bad backup before and it cost me.  I was able to retrieve only about 75% of my data.

I will get the software setup asap.  I can't get into the building right now.  

I really appreciate your help.
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