IBM Serveraid 4LX, trying to defunc drive from mirror pair


I have rather a sticky problem. A new customer has an IBM server with two mirror pairs under a serveraid controller 4Lx. The primary OS drives as well as the data are mirrored. The OS drive array has a drive that is constantly rebuilding, it has been like this for nearly two weeks, so it is pretty certain that the drive is actually faulty. With this in mind new drives were purchased.
Within the serveriad manager, it seems not to want to allow me to defunct the faulty drive, and it warns that the array will be taken offline (no good) As I do not know IBM servers or Serveraid very well you can understand my concern. I had assume I could just add a drive as a hotswop, defunct the faulty one and away it would all go?

Backing up this fulty arry is a none even as well, so far it reckons it will take 25 hours! for 130GB, so you can see that the alleged rebuilding is killing the performance of the server.

Anyone know this controller? and can explain how to swop out the drive without taking the other mirror offline?

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Felix LevenConnect With a Mentor Senior System and DatabaseadministratorCommented:
Yes, if the Server has a hot swap backplane and the spare HDD is One that IBM is ok with. Stock Firmware HDD Drives are Not recommendet, because the Timing of raid Controller and Drives is very important.

you can check the Logs of raid-Manager to Be sure the raidcontroller is ok. If the raid controller batteries are old, they grow bigger from there One Heat and can Lift the Controller out of its pci Slot! If you can take Look into the Server before, i would recommend it. I saw this on every raid 5 Controller IBM Server, older then 3 years.

Also check the current Firmware of the raid Controller and the fixes Done in newer releases of the Firmware to learn what Kind of Problems you could face from the current Firmware.

Full Backup on Tape and enough Time on the weekend to do a restore if anything fails.
Felix LevenSenior System and DatabaseadministratorCommented:
First, this a very old controller :-), the company has still active support for it ?

I had experienced really bad things with IBM Raid here (Exchange boot HDD fail, overwritting the healthy HDD in the mirror with crap. Officially fixed in the firmware one year later!).

The constantly rebuilding of the drives can kill both in the end , so it's time do something. I would go for a planned shutdown, maybe with an IBM guy on site equipped with a replacement HDD, or two (replace the second after the rebuild !). I know this won't make the customer happy, but a planned shutdown is what i would go for.
SupportteamAuthor Commented:
Well yes, that was my route, but I have a more immediate problem with the backup taking 25 Hrs .
I also have two drives waiting to go in, was just hoping I could remove the offending one, and fit a new drive to remirror, then take a clean backup quickly, replace older drive, then the two new ones I can restore the good backup to.

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Felix LevenSenior System and DatabaseadministratorCommented:
"Original IBM Firmeware same model and specs" replacement drive or "some spare" ?
SupportteamAuthor Commented:
My question still remains unanswered. I need to know if what the Raid software is telling me is the truth. I cannot believe that a mirror set cannot be broken and a faulty drive replaced whilst the server is running. Someone must know this controller? If this is IBM then this has to be the dumbest thing they have done since losing out to microsoft!
Felix LevenSenior System and DatabaseadministratorCommented:
Hot-swap backplane: just remove the faulty drive and insert a new IBM compatible larger or same size hdd. Rebuild should happen automatically.

Full backup to other hdd or tape first
SupportteamAuthor Commented:
So you are 100% confident in removing the drive, even though the IBM server raid software insists the array will be unavailable?

I hope you are right, but it will have to wait for our next public holiday to prove it.

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