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add hard drive to raid 5

Hello,

I currently have a Smart Array E200 controller. Configured with 3 Hard drives Raid 5. If i wanted to add another Hard drive to this how would i go about doing this? The only reason i ask is because it seems to be bottle necking during certain hours during the day. I am running SQL 2005 on this machine. I have recently updated all of the drivers and firmware for the storage controller, array and bios on the server to see if it would resolve the issue but it did not. I have also ran an offline diagnostic on the hardware and all past with no errors.

The server is a HP Proliant DL 180 G5.

I read a couple of threads and they recommend that after monitoring the Avg. Disk Queue Length and the Current Disk Queue Length and both are maxing 100 from time to time could be that i may need either a faster disk, Moving some files to an additional disk or server or
Adding disks to a RAID array  if one is being used.

Any other ideas would be very helpful.
Thank you in advance
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cisgoro76
Asked:
cisgoro76
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1 Solution
 
Steelers4lifeCommented:
Adding another disk is pretty easy. You just put in the new drive and add it to the raid in the raid setup. As far as your others I am sure someone else can help.
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Vinchenzo-the-SecondCommented:
U can extend the array, u need to use the array configuration utility.
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cisgoro76Author Commented:
do you know if addiding an extra drive to the raid would also improve the performance of the data being read on the server?

Thanks
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arnoldCommented:
The adding of an additional drive is unlikely to improve the performance of the system.  You need to determine why the disks are this active.  Do you have both transaction logs and database files on the same volume, if you have space, you could add a pair of disks in a RAID 1 group and shift the transaction log to the new group to see whether that will improve performance.
You did not include how the system is setup, RAID 1 OS/page file, RAID 5 DATABASE, RAID 1

Check how your system is configured, properties of my computer\advanced\performance settings\advanced\
Process scheduling and memory should be set to programs.
Did you boost the CPU priority for the SQL application?
Under the networking adapter properties, file and printer sharing properties, is it check for maximize through put for network applications?
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andyalderSaggar makers bottom knockerCommented:
You need BBWC to add to an array, there again you must have one since that card needs one to support RAID 5 as well. If it's writes that are the problem rather than reads adding another disk and migrating from RAID 5 to RAID 10 would probably be better than expanding the RAID 5.
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cisgoro76Author Commented:
arnold, the database files and the transaction logs are all on the same volume. the system is configured under performance with process cheduling and memory set to programs. under server optimization i have selected Maximize data throuput for file sharing.
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arnoldCommented:
You need the throughput for network application which SQL/IIS are, file server is a lower priority function and is not as intensive.
What about the prioritizatioin of the SQL CPU boost?

How much memory is in the system and how big is the Database?

I'd agree with andyalder, that RAID 10 is better than RAID 5, but we still do not know what the issue is that you are trying to cure.

What about information on the setup? OS on its own set of RAID 1 disks?
How big is the transaction log? Do you have management plan/sql jobs that backup the database/transaction log?
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cisgoro76Author Commented:
How would i check the prioritazation of the SQL cpu boost?

The system is running Wondows server 2003 R2 standard edition SP2 with 4GB of memory / Intel Xeon Quad 2.5ghz

I have 2 databases, one of them is 10gig and the log file which i belive is the .ldf file is 8gigs. I have another database that is 2gigs and the ldf file of that one is 21mb.

i have a RAID 5 with three hd, i have the OS on one partition all of the databases on another partition.

Thanks
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arnoldCommented:
So you have all partitions on the same set of RAID 5 drives. This is your bottleneck.
Your page file, and your Transaction log are hitting the same set of disks.  ADding a pair of disks in RAID 1 configuration and moving the transaction logs to that location will likely improve performance.  A preferred setup is to have a pair of drives in RAID 1 configuration for the OS, and a RAID 5 group for the database/transaction log.
Your databases are larger than the amount of memory so this will cause the system to swap/page.

To boost priority of SQL, you have to use Sql server management suite and right click on the database server reference therein selecting properties, under the CPU/processor, there is near the bottom an option that says boot CPU priority.  Check that. The next time the service restarts the SQLserver priority will be above average rather than normal.
Since you are using Standard version of the OS, you are limited to the 4GB of ram.
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andyalderSaggar makers bottom knockerCommented:
It would probably be cheaper to buy a new system that can use 64 bit OS and shedloads of pretty cheap RAM.
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cisgoro76Author Commented:
Thank you very much for the information. So reconfiguring the raid the way you are recommending means i would need reinstall the OS and SQL correct? I was hoping there was a simpler way to resolve the issue. Is there any otehr way to maybe help the performance?

Unfortunately i was not the one that set this system up so now im kind of stuck with this.

Thank you very much!
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arnoldCommented:
Do you have a pair of disks you can add to the system and set them up in a RAID 1 group and then relocate the page file (properties of my computer, advances, performance settings\advanced\virtual memory change) as well as the transaction logs (you may have to detach and reattach the database and in between move the transaction log to the other drive) to it.
Another option is to add a second transaction log file in the new location but that becomes more tricky.
http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/forums/en-US/sqlsetupandupgrade/thread/b63f3b3e-6bfa-40aa-8b13-f6806d6bc3f4/
http://bdbits.wordpress.com/2009/04/02/moving-a-sql-server-2005-transaction-log/

The problem might be that the transaction logs and the paging will again display the same behavior so you might want to leave the page file where it is and see if just relocating the transaction logs helps.  How big is your page file?
Check taskmanager and see what the comit Total, Limit and Peak are on the performance tab.
If your Peak value is close to limit within 10-20%, you should increase the size of the Page file by adding another one on the new RAID 1 and see if that makes a difference.
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cisgoro76Author Commented:
I dont currently have two disks that i could add to the server but i might need to get them if i need them to make this work better. The current commit charge it Total 1403592 Limit 6118992 and Peak 2410396. Mind you that currently there is nobody in the office so the server is not being accessed by many.

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cisgoro76Author Commented:
Currently when i go to the Virtual memory option on the server under Drive i see
C: Paging File Size 2046-4092
D: No Paging file
H:No Paging file
I:No Paging file

Would changing the paging file on my Data volume help the performance at all?

Thanks again!
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arnoldCommented:
Since you have a single RAID 5 which is made up of three drives, it does not matter too much on which partition you put the page file it still hits the same three drives as activity to the transaction log.

You could add the single drive you were considering using for expanding the RAID 5 and configure it as A JBOD, and then move paging file to it to see if it make a difference.

Make sure to leave a 100MB or so page file on the C: drive to handle unexpected crashes.
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cisgoro76Author Commented:
Can I add the two hd and create the raid one while leaving the current raid 5 that I have configured? Or do I have to reconfigure all , reinstall os, SQL and all of that?

Thanks!
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arnoldCommented:
I think you can add the two Drives as their own RAID 1 group. NO reinstall is needed for this. Once you create the volume it will be presented to the OS and will be seen as a drive with unallocated space in ACU diskmgmt.msc
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cisgoro76Author Commented:
Hello all,

so i added the two HD and created the raid 1 with no issue. moved over the databases over to the raid one and still having the same issue. this is the strangest thing ever. not surewhat else to try.
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andyalderSaggar makers bottom knockerCommented:
Any other applications such as virus checker running in the server or is it just SQL? It's hardly strange disks being the bottleneck with SQL, they normally are. more RAM and SSDs can sometimes mitigate the problem or it might just be that the code is inefficiently written.
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cisgoro76Author Commented:
Thnak you andyalder, i do not have any other apps running in teh server, just sql. to add more ram i would need to upgrade windows 2003 to 64bit, im maxed out at 4gb.
Thanks again
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andyalderSaggar makers bottom knockerCommented:
Well you could use 32bit enterprise version, but 64 bit is better as doesn't need PAE.
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