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Moving a Server Raid Card and Disks to New Server

Posted on 2011-10-10
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Hi Everyone,

I have a server that is running a 4x500GB Raid 5 drive array (3 drives + 1 Hot Spare) using a 3ware 9550SX-4LP PCI-x server card. It is plugged into a X-series server and the 4 drives are housed in a self powered external drive enclosure.

The IBM server's motherboard is starting to go as the server keeps rebooting and not coming back up until you power-cycle it a couple of times. It is 4 years old and is ready for the dump so it is likely not worth the hassle to try to fix it.

I also have a spare 1yr old Dell PE rack server that I could move the raid card to and install the drivers and such to as this is a data set - no OS on the 3ware setup.

The problem is I have almost a TB of data on the current setup and I really do not want to have to copy all that data to another drive just to move the card to a new server and then have to move it (1tb of data) all back.

I would like to know if I move the card and drives to the new server (dell), keeping the exact configuration, and will it retain the array and data config or will I have start a new setup for the new server.

Please let me know if anyone knows or has tried this - I believe the card has a battery on it but I will have to check this prior to the move.

thanks in advance,

TheSonicGod
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Question by:TheSonicGod
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by:David
David earned 1200 total points
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It will work fine. Just make darned sure you load same driver revision.   Metadata is stored on the disk drives for just such situations.
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by:TheSonicGod
ID: 36945548
Thanks dlethe

The old server is 2003 and the new one has 2008 on it - will that matter or should I wipe and reload 2003 on the new server? (both 32bit version)
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by:kiwistag
kiwistag earned 400 total points
ID: 36945695
It should work fine. Just see what the data is from the RAID card supplier.
HP guarantee that moving their Arrays (mainly with PCIe controllers) that you can use another card as long as no data is left in the BBWC from the old card - even on another server.

Find their manual/blurb similar to this: http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bc/docs/support/SupportManual/c00687518/c00687518.pdf
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David earned 1200 total points
ID: 36945833
The 3WARE product is not HP's controller.  But in your case you will be OK IF you upgrade BIOS, FIRMWARE, DRIVERS to latest revision (which is by no means going to be current) before you migrate, and make sure you do a cold boot at least once on the old hardware.

I just can't remember if there are certified WinK8 drivers for that older board, so you need to check their website. But if drivers exist, you'll be OK as long as the BIOS & FIRMWARE in the controllers are the last supported revision they have for that older card.  
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by:kiwistag
ID: 36945882
Sorry dlethe - was aware of that, was just using a case example. If there is 3WARE documentation out there hopefully it'll help.
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by:David
David earned 1200 total points
ID: 36945921
The release notes to all their updates discusses upward/downward compatibility.  3WARE is one of the worst products out there for compatibility between BIOS, firmware, operating systems, and diagnostic software. They're always changing things. (But is much better now that they are owned by LSI).

That is why this is one of the few times you need to do your diligence and read release notes.  They are great products outside of compatibility.
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by:sifuedition
sifuedition earned 400 total points
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And just for completeness' sake...get a backup. You said you don't want to have to copy it, but I doubt you want to lose it either.
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by:TheSonicGod
TheSonicGod earned 0 total points
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Sounds like it would just be easier to wipe the Dell and installed 2003 on it to ensure this works.

Yes we have an offsite backup but perhaps a local one should be done too.
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Author Closing Comment

by:TheSonicGod
ID: 37016671
Thanks Everyone
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