My server upgrade plan

Posted on 2011-10-13
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I would like some expert advice on my plan to upgrade one of my servers:

I have a HP Prolient DL360 G5 server that has all of its 6 hard drive bays used in a RAID5 array.  Its running windows 2003 R2.  We use this server for our document management system and it will run out of space in a few months.  My request for a migration to a completely new server has been declined so I have to upgrade the one I have.  I plan to buy 6 larger hard drives and upgrade as follows:

1>backup everything on the server using windows backup onto an external USB hard drive
2>remove the existing hard drives and put them somewhere safe.
3>Install new hard drives in a RAID5 config and partition as necessary (same partitions as before just bigger)
4>Install basic windows 2003 R2 installation
5>Restore backup into original locations, with original permissions using windows backup
6>Reboot and apply the latest prolient support pack (HP drivers for servers)

If the restore doesn’t work I should be able to slot my old hard drives back into the server and because the RAID array info is stored on the disks as well as the controller (for disaster recovery situations) I should be back to where I started.  

Please critique this plan and tell me any issues I am likely to encounter before I attempt it

Thank you experts!
Question by:monkey_balls
    LVL 17

    Expert Comment

    If you use imaging software it will make things easier/faster - like acronis or ghost

    From memory I think you can swap out a hard drive with larger, rebuild the array then swap the next, rebuild the array then once all swapped expand the partitions using diskpart

    Backup first and as this is from memory i'd await another expert to confirm as i could be remembering wrongly......
    LVL 8

    Expert Comment

    If I were I would do followings;

    1-Get the full backup of whole server with Acronis. (Multiple backup would be better, just in case)
    2-Remove the old HDDs
    3-Place and configure new HDDs with RAID5 ( no need fromatting but consistency check is recommended
    4-Restore your backup to the new system with Acronis again.

    Your system will not notice anything :)
    Note:You do not need to use universal restore!

    Author Comment

    Thanks guys.  I contacted Acronis and they advised me that I would need Acronis® Backup & Recovery 11 which costs £650.  I don't have the budget for that unfortunately
    LVL 17

    Expert Comment

    Try Symantec besr 90 day full trial
    LVL 8

    Expert Comment

    Clonezila also can do same thing. It is free. You need to use server edition.
    LVL 14

    Accepted Solution

    If budget is not a problem Acronis has an excellent feature called universal restore.
    All you have to do is backup and old system and restore it even to a different hardware without having any problems
    Making sure you have the complete and reliable backup of the old system. I would recommend to restore it to a different workstation and test it before moving to production environment
    It worth the price you have mentioned if you want a reliable long lasting solution

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