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Migrate disks from HP Proliant ML350 G5 to ML350 G6

We have a client running on an HP ML350 G5 server which is out of warranty and is rebooting around every 4 days or so, sometimes more frequently - we've checked the obvious (swapped RAM, tried removing one then other of the processors, re-seated all components and checked physical environment) and we now suspect the motherboard. Given the server is out of warranty, and was scheduled for upgrade anyway, we're looking at migrating to a new ML350 G6 server. The current setup has 2 2-disk RAID1 SAS arrays, on an HP E200i controller - can we simply move these arrays to the P410i controller in the G6 and have them detected correctly? And are there any other significant hardware differences that are likely to stop the server just being able to boot to the existing install if we do move the disks over? The server's running SBS2008.
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marcustech
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marcustech
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1 Solution
 
gwilder42Commented:
I have had luck moving arrays between those exact cards in HP servers, and had no problems with either one recognizing the RAID1 array from the other.  Of course, I performed a full backup (Ghost) of every LD before attempting it.

I highly recommend doing a full backup before you attempt this, and by full I mean something like a Ghost image where *ALL* information on each Logical Drive is backed up and you are comfortable with the restore process.

Here is a goo link from MS describing what you are talking about:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/249694

If I were you, I would make the backups as I described above, then try the swap and see what happens.  If the architecture and ACPI are the same, you might boot up with no problems.
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andyalderSaggar makers bottom knockerCommented:
Smart Array controllers are fully backwards compatible meaning you can take the disks off an old one and a new one will read the configuration from them and see the array and logical disks. They're also partially forwards compatible, an old one will read the config from a newer one if no new features have been added in thwe mean time.

Whether the OS works after swapping I'm not sure, the networking will be a mess but sysprep would fix that if it's not a domain controller, if it is you'll have to delete the NICs settings first as the MAC addresses will change.
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marcustechAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your answers guys - gwilder42, we were definitely considering the idea of having a full backup when we start playing with the hardware.

Should we run either the HP SmartStart DVD or the Firmware Update DVD on the brand new G6, do you think?
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andyalderSaggar makers bottom knockerCommented:
Updating firmware's always a good idea on a new server, you don't know how long it's been in stock though so download the DVD from the web. Are you just moving the data disks? if you're migrating the OS disks SmartStart CD wouldn't be much use.
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gwilder42Commented:
I would be tempted to leave the destination server alone on this one.  It will help with troubleshooting.  If you updated the firmware and brought over a new LD (or 2) and updated the boot order...etc.  If something goes wrong, which one is to blame?

I say, make as few changes at one time as possible.  It will help you out in the long run.

Of course, when you are done and the OS is booting up successfully and testing has be done, I would suggest you move this "new" server into a regular patch cycle that would take care of firmware and other updates.

Another IMPORTANT bit of advice that I forgot to mention:

After you create your backup, install the RAID controller from the other server into the "old" server.  Boot up the old server and make sure that the drivers get installed.  Once the old OS sees the new card, shut it down and move the "new" card back to the new server along with the drives.

This way, the drivers for the new controller are included in the OS before you try to boot from it.
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gwilder42Commented:
Since you are running SBS, I assume that there aren't any roles you have to worry about, but it may also be a good idea to keep it unplugged from the network after the backup, during the boot up to install the new Smart Array drivers.
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marcustechAuthor Commented:
Excellent, thanks for confirming the Smart Array compatibility.  I guess no-one is going to say categorically that the OS will or will not boot on new hardware, we'll just have to suck it and see.

Current plan is to update firmware on new box, shift the arrays and see what happens - we can always roll back to the old box with no drama.  If it fails we'll have to look at bare-metal restore to dissimilar hardware or complete rebuild.

Gwilder - unfortunately the raid controller is integrated on the mobo so it won't be possible to try and install it in the old server.  Thanks for the tips anyway.
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andyalderSaggar makers bottom knockerCommented:
Driver for the e200 is the same as for the P410, I'd upgrade the current machine to the latest though just in case.
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