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From raid1 to raid5

Hi,

I have a server with the following hardware:

PowerEdge T610 Tower Chassis for Up to 8x 3.5" HDDs 1 2.500,00 2.500,00 S
2x Intel Xeon E5520 Processor (2.26GHz, 4C, 8M Cache, 5.86 GT/s QPI, 80W TDP, Turbo, HT),
1066MHz Max Memory
12GB Memory for 1CPU (6x2GB Dual Rank UDIMMs) 1066MHz
2x 146GB SAS 15k 3.5" HD Hot Plug
PERC 6/i RAID Controller Card 256MB PCIe, 2x4 Connectors

OS: Microsoft Small Business Server 2008

Configuration is currently raid 1. To increase harddisk space i would like to buy two addional harddisk (146gb) and convert the raid from raid1 to raid5. Is this possible without the loss of data and how should i do this?
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Nebukad
Asked:
Nebukad
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3 Solutions
 
DavidPresidentCommented:
I can't remember, but you need to download the windows perc mgmt software from dell suport anyway.  

the program won't let you attempt to expand unless the controller is capable of doing it.
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NebukadAuthor Commented:
@dlethe: The controller supports raid 5 (upto 8 disks if i remember correctly). I just want to know how to convert the raid1 setting to raid5 without  data loss.
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DavidPresidentCommented:
There is a function that lets you EXPAND a RAID set.  If the option appears to expand the RAID1->RAID5, then it will tell  you whether or not it can be done and whether or not it will destroy data.   It won't just do it without telling you whether or not it will destroy data.  Sorry dont remember, but the software will answer the question for you.  
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NebukadAuthor Commented:
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DavidPresidentCommented:
No.  Look for just the PERC software on the dell site for your particular machine & O/S.  I've got a Perc 6i in a T7400 (which is currently booted to Solaris and in the middle of a project so I can't boot to the windows partition).   There is a windows app that manages the controller where you set up/destroy, configure, etc ...
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Gerald ConnollyCommented:
What ever way you decide to do this. The most important thing to do first is to back it up. This then gives you another route - once you have a backup you can delete the RAID-1, add the new disks and create the RAID-5, then replay the backup to restore the data.
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DavidPresidentCommented:
That is for sure.  No matter what RAID controller you have, buried deep in the documentation, you'll find some warning that says you should do a full backup before resilvering (changing RAID levels or expanding) an array.

Get a bad block, or lose power, or something like that, then you risk double failure scenarios which can wipe out data.  No going back once you start resizing.   As such, best practice is ALWAYS to just do a backup, build it the right way, then restore.

By doing above, you eliminate all risk assuming your only backup doesn't get damaged in the process.
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charlestasseCommented:
if you install the Dell Open Manage Server Administrator - Managed Node. This will allow you to perform Raid Level Migration and Online Capacity Expansion. Once you have this software installed and you have the hard drives added to the system, you will need to select the Virtual Disk - Your Raid 1 and select to migrate the array to a Raid 5. This is fully supported and performed all the time. Of course a full backup prior to performing this step is manditory. This will give you a larger array, but will NOT change the size of your partitions. Thats a different solution.
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AustinDellManCommented:
You will need to download and install the Open Manage Server Admin tool kit, commonly refered to as OMSA.  It is available at support.dell.com on you systems home page under systems mgmt.

This link is for 2008 x64:
http://support.dell.com/support/downloads/download.aspx?c=us&cs=04&l=en&s=bsd&releaseid=R300521&SystemID=PWE_T610&servicetag=&os=WS8R2&osl=en&deviceid=2331&devlib=0&typecnt=0&vercnt=4&catid=-1&impid=-1&formatcnt=0&libid=36&typeid=-1&dateid=-1&formatid=-1&source=-1&fileid=451207

Once you have this software installed make sure you have a complete image of your system.

Never attempt to reconfigure RAID without tested backups!!!!

Launch OMSA, expand the Storage Section and you should see the RAID controller listed.  Select the RAID Controller and in the top menu bar select configuration link.

Scroll down the page until you see contrloller task and you should find a option to Reconfigure RAID in the controller options.

Follow the walk thru to reconfigure from RAID 1 to RAID 5.

I would suggest you do this when you have at least 12 hours of limited use time.  Make sure to pause all backup routines or any other disk intense operation while the reconfig occurs.  The system will be completely functional but performance will be impacted during this operation.



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AustinDellManCommented:
Look at the posting times, Good one Charles, good one!
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charlestasseCommented:
lol, Points Split !!
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NebukadAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all the responses. Now what would be the based way to back up a windows 2008 sbsserver (software), so that in the event of a failure it is easy to restore the data.
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AustinDellManCommented:
Yep sbs o8 and 2011 very easy to backup and restore
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