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install and configure MSA 60 to HP DL380G5 and expand RAID

Hi I have attached a new MSA60 (2000GB*12 SATA) to my HP DL380G5 server. It already has another MSA 60 (750GB*12 SATA) drives connected. Please find attached my "Disk Mgmt" and "HP Config utility" outputs.

I have 2 drives namely D and E. I need to expand drive D to be able to see additional useable 20487.6GB space in new MSA60 with Raid5.

Is it possible to expand my both D and E drives so they are both share space out of total 20487.6GB useable space. Would you say i should instead go for Raid6?

Could someone let me know what steps i need to take to accomplish this.
HPMSA60-DL380G.doc
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MANGO247
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MANGO247
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andyalderSaggar makers bottom knockerCommented:
I have nothing to open your .doc file with, however if you add 2TB disks to an array of 750GB ones you will only gain 750GB for each one, and 1.25TB will be wasted. It would probably make more sense to creat a separate array and move D: or E: onto it. You would need to use GPT disks to go over the 2TB disk size barrier in Windows, there are tools that can convert basic MBR disk to GPT without data loss but not within Windows.

You could of course create a separate array and two logical disks and use Windows dynamic disks to concatenate a new logical disk onto the end of each of D: and E: but that's messy.

12 disks in RAID 5 is far too many, chances of being unable to repair should a disk fail is high because even though the controller does a background check to make sure the disks are readable they can still develop a bad block in the mean time and you can't replace a disk in RAID 5 if one of the other disks has an unrecoverable read error. Use RAID 6 or RAID 10.
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MANGO247Author Commented:
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andyalderSaggar makers bottom knockerCommented:
I see you've already concatenated discontiguous disk space using dynamic disks, it's not good practice if you can avoid it. I'd make a new logical disk with RAID 10 or ADG on the new disks and move all of D: to that using GPT but not dynamic disk.
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MANGO247Author Commented:
andyalder:
sorry im failing to understand how i have "concatenated discontiguous disk space using dynamic disks" as it is only 1 disk with 2 volumes. Would this still be considered a discontiguous space?

What if, i create a new array out of 12 * 2TB with Raid6 ADG and create new volume say F: with GPT option and move my data to it? This will require me reconfiguration on DFS but would you say it will be more neat option? I will then delete my E volume 1397.21GB and span my D: volume to use this space?

Would you agree?


Further, could you please advice steps to create array out of new 12 * 2TB disks and then expanding 1 or both of my existing volumes? If you could advice any artilcle with screenshots that would be great.



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andyalderSaggar makers bottom knockerCommented:
DiskMgmt-Volview.JPG shows 3 bits of D: (and E:) on one logical disk, E: is in the middle of parts of D: which makes them discontiguous. The 3 bits of D: are concateneated using spanned volumes which is a dynamic disk function, that's what that meant ;)

Spanned volumes are horrible, you should avoid using dynamic disks wherever possible.

>What if, i create a new array out of 12 * 2TB with Raid6 ADG and create new volume say F: with GPT option and move my data to it? This will require me reconfiguration on DFS but would you say it will be more neat option?

That would be good.

>I will then delete my E volume 1397.21GB and span my D: volume to use this space?

That would be bad, as messy as currently. Spanned volumes are dangerous, lose one part of it and you lose all the data. If you just delete the E: parts from the disk you can use diskpart to extend D: onto the contigous space. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/325590 describes how to use diskpart to extend into contiguous space. It won't extend backwards onto ehat is now the first part of E: though.

I'd be tempted to backup D:, wipe the whole logical disk and create a new clean basic GPT disk to put it back onto. Then you won't have to ever see a dynamic disk again, I hope I never see one again either, MS recommends against using them if possible, so does just about everyone in the storage industry except Symantec employees and that's only because it's based on Veritas volume manager.
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andyalderSaggar makers bottom knockerCommented:
See http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee832792.aspx for example - forget that it's Exchange, MS best practice says dynamic disk supported but "Best practice: Use basic disks". While you've got this new load of disks take the opportunity to ditch the dynamic disks.
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MANGO247Author Commented:
I have another old DL380 G5 server. I intend to get a new P800 controller and attach my new MSA 60 (12 * 2TB) with Raid 6 ADG and configure a new Logical drive with GPT. Reason being that i have around 4 TB of home folders and other DFS file shares on my existing D: drive. I cant rely on backups and it can take any number of hours to finish backup and restore and with out access to home folders my users will not be able to do anything. If i have another server i can simply setup a DFS to replicate all my shares across.

I wish we could simply replicate dfs share on the same server
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