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Server raid

Hi All,

I currently have 3 virtual servers running (mail, file and terminal servers), The hard drives currently installed in the server itself are only 72GB and you could imagine this hasn't lasted us long at all and we are now at almost full capacity.

The server was set up by an outsourced IT consultant and the configuration of the server resources is as follows:

Server HP ProLiant 360
4 x 72GB hard drivers configured for raid 5
16GB ram
OS: Windows Server 2008R2
Virtualization: VMware Vsphere

I am wanting to know what the easiest/ quickest way to copy the contents of the hard drives onto new, larger (500GB) hard drives. I have actually done anything like this before, however from what I have researched it appears to be straight forward and from what I gather there are 2 possible scenarios that are applicable to my server configuration. These scenarios are: 1.Would it just be a process of disconnecting one of the hard drives currently connected to the server and replace it with a blank 500Gb drive and let the raid controller do its thing and copy over the contents? However the risk here is that if anything goes wrong whilst the raid is copying over contents then I have lost everything, True?

2. Copy the contents of each server using VMware by adding our spare server to the VMware cluster and shutting down each server to and then copy the contents across to the new hard drives connected to the new server? This is very time consuming and server outage can become a problem for user access.

If anyone could shed some light on the best way(s) to go about copying the contents of the server hard drives onto new drives that would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
A
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Do NOT just disconnect the drives and replace it with a 500GB drive, that's going to cause a disaster.

Option 2 is the safest.

I would suggest adding another RAID config to the current server with larger drives and move the files to that storage set.

Author

Commented:
Thanks for your respobse, so just to clarify are you suggesting that I install the server OS on the new hard drives, instsll VMWare and then setup the raid and copy the files from seerver 1 to server 2 using the VMWare console?
If you can image the current system with it's setup then that would make things a lot easier. Acronis or something similar would allow you to image the entire old array to the new array. I've used this a few times for moving an OS off a small (20GB drive or so) into a new larger array with better partitioning.

Otherwise installing the server OS, VMWare etc would work but it's a longer time consuming effort.

Sorry it's not an easy solution, moving data is still a difficult process and I've never seen an easy way to do it. Maybe someone else has thoughts on getting the data moved...
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Commented:
It's certainly a valid process swapping the disks one at a time for larger ones but it leaves you with an extended period (actually 4 periods) without parity.

What generation DL360 is it? You may be better off adding more disks which will not only give you more capacity but more available IOPS as well. The G5 takes up to 6 disks and the G6 and G7 both take 8 disks if you take the DVD out and fit the extra backplane.

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