use old raid5 disks in HP p2000

I have 5 old disks that were in a RAID 5 in a Thecus storage server. they were replaced with higher capacity disks but the RAID 5 wasn't deleted before taking them out.

Can I place them in an HP p2000 and configure a RAID 5 thus formatting them and making them usable? They are samsung 1TB 3.5" and my p2000 is the LFF model.

king daddyAsked:
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karllangstonSenior Technical ConsultantCommented:
your raid controller will have the ability to reuse the drives in whatever format of array you choose.
Joseph DalyCommented:
If the hard drives will fit and are an acceptable model for your server then the previous raid configuration will not matter at all. The HP server should have a raid array configuration utility that will let you select the disks for the raid and will initialize and properly format them.
You can .... but I doubt that the thecus uses enterprise class disks, so they won't have the proper firmware to govern error recovery timing.  As such your data is at risk once  your disks go into a disk recovery mode when it has problems reading a bad block.

I wouldn't do it.

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king daddyAuthor Commented:
thanks for the quick responses.

they are not enterprise class. however, I was going to use them for holding backups of a few shares and our doc management system's doc store. they won't be running any VMs or have excessive I/O. still... even though the RAID config will work out, I am not sure about doing it now.
Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
HP drives have particular firmware, even though they may work they may not work well
Look, it doesn't matter WHAT you put on them, the drive doesn't care.  It doesn't care how often you use the disk.  It doesn't care  what O/S is used.  The fact is that PART of the magic is that there are programmable settings that set a cap to how long the drive will attempt a deep recovery before giving up and writing off the data.   Enterprise disks generally give up in 1-2 seconds (this is programmable).  The disks you have give up in the 30-60 sec.  During the deep recovery cycle the disk effectively goes offline.  

The premise is that on the consumer disks, there is no parity, so people don't want to lose their wedding photos, so just retry and retry.   The HP firmware assumes you have a RAID1,10,5,... so that the data can be retrieved from another drive, so just give up and get the data elsewhere, and then rebuild the bad block in parallel with the alternate read.

The problem is that the CONTROLLER is designed for enterprise storage and it is going to think you had a drive failure because it expects the disk to give up.  if it doesn't it thinks the disk died so it takes it offline.   Ever see your PC lock up, mouse moves, but everything freezes??   You are most likely seeing this in action.    Ever have a disk go offline in a RAID controller and never find anything wrong with it?  Most likely you saw this in action.

There are OTHER failure scenarios and timers, and as a RAID controller architect I could tell you more, but if this isn't sufficient then do what you want.  It isn't as if it is my data.
What model number of Samsung,the Spinpoint F1 HE103UJ  supports RAID,just make sure all the model numbers are the same.
So does the F3R.

Been there,done that.
king daddyAuthor Commented:
dlethe - you are correct, it isn't your data - it is mine and I would like to protect it as much as reasonably possible. as such, I appreciate your informative answer. it was quite sufficient to influence my decision, as was your first comment. I will not use these drives.

thanks all
king daddyAuthor Commented:
pgm554 - they are the HD103SJ. all the same but still not using them. at least not in the HP p2000. dlethe scared me ;-)

can anyone recommend an inexpensive NAS these can go in? trying to stay around $500 due to a tight budget hammered out and approved over a month ago.

If you want a decent NAS,Iomega has a 4 bay as does Netgear at about that price point.

Both do iSCSI.
You would be better off doing RAID 1+0 with those disks, if you are going to do RAID at all.
As dlethe pointed out ,these are desktop class drives.
The Thecus used a software RAID setup and therefore could cope with those drives and their idiosyncrasies
HW RAID is not so forgiving,but HW RAID is faster and does not rely on the host CPU  for overhead.
king daddyAuthor Commented:
why not RAID 5?
The algorithms for calculating XOR in event of unrecovered reads are more dependent on timeouts, so much higher probability and frequency of this happening.  Statistically, you are not out of the woods with RAID 1,10, but the frequency of this happening is lower, and the odds that it will affect more then one disk at a time is less.  (But that depends on queue depth and a few other variables .. note I am not getting too deep into the reasons and am taking liberties with the jargon as I don't want to write a whitepaper on it)

If this was my data, I would not do it.
In fact, if you read the data sheet of a WD drive like a caviar Black (as an example, other drives have this caveat too), then it specifically says it voids warranty if you use the HDD in a RAID5 configuration!

Many software RAID stacks are tuned to work just fine with desktop drives. Hence it is safe.  Granted the drives aren't architected for 24x7x365, but at least the software RAID and firmware settings are on the same page.
king daddyAuthor Commented:
so it appears I have some spare desktop drives in inventory now.

I have (5) 300 GB HP SAS 10k drives. any NAS out there that can accept these? I googled it but found that the ones that did accept 2.5" stated SATA, not SAS. I have two HP ESXi 5 hosts running off of SD cards so (8) drive bays are empty in each but I wanted to have some storage that was independent of the servers for backup and share purposes. Any ideas on how best to use those? in or out of the HP servers I guess?

if this is a new question, let me know and I'll post another and put the link here.

king daddyAuthor Commented:
dlethe - when you say you wouldn't do it, are you referring to using the disks at all or using them in a RAID 5? I believe the latter but would like to confirm that.
Don't use those disks with that controller.  PERIOD.

However .. since they are 1TB drives, then you can get some controllers that are tuned to work OK with desktop class disks.  Some of the areca and 3ware controllers will work ok with them.  I don't keep up on the models, so just go to their sites, and see what disks they qualify.  

Alternately, assuming you are running windows, then the O/S's software-based RAID will work just fine.  So for free, you can configure a pair of them as 1TB RAID1s and make the 5th one a spare.  You can then boot all day to them, and won't have to buy anything.  You get 2 TB useable, and it will be quite fast.   Overhead will be unmeasurable because all of this gets done in DMA in nanoseconds.  

Or if host is booted to solaris, it is OK to use RAIDZ or RAIDZ2 (the latter is somewhat like RAID6, only better).  ZFS also will work fine with desktop drives as the O/S always flushes on write so data is never replaced, it is rewritten.
king daddyAuthor Commented:
the windows SW RAID config would be great. however, my (2) HP servers are ESXi 5 hosts running multiple VMs from an EMC SAN and the HP SAN, plus they wouldn't fit anyway. I saw an Iomega NAS for about $650 with 4 TB but I am afraid in this case it may be "get what you pay for", and that worries me.
king daddyAuthor Commented:
I actually have (3) 1 TB Western Digital RE4 WD1003FBYX from a while back. can I use those in the HP p2000? they claim to be enterprise-class drives.

re4's are great drives,I am using the 64 meg cache versions right now on another RAID system
king daddyAuthor Commented:
great. can they go in the HP p2000 g3 though? I can't find a compatibility list for the HP. If so, I'm putting in now.

HP doesn't build their own drives anymore ,so my best guess is 99.9% sure.
HP just oem's WD,Seagate and others and tweaks the firmware on the drives.

The places I've seen issues is on big EMC SANS and such,and it will tell you not compatible and unrecognized.
king daddyAuthor Commented:
any idea if it would cripple the p2000 if I put them in and tried it? if it won't affect the other drives, I might give it a shot.
My best guess is they would just become unrecognized if they were incompatible.
king daddyAuthor Commented:
being skeptical, and again, frightened by dlethe, I called HP and they said it will void my warranty and will likely cause problems due to firmware issues if I use the WD drives mentioned. Looks like I am buying a Thecus 7700 Pro and the WD drives as that will cost me less than the HP drives.

Thanks all - very helpful and likely saved me a lot of trouble.
As long as I scared you enough to protect your data, then my job is done ;)
Technically, it won't void your warranty.  That would be an anti-trust violation, but it would mean that when (not if) you have any issues with data, then HP can just walk away and say it isn't their problem since you have an unsupported config.
Having worked for folks like HP(DEC),that is the standard company line.
When I worked for DEC,we would rebrand Fujitsu drives ,mark them up and sell them at a premium.
HP is no different and has,through the years,pulled many such stunts.

I can remember having an HP tape drive that used QIC-120 tape cartridges,but would only use HP brands because when the drive booted the tape ,it would look for a software header only found on the HP brand.

They are still playing fast and loose with the rules today.

Ever had an unused ink cartridge in an HP printer not work because it's too old?
HP did this to discourage refills.

I try to avoid their products when I can ,ESPECIALLY PRINTERS!
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