Can I add drives to RAID 5 config - already have 4 drives

Posted on 2012-08-13
Last Modified: 2012-09-08
Currently HP server has a raid 5 setup with four drives.  Can I add drives?  There are up to 7 slots on the backplane for drives.

If so, is data loss a concern?  Would it just be better to leave it at four and keep those other 3 drives on hand as spares in case others fail?
Question by:OBESEJESUS
    LVL 46

    Expert Comment

    Well, personally, I would add 2 of the disks and make that a RAID1, then leave the rest in there as hot spares.  RAID1 will give you much better performance than RAID 5 for both writes and random I/O.    

    If you are doing video streaming then I would say to make the RAID5 larger, assuming content is pretty static.

    Author Comment

    I can't break the raid 5 right now, it's a production server.
    LVL 17

    Accepted Solution

    Since you have 7 slots, I would recommend adding 2 drives to the array to make 6, and use the 7th as a hot spare.  Once you add the drives, unless the HP smart array software does it for you, you'll need to go into disk manager in windows and have it recognize the additional space.  The smart array software should be able to do this in the background, but may take several hours to complete the replication.

    Not to sound too obvious, but since this is a production server, although data loss is very unlikely, verify you have a solid backup and add the disks after hours when the server is not in use.

    If you are not comfortable doing this change, then stay with your initial thought of just leaving the 3 on hand as spares.

    Author Closing Comment

    Thank you for the feedback, I really appreciate it.

    Author Comment

    bigeven2002, after further inspection I have only six slots.  Will it be ok to add another drive and then use the sixth slot as a hot spare?
    LVL 17

    Expert Comment

    My apologies, I was no longer monitoring this question and did not see your last response.  Yes, you should be able to add just one drive to the array to make 5 total and assign the 6th as a spare.

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