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Do i need Battery-Backed Write Cache battery pack to expand the array in HP DL380

Posted on 2012-12-21
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Last Modified: 2013-01-16
Hi

I have a HP proliant DL380 server G4 server  and  is on raid 5 with 4 hard disk  0f 300GB and the space on C drice 1GB and on D drive only 5GB is left  and D is where all  our User data is stored.

So i thought of adding another 300 GB harddisk and expanding the array.

I was told i will need to have Battery-Backed Write Cache battery pack to expand the array.

Another person said that if the server is configured on raid 5, i dont need Battery-Backed Write Cache battery pack

I am little bit confused

Any ideas much appreciated.

Thanks
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Question by:lianne143
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Expert Comment

by:pjam
ID: 38712742
We use the free version of ESXi on our HP DL380 servers and do need the battery backed write cache to be able to see added space and expand it, not sure if that is necessary for a standard server , but would not think so.
HP has a VIB Bundle for this purpose called:
"HP ESXi Utilities Offline Bundle for VMware 5.x”.  The description for this bundle says:

The HP ESXi Utilities Offline bundle for VMware ESXi 5.x includes HPONCFG, HPBOOTCFG and HPACUCLI utilities for remote online configuration of servers. HPONCFG can be used to set up and reconfigure the iLO (Integrated Lights-Out) management controller of a server. HPBOOTCFG can be used to set up the boot configuration for the server. HPACUCLI can be used in the configuration of HP Smart Array controllers and attached storage.
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by:dlethe
dlethe earned 100 total points
ID: 38712764
I just don't remember off top of my head, but you can get the correct answer in under 2 minutes by going to the support.hp.com site, and looking at the manual for your particular controller and it will tell you.

Expanding a LUN is different than resilvering (changing RAID level, and the answer for one is not necessarily the answer for the other)

 (Or wait for Andyadler - the resident expert on HP SMARTArray to rattle off the answer off top of his head for any make/model of HP)
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by:
andyalder earned 400 total points
ID: 38714133
Default controller in DL380 G4 is Smart Array 6i and that's one of the few that allows expansion without battery (or flash) backed write cache.

I had to look it up in the user guide as it's a pretty old server. There's a caveat that expansion is disabled if the disk array was transferred from an older machine.  See page 32 of http://bizsupport1.austin.hp.com/bc/docs/support/SupportManual/c00217854/c00217854.pdf. Note though that later firmware may also disable expansion without a battery for all I know.
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by:andyalder
andyalder earned 400 total points
ID: 38714189
Hmm, that Doc crashes Acrobat on my PC even after downloading latest version, I was reading it through Gooogle quick view before. Search the web for 347914-001 which is the part number for that manual, Google can read it OK, I must need a new PC.

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:TDUspV-qUxQJ:bizsupport1.austin.hp.com/bc/docs/support/SupportManual/c00217854/c00217854.pdf+&hl=en&gl=uk&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESiAgHzqpYRvP77-P_o2LdZrxSnVOl_ORsZFQ60W8AUYo8YXfPtRJAGMmV-0hM60VbXL6TYiIpM0cPdpSvIcT1oc77fSpNCfZNeox-xEtyJMTJ-3GrofsGpB36F59k5nt6HRiE7r&sig=AHIEtbRhcZKcMpmqcsqTgLFu8tBZJQByZA
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Author Comment

by:lianne143
ID: 38715206
Thanks for this information. If I expand the array by adding  300 GB hard disk and, after the expansion is completed will the 300Gb get distributed across C and D drive?

I am bit concerned , because the C partition is only left with 500mb free space

Thanks
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Expert Comment

by:dlethe
ID: 38715363
No, the extra 300GB will be free space, assigned to neither C nor D.
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Assisted Solution

by:andyalder
andyalder earned 400 total points
ID: 38715419
Need screenshot from disk manager to see whether it is partitioned under Windows into C: and D: or whether there are two separate logical disks configured under the Array Configuration Utility. If it is the former you can extend the single logical disk and then use an offline partitioning tool such as gparted to shuffle D: to the end to make more room for C:; if it is the latter you can extend each logical disk by a bit. You could also just create a new logical disk to become E: and move some user data to that.
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Author Comment

by:lianne143
ID: 38721050
Thanks  and sorry for the delay in posting. Please find the attached snapshot of the Disk Management.
Disk-Management.bmp
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Author Comment

by:lianne143
ID: 38735915
Hi

Andyalder any sugessions much appreciated

Thanks
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Assisted Solution

by:andyalder
andyalder earned 400 total points
ID: 38736185
It's a single logical disk, you can add another 300GB disk to the array, then extend the logical disk using ACU and then use something like gparted, bootitNG or other offline partition utility to manipulate the partitions.
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Author Comment

by:lianne143
ID: 38738434
This is our main user document server. After adding 300GB Hard disk and If I expand the array through HP ACU, will the users be able to access their user documents  or do I need to take network downtime.

Thanks
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Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 38738552
Yes but it will be slower than normal during the RAID level migration, I'll do it for you if you'll pay for my time. it could be faster to backup/restore but obviously that involves downtime.
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Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 38741237
Yes, they can still use it.
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Author Comment

by:lianne143
ID: 38747664
Thanks Andyalder

I am bit keen on building  this array by myself. But  if I get stuck I am happy to pay you  for the time you spend, how do I contact you.

Thanks
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