Add Hard drive to Raid

eli290
eli290 used Ask the Experts™
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I have a Raid 5 config on a backup server and I would like to know if there is a way to add another HD to the server. I know I cant add it to the raid array without reconfiguring the array and basically having to rebuild the server. I really just want to add the drive as a slave so that I can see it and use it just for a backup. Is this possible?
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Commented:
What hardware are you on? It all depends on the RAID card / NAS feature.

Author

Commented:
This is a Dell poweredge T410. I am running Vmware esi 5 on it as well
I agree, we need the server brand, model, service tag (if it's a dell), OS and current raid config.
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PowerEdgeTechIT Consultant
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
It depends completely on your controller.  

Which server do you have?
Which RAID controller are you using?

Many controllers allow you to add a disk to a RAID array ON THE FLY, without the need for rebuilding the server ... we just need to know which you have to be able to tell you if it is supported.

Author

Commented:
Dell Service Tag 16KPFN1
PowerEdgeTechIT Consultant
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
If you are running ESXi on a RAID 5 on a Dell server, then your controller does support "online expansion", or growing your RAID 5 by adding a disk ... whether you are using a PERC 6 or a PERC H700.

This cannot be done from the BIOS though, so you will either have to use the ESXi VIB for OpenManage Server Administrator, or use OMSA Live, or possibly even load OMSA on a Windows guest OS to intiate a Reconfigure of your existing x disk RAID 5 to an x+1 disk RAID 5.
I agree with PoewerEdgetech, ESXI adds a leyer of complication. The proper menthing is to use Dell's Open Manage Server app on a client and expand in that manner.

Commented:
T410 should be running PERC6i RAID card for buildin RAID, which support OCE
Step by step guide
http://blog.biztactix.com.au/content/perc-6i-online-capacity-expansion
PowerEdgeTechIT Consultant
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
You are using an H700, so this can be done.  Another thing to consider ... how large are your drives?  Your order details show a single 2TB disk, so I would imagine you added your own disks.  Does ESXi still have a 2TB limit per store?

Author

Commented:
Yeah I have all 2 Tb drives and ESXi is still limited due to the block size...
PowerEdgeTechIT Consultant
Top Expert 2010

Commented:
If you currently have a RAID 5 with 2TB disks, that would give you a single 4TB store ... unless you have "sliced" (created multiple arrays across the disks) the disk into smaller virtual disks (arrays), in which case, OCE/expansion is no longer an option.

Commented:
Just note that it is a H700 through. Also it can be directly extend in ESXi through the LSI utility
http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cumt.org%2Fblog%2F510&act=url

PS. Google translated

Author

Commented:
i currently have 5 -2tb disks. 4 are sep 1.76tb data stores and 1 is a hotspare.
IT Consultant
Top Expert 2010
Commented:
Depending on how you set this up, you may or may not be able to do this:

Are the data stores individual disks/LUNS as seen by ESXi?  If so, then you have multiple RAID arrays configured across your disks, so you cannot expand your RAID array (must be a single array across the disks).

Are the data stores simply partitions created within ESXi?  (I don't know if this is even possible with ESXi) Does ESXi see a 6TB disk and then create smaller-than-2TB partitions (stores)?  The only way you can add a disk to your RAID 5 on the controller is if there is a single RAID 5 across the disks.

"Just note that it is a H700 through. Also it can be directly extend in ESXi through the LSI utility"

OMSA can also do this ... subject, of course, to the results of the above.

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