Still celebrating National IT Professionals Day with 3 months of free Premium Membership. Use Code ITDAY17

x
?
Solved

Dell 2800 Servers--2 identical systems, ecept fro hard disk drives

Posted on 2013-05-11
14
Medium Priority
?
591 Views
Last Modified: 2016-11-23
I have two Dell 2800's--one is dying and the other was bought for this very purpose to take over when the other one dies. "Only" difference is the number of and size of Hard Disk Drives. So my question is can I remove the production server drives and put them in the 2nd server--I believe there is someway with the RAID setup on these servers to tell it to get the RAID information from the hard disk drives and not the controller. Do I have that right? If yes how do I do that? If No, how do I do it in a different way?
0
Comment
Question by:Lionel MM
[X]
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • +4
14 Comments
 
LVL 10

Assisted Solution

by:Subhashish Laha
Subhashish Laha earned 572 total points
ID: 39158166
Yes, the RAID information is stored on Hard disks. If you have the same RAID controller and plug in the Hard disks in same order, it should work.

Just make sure, you have good backup - if something goes wrong, you can restore.

Steps to move HDDs

- Make sure both machines are powered off and power cables are removed.
- Plug out HDDs one by one from old machine and plug in those HDDs in new machine in same order as it was in old machine.
- Power On the new machine.
0
 
LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:Juan Ocasio
ID: 39158172
Is it a separate RAID controller or is it embedded in the motherboard.  If it's separate, perhaps you can remove the raid controller from the old box and install it in the new on.
0
 
LVL 25

Author Comment

by:Lionel MM
ID: 39158243
Its the embedded, on board perc 4e/d
The order of the drives means drive 0 on old becomes drive 0 on new and so on..right?
0
Free learning courses: Active Directory Deep Dive

Get a firm grasp on your IT environment when you learn Active Directory best practices with Veeam! Watch all, or choose any amount, of this three-part webinar series to improve your skills. From the basics to virtualization and backup, we got you covered.

 
LVL 15

Assisted Solution

by:Skyler Kincaid
Skyler Kincaid earned 288 total points
ID: 39158251
What I would recommend is installing ESXi on the backup server, using VMware converter to do a physical to virtual conversion and then startup the failing server as a VM on the backup server that is the host.

This would be super simple and would leave you with an easy backup plan (continue using the bad server) until you can get another solution.

VMware is free and the days of installing the OS directly onto hardware are done. You can signup for a VMware account:

https://my.vmware.com/web/vmware/login

And download ESXi as well as the VMware converter for free. This is super simple and will save you so much time. Hancocka (an EE user) has written a ton of articles on how to do the conversion and general ESXi usage.
0
 
LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:Subhashish Laha
ID: 39158309
Yes, you're correct. The Disk order should be same i.e. Disk 0 on old machine has to be Disk 0 on new machine.

Also, as you have the On board RAID controller - you just need to move the Disks.
0
 
LVL 25

Author Comment

by:Lionel MM
ID: 39158344
On the VM way are you saying I can run the VMConverter and convert my Windows Server 2003 Small Business Server that is currently on a bad server to a VM and then transfer that VM to my good server? Then that VM can run on the good hardware and everything else will be as normal? On the good server I will need to install ESXi to run this VM? (This is like an operating system, something similar to Microsoft's Hyper-v?) And there are no costs involved because we really have no money (maybe some minimal expenses like larger hard disk drives maybe)?
0
 
LVL 10

Assisted Solution

by:Subhashish Laha
Subhashish Laha earned 572 total points
ID: 39158408
Follow below steps if you want to run your Server as VM on Vmware ESXi 5.1 (free version) on your new Hardware

Firstly, you need to verify that your Server Hardware is compatible for ESXi installation. Check the VMware HCL (Hardware Compatibility Lists) here

http://www.vmware.com/resources/compatibility/search.php

Then you can install ESXi 5.1 on your new Hardware (This is like an operating system, similar to Microsoft's Hyper-v and its free).  Refer below link for ESXi 5.1 installation

http://blogs.vmware.com/kb/2012/09/installing-esxi-5-1-using-the-interactive-installation-method.html#.UY58GaKKoqs

After installation, you will have to use VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1 to migrate your Server from Old hardware to a VM on ESXi server.

Refer below link by Hanccocka(EE expert) on VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/VMWare/A_11449-HOW-TO-P2V-V2V-for-FREE-VMware-vCenter-Converter-Standalone-5-1.html
0
 
LVL 33

Accepted Solution

by:
PowerEdgeTech earned 572 total points
ID: 39158495
It is very easy to take disks from one server to an identical one.  If the configuration is not picked up automatically, go to CTRL-M (BIOS utility for PERC 4e/Di), Configure, View/Add, Disk View when prompted, then save on exit.
1
 
LVL 25

Author Comment

by:Lionel MM
ID: 39158545
PowerEdgeTech--so if I move all 6 drives, and make sure each one is in the same slot as on the old server it will bootup as if it was on the damaged server? This is a production server--what runs this company and if it is lost we have backups but that will takes hours, if not days to re-create so I am looking for a sure thing please and thank you.
0
 
LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:Skyler Kincaid
ID: 39158561
I would at least convert the server to a VM and save it to an external drive so that if you try to put the drives into the other server and it wipes all the data because the RAID card sees them as new drives you have an option.

ESXi is like Hyper-V but is completely free for small to medium usages as yours.

We have 5 to 7 servers running on our host and we aren't paying a dime. It is awesome and gives you so many more options. It is super simple to install ESXi on the good server and boot up the server after you converter it.

If you need help when you do it I can walk you through it.
0
 
LVL 33

Assisted Solution

by:PowerEdgeTech
PowerEdgeTech earned 572 total points
ID: 39158562
There are a host of considerations when running a domain controller in a virtual machine, so make sure you are familiar with possible tweaks you will have to make when converting this to virtual, many of which I'm sure applies to SBS as well:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/888794

As for swapping drives, I have done it dozens and dozens of times and helped many other individuals and companies do the same thing.  There are rarely issues.  You decrease the chances of something odd occurring if the firmware also matches exactly between the two.  Make sure they are indeed identical - no different NIC's (add-in, etc.), controllers (onboard 4e/Di vs. add-in 4e/DC), etc.  Any different hardware can be introduced after initially booting the server to the new drives.

Just remember that it will probably NOT boot up automatically to the VD on the disks ... you must enter CTRL-M, Configure, View/Add, and save on exit to properly import the disk config for permanent use on the controller.
0
 
LVL 30

Assisted Solution

by:pgm554
pgm554 earned 284 total points
ID: 39160211
>ESXi is like Hyper-V but is completely free for small to medium usages as yours.

Free ain't free.

Unless you have a paid version,you will have no fast,reliable way of backing the VM's up.

To be able to use a good 3rd party backup (Acronis,Backup Exec,Storagecraft,Veeam)you will need the paid version as the free one does not have the backup API included.

Plus you will need to spend money on a new piece of backup software that works with the API,so you're looking at $$$$$$.

All you need do is make sure you have the same RAID controller with the same BIOS level and swap drives.
0
 
LVL 96

Assisted Solution

by:Lee W, MVP
Lee W, MVP earned 284 total points
ID: 39189866
If you want a redundant solution that's low cost, use Hyper-V 2012.  Hyper-V replica can be configured to create a near constantly updated "cold" copy of your server that can be easily and quickly started up in the event of a server failure.  And since it's a VM, you could easily export and move to a new server or if you must even run it briefly in an emergency on a laptop.  (ESXi is not nearly as flexible as far as I've seen).

Otherwise, as stated, if the hardware is TRULY identical - ESPECIALLY the RAID controllers) then you COULD just swap the drives and import the RAID config.
0
 
LVL 25

Author Closing Comment

by:Lionel MM
ID: 39238642
Thanks for the help on the question posed as well as the additional VM info--has been truly helpful--thanks.
0

Featured Post

The Eight Noble Truths of Backup and Recovery

How can IT departments tackle the challenges of a Big Data world? This white paper provides a roadmap to success and helps companies ensure that all their data is safe and secure, no matter if it resides on-premise with physical or virtual machines or in the cloud.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Ever notice how you can't use a new drive in Windows without having Windows assigning a Disk Signature?  Ever have a signature collision problem (especially with Virtual Machines?)  This article is intended to help you understand what's going on and…
This article shows how to use a free utility called 'Parkdale' to easily test the performance and benchmark any Hard Drive(s) installed in your computer. We also look at RAM Disks and their speed comparisons.
This video Micro Tutorial explains how to clone a hard drive using a commercial software product for Windows systems called Casper from Future Systems Solutions (FSS). Cloning makes an exact, complete copy of one hard disk drive (HDD) onto another d…
In this video, Percona Director of Solution Engineering Jon Tobin discusses the function and features of Percona Server for MongoDB. How Percona can help Percona can help you determine if Percona Server for MongoDB is the right solution for …

721 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question