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HP DL Series G5 - C Drive on RAID 1 to RAID 5 Additional Drive - 400 Controller

Posted on 2013-06-27
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Last Modified: 2013-06-27
Good morning,

I have an HP server that was configured with 2 drives (RAID 1). C drive is running out of space. HP 400 Controller. I am given the option to migrate/change RAID configuration with the addition of the 3rd drive in a new array RAID 0. Wanted to verify I can change the RAID configuration to RAID 0 so that this gives me 3 drives as C drive and then convert to RAID 5 with this controller and do it correctly as I cannot afford to brick a production server and rebuild...

Need some help as the 400 controller I believe is limited on what it can and cannot do through the ACU. My thoughts are the 400i series controller allows better "live" configuration.

How would you handle this issue and steps? I would rather P2V this old app server but need a quicker fix until I add a 4th host so that I can maintain N+1.

Many thanks for your help!

Current config
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Question by:liquidnoise
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by:dlethe
ID: 39281587
Sorry, you cant change from a RAID1 into a RAID-anything else.   You need to backup, destroy the RAID1 and build RAID5, and then restore.

But I strongly advise going to a RAID10 instead .. at least if you care about write performance, because you will take a big performance hit.  Even read performance will suffer going to a RAID5.    RAID10 will improve both read & write performance.
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andyalder earned 500 total points
ID: 39281976
Yes, you can migrate from any RAID level to any other RAID level with a Smart Array controller but it requires a battery to be fitted, click "more information" button on your screenshot and you'll get the battery count. The process can take several hours but it's online so won't stop the server. You can change expand priority in the ACU under the array's properties, if users are busy you can set that to low and it'll take even longer (about 1 day with your size disks).

Once the array is expanded you can then extend the current logical disk or create another one on the extra space. Not that the process is "data safe" in that parity is maintained during the migration (that's why a battery is needed). If that 3rd drive on its own as a single RAID 0 is the new drive you'll have to delete that array first to free up the disk.

N.B. Don't migrate to RAID 0 then to RAID 5, you just go from the current RAID level to RAID 5 with the addition of the new unused disk.
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Author Comment

by:liquidnoise
ID: 39281987
Thanks for the response. For now, read/write performance isn't a problem.

My thinking was if I could add drives, and change the current Array and logical drive 1 with either the HP utility to a RAID 0 or some third party utility.

Now, if I run a sys state backup, blow the array away, configure as RAID 5, restore to the new array, I should be good? Never had to do this so this being my first, I'm a tad cautious. I'm a tad concerned about this process as the P2V of this server feels a tad less brutal. But would feel better if maybe I try this on a test server. Not sure...

Any thoughts?

Appreciate the help...
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Expert Comment

by:andyalder
ID: 39281993
Bit of a waste of time backing up / restoring rather than using the RAID level migration option although it's always worth backing up before you start just to be safe although it's never gone wrong on me yet.
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Author Comment

by:liquidnoise
ID: 39282092
@andy - I gotcha. See the screenshot. The battery is present with 1 and fully charged. Is there any other setting that I need to verify (caching, etc..)? I want to be sure this message is what I should see to get the job done and hit ok...Many thanks! BrianPrompt
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by:andyalder
ID: 39282110
Yes, it's just warning you that it can't preserve RAID 1 so will convert it to RAID 5 instead which is what you want to do anyway. Cache settings should be set to 25% read / 75% write but you can check that later since it disables write cache during the migration anyway. Performance shouldn't bee too bad since there's write cache on the controller.
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by:liquidnoise
ID: 39282171
@Andy. Thank you. I'll check and update you on the final outcome.
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