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HP Proliant DL 380 G5 server and mirroring SAS drives

Posted on 2013-11-13
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I have an HP Proliant DL 380 G5 server running SBS2008
-      The OS/Boot/System partition (C-Drive) is running on a pair of 146 GB mirrored SAS drives (Drive slots 1 and 2)
-      The Exchange is running on a Mirrored pair of 72GB SAS drives (D-Drive)
-      And Data is running on 4 x 72GB SAS drive in RAID5 (E-Drive)

I want to create an ERD (Emergency Repair Disk – different from the floppy disk terminology) -  only for the C-Drive partition for the two drives in Slot 1 and 2. (This is what we called it in the corporate world 8 years ago)
-      Years ago, I would create an ERD drive by pulling out the 2nd mirrored SCSI drive (SCSI ID:1) where the first drive (SCSI ID: 0) would not be touched. The mirrored pair would hold the Operating system whereas the remaining drives would be RAID5 and hold the Data partition

So, in my current scenario, instead of creating a “bare metal Recovery disk” using software, I would periodically pull out the drive in Slot 2 – where I would choose the 2nd drive of the mirrored pair and swap this out every few months when I would perform maintenance.
-      I already have good DATA backups in place (I use BackUpAssist)

My concern is: I have not had a reason to perform a server recovery therefore no proof that this will work
My plan is: in the event the server wont boot due to either a hard drive failure or system corruption by a virus or related issue
-      I would power off the server
-      pull out both drives (Drives 1 and 2 in slots 1 and 2)
-      insert the ERD drive in its original Drive 2 slot (leaving slot 1 empty
-      Boot the server and hit the F1 key that the server should prompt to allow booting from one drive
-      If it boots and the operating system comes up fine, I would then insert a replacement drive in Slot 1 to complete the mirror image and hope the synchronization is successful

Does anyone see any issues with my plan?
Please note that this always worked well with the older HP Proliant DL 580 G1 servers running NT4.0.
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Question by:agieryic
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by:FutureTechSysDOTcom
ID: 39646949
Seems like it should work.  Just make a screenshot / phone shot / write down on paper your RAID controller settings, etc. just in case.

Tread lightly :)
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andyalder earned 2000 total points
ID: 39647353
The ACU based split mirror procedure that works with multiple arrays is not available on the P400 controller.

The manual smart array split-mirror procedure is not supported where there are multiple arrays since the RAID Information Sector mismatch that it will create means that your second RAID 5 array would be orphaned. It can actually be made to work but there is no import array function so it involves recreating a new RAID5 configuration on top of the old one and relying on the data blocks still being where they were before.

http://kmcs-service.austin.hp.com/km-ext/kmcsdirect/emr_na-c00378986-8.pdf ...

CAUTION
Use the following procedure for configurations with only one array on the controller. If you configure multiple arrays on a single controller, all arrays must be broken and restored together. Because of the added complexity for multiple arrays, we discourage this method of creating a backup of the logical driver[sic].
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by:agieryic
ID: 39650010
What is the recommendation for creating an image for this server using the p400 controller?
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by:agieryic
ID: 39650190
I just got off the phone with HP Server support. I 'm told HP does not support what I'm doing but that many folks do it and it works. It supposedly works fine with the p400 controller

The recovery option in the event the operating system got corrupted and I couldn't repair it, I would shut down the server, pull the two drives out, boot from Smart Start CD and run the ACU, break the mirrored pair, insert the ERD disk I created, boot the server.

Once the server boots from this drive, insert the replacement drive in slot 1 so it can sync.

My best bet is to try this on a non production Proliant G5 server to make sure this actually works

 andyalder - the document you provided was a great help.
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