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Expanding a Raid Array

Posted on 2014-07-24
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Last Modified: 2014-08-11
I have an HP box with 5 - 146 gig drives (one is a spare) and it's a raid 5.  The box is a HP 380 GL5 vmware server.  I need to add more hard drive space to this box.  The problem is I need 250 gigs of free space and I only have 207 left on the Server.  I'm using 104 for a Virual Server.

Is there away to add to the raid without destroying it?  And I have 1 ISO in the datastore do I need to keep it there?
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Question by:WellingtonIS
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LVL 117
ID: 40217170
Yes, you can add HP disks into the chassis, and then expand the ARRAY, followed by Expanding the Logical DIsk.

The above is performed using the HP Array Configuration Utilities, in the ARRAY BIOS or on the HP Smart Start Utilities disk.

The above can be done WITHOUT destroying the existing array.

ARRAY and Logical Disk expansion can take several hours/days to complete.

ONCE this is complete then you need to expand the VMFS partition in ESXi.

So to summarise, with destroying the Array....it's in three parts.

1. Using ACU - Expand Array
2. Using ACU - Expand Logical DIsk
3. Using ESXi - Expand/Increase datastore VMFS

This is not a quick operation, and therefore, some decide to add new disks, create a new ARRAY, and SECOND LOGICAL disk, and second VMFS datastore.

This is then available instantly to ESXi (almost!) you could then move the ISO from datastore1 to datastore2, which would free up space on datastore1, or you could move the VM to datastore2.
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Expert Comment

by:magarity
ID: 40217172
It totally depends on your raid controller. You don't list the model of that; look in its documentaion for whether it supports dynamic resizing of arrays. Fancier (expensive) ones do, basic (cheaper) ones do not.
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Author Comment

by:WellingtonIS
ID: 40217196
ok do I need to boot the the smart disk?  I looked in the bios and I don't see anything to expand the array
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LVL 117
ID: 40217206
You will need to use the Array Configuration Utility, on the DVD rom.

What controller do you have ?
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Author Comment

by:WellingtonIS
ID: 40217232
P400.  The DVD is the HP SMART START right?
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LVL 42

Expert Comment

by:paulsolov
ID: 40217243
Keep in mind that if you want to do this while the system is online you have a BBWC installed, without it you can't do this on the HP controllers.  Sounds like you're running VMware so you'll need to backup everything, just in case, shutdown VMs and reboot. Use the SmartStart CD to get into the array utility.  From there you can do this.  Expand the array, then expand the volume.  If it's ESXi you'll need to use VMFS grow to grow the Datastore in the end.
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Author Comment

by:WellingtonIS
ID: 40217254
Whew!  I'll give it a shot. Thanks very much.  I'll let you know how I do after I backup and try it.
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LVL 117
ID: 40217312
Yes, that's supported.

Just remember, whilst the RAID 5 is rebuilding across new disks you have, this is a very I/O intensive operation, and there stress related activity, and if disks will fail, they will fail at this time!!!!

and RAID rebuilds take time...
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Author Comment

by:WellingtonIS
ID: 40217422
I got it installed on my VMserver but it's not seeing the controller? Anything I can do?
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Author Comment

by:WellingtonIS
ID: 40217445
Nevermind I found when I booted to the disk. thanks.
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Author Comment

by:WellingtonIS
ID: 40217471
I'm in the configuration however, its not letting me add drives to my existing array.  I can create a new array but not add to the existing
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LVL 42

Accepted Solution

by:
paulsolov earned 250 total points
ID: 40217555
you need to ensure that you have a bbwc installed, if not you will need to do this

http://h20565.www2.hp.com/portal/site/hpsc/template.PAGE/public/psi/mostViewedDisplay?javax.portlet.begCacheTok=com.vignette.cachetoken&javax.portlet.endCacheTok=com.vignette.cachetoken&javax.portlet.prp_efb5c0793523e51970c8fa22b053ce01=wsrp-navigationalState%3DdocId%253Demr_na-c03510253-1%257CdocLocale%253Den_US&javax.portlet.tpst=efb5c0793523e51970c8fa22b053ce01&sp4ts.oid=4091408&ac.admitted=1406223943640.876444892.492883150

excerpt

This document describes how to expand an array and to extend the logical drive. Array expansion and logical drive extension is supported only if the HP Smart Array Controller is installed with both cache and battery. HP Smart Array controllers supports Battery-Backed Write Cache (BBWC) or Flash-Backed Write Cache (FBWC). As a first step, one needs to confirm whether server is installed with both cache and battery.

If there is no BBWC or FBWC installed on the server, then user need to install the battery first. Check the servers' QuickSpecs and install the right BBWC/FBWC for HP Smart Array Controller. Once BBWC/FBWC is installed, both expansion and extension option will be available in ACU.
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Author Comment

by:WellingtonIS
ID: 40217709
Not sure where to check for this... BBWC or FBWC  do I install this with the smart disk?
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LVL 42

Expert Comment

by:paulsolov
ID: 40217729
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Author Comment

by:WellingtonIS
ID: 40217776
OK one last question I have a 400 controller that 256 I only ssee BBWC is that ok to do this It doesn't seem like they have FBWC for this card.
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LVL 42

Expert Comment

by:paulsolov
ID: 40217794
It's either or, you need to have the one or other, not both.  As long as you have one of these you should be able to expand the array.  The link I provided shows you how to.
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LVL 117
ID: 40217970
If you bought a performance model G7 it's included, if you did not specify a BBWC or other module at time of purchase, you have not got one!

It's a module you install on the motherboard
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Author Comment

by:WellingtonIS
ID: 40218002
OK I have a G5 but I think I found the part for it.  I had no idea about this.  Thanks for the info.  We are going to  hopefully order the correct parts.
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LVL 117
ID: 40218072
Read and Write Performance will also be better in your VMs! with a BBWC fitted!

Configured as 25% Read, 75% Write using ACU!
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LVL 55

Assisted Solution

by:andyalder
andyalder earned 250 total points
ID: 40218112
Think you are already there but if you need part numbers...

Battery-backed write cache upgrade 383280-B21
(plugs into current 256MB module)

or

512MB Battery-backed write cache upgrade 405148-B21 (bigger module plus battery)

Note you should not need battery attach cable as the kit has one, however some people are selling just the battery without the normal 8" cable as if it was the complete 383280-B21 kit.
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Author Comment

by:WellingtonIS
ID: 40219181
Thanks I found the parts on HP's site and we will be ordering.
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LVL 42

Expert Comment

by:paulsolov
ID: 40219798
Since you don't have the BBWC that explains why you couldn't expand the array.  Once you have it you'll be all set.
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Author Comment

by:WellingtonIS
ID: 40229795
I'm awaiting on the parts and will get back to this once I recieve them
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LVL 117
ID: 40229856
Make sure you have got adequate full backups not snapshots, and you've tested restore!
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Author Comment

by:WellingtonIS
ID: 40239173
I've requested that this question be closed as follows:

Accepted answer: 0 points for WellingtonIS's comment #a40217709

for the following reason:

Thanks. I got the battery installed and it appears that I will be able to expand the array once I have additional disk.  My boss made me start over so I moved the vmserver and put it back after I reconfigured the array.
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LVL 117
ID: 40239174
Many Experts, answered this question, Please select answers that were helpful!
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Author Comment

by:WellingtonIS
ID: 40239207
I gave the points to Paul because he gave me the answer?  If that's not correct then I can split it up?
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LVL 117
ID: 40239268
You accepted your own Answer I think, select Paul's Answer, and Close out.
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Author Comment

by:WellingtonIS
ID: 40239277
OMG!  i'm so sorry!  I will correct.
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Author Comment

by:WellingtonIS
ID: 40239280
Thanks for this.  I installed the battery and it appears that when I install the 2 drives I'm expecting it should work because I already have more options.  I don't want to keep this open until the drives arrive.
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Author Closing Comment

by:WellingtonIS
ID: 40252865
once i put the battery in I was able to expand the array
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