Need help with RAID on IBM X3500 M4


I have IBM X3500 M4 with Windows Server 2012. This came with serveraid M1100 series zero cache/raid 5 upgrade for IBM Systems X. I did the required steps that IBM says to activate and install the key on the server.

The server came with 4 IBM HDD 300gb (Physical disk).

I can see only the Local Disk (C) when I open Libraries. When I go to Computer Management I can see another Disk which is not initialized yet.

I need to know if I only need initialize the disk 1 or I need to do something else to use RAID 5 (configuration).

I am sending some images to support my question.

Thank you for your help.
Agnes SevillaAsked:
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This is probably just an additional option which adds features to the built-in RAID controller. The built in controller only supports RAID 0, 1 and 10, and that option adds RAID 5 support. Personally I wouldn't use RAID 5 these days, as it is easier for RAID 5 to fail, and it is also easier to make human mistakes which can cause a total data loss. A couple of years ago with the small and expensive SCSI disks it made some sense, as you could get a higher capacity with just a few disks. But today disks are large and cheap enough so you can use RAID 1, which is much easier to manage and the risk is much lower.

If you want to change to RAID 5, you'll have to do that from the RAID controller's setup tool (either via the BIOS short-cut key, or using the utility CD or DVD which IBM probably has for it's servers). You would then have to reinstall the OS after that.
It looks like you have setup 2 RAID1 arrays. That would give you 2 300GB disks in diskmanagement like your images show. Just initialize the 2nd disk, then create a partition on it, format it and assign a drive letter. I'd also change the DVD driveletter to something else (like X:) and then use D: for your 2nd array.

Make sure you have installed all the drivers and utilities, particularly the one that monitors your RAID arrays. I'd additionally get a 5th disk, and if the server has an extra bay, use it as a hot-spare. If there is no additional bay, you at least have it ready for immediate replacement should one of the others fail.
Agnes SevillaAuthor Commented:
Thank you  for answer.

which partition style recommend me to initialize the disk 1? MBR(master partition table) or GPT (GUID partition table)
this is already selected.
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It doesn't really matter unless you intend to increase the size of the virtual disk. MBR is the conventional disk type and works fine up to 2TB, while GPT is newer and will also work for sizes larger than 2TB. If you wanted to partition the virtual disk into more than 4 primary partitions, you would also have to use GPT. But in your case either MBR or GPT is fine.
Agnes SevillaAuthor Commented:
I am still confuse about the RAID level. Could you see the attachment? Why they say RAID 5 upgrade.

I already mention that I did all the steps to install the key.

Please let me know when you have time.

Thank you
You can't see the RAID types from your screenshots. For that you need to install the RAID controller's utility. To the OS each RAID array appears as a separate disk, you don't see the individual disks that are part of the array. Since you have 4x300 GB disks, and in disk management you have 2x300 GB virtual disks, that means you have two RAID 1 arrays (or 2 mirrors) of 300 GB each.
Agnes SevillaAuthor Commented:
Sorry I thought I sent the new attachment. This page show what the server has and the other the instructions the IBM sent me to upgrade.

I understand what you say just take a look on this page please. For you what does mean:

SERVERAID m1100 series zero cache/raid 5 upgrade for IBM System X.

Thank you again
Agnes SevillaAuthor Commented:
Ok now I am clear. So I have Raid 1.

Like you told " Just initialize the 2nd disk, then create a partition on it, format it and assign a drive letter"

With this I am done right?

I do not want change anything if I can work with that I have right now.
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