Replacing drives with larger drives in Dell PowerVault MD3200

We have a Dell PowerVault MD3200 with sixteen 600GB SAS drives installed (all bays full), configured as a 16-drive RAID5 disk group, providing 6,142.512 GB of storage space in a single virtual disk.

If each drive is replaced--one at a time to allow the RAID rebuild to complete before the next drive is replaced--with a higher capacity SAS drive (e.g., there is a supported 3 TB drive), will the PowerVault support expanding the existing virtual disk to use the extra capacity after all of the drives have been replaced?  Or, will it at least support creating an additional virtual disk in the extra capacity?

I've successfully done this with servers of various brands, models, or RAID controllers, but I've definitely found others that support only adding an additional virtual disk in the extra capacity, or no support for doing anything with the unallocated space.

Thanks for your help.

Dimarc67
Frederick, MD
LVL 4
Dimarc67Asked:
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arnoldCommented:
I have as well as you say.  Your best bet prior to spending is to check with Dell to confirm.

I do not believe creating a new virtual disk is an option.
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Dimarc67Author Commented:
Either way, we'd have to buy 12 drives to use the added capacity.  For that kind of money we instead decided to buy an empty used MD1200 shelf, which can be connected to the MD3200 with minimal and/or zero downtime.  Then we can start with two new drives (RAID1) for adding capacity (albeit as an additional virtual disk), and then convert to RAID5 and add individual drives as our capacity requirements grow.
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arnoldCommented:
In recent years, RAID 5 provides limited RAID, but increased risks over time.
A failed drive is followed by a degraded performance. A second drive failure during the rebuild, will lead to data loss. RAID10/RAID6 when available as well as a good backup plan..

Here is a thread along the same lines as yours "Increasing the volume"////


http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Servers/Q_28667667.html
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