RAID Configuration

I have server with hp-DL380 G7 .Which is configured with  Two 72-GB SAS 15K with RAID 1 on windows server 2008.BUt problem is the C drive is getting Filled so i have to clear space after some Time.
Now i am planning to add more 300 GB disk to the server with RAID 1 again.
Is it possible to Configure another RAID 1 with 300GB .and once it get configured i could extend the C drive.

If possible please tell how to Configure another RAID 1 without disturbing the already configured RAID 1.
kastro AbbasiIT consultantAsked:
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you should be able to configure and additional RAID set once the drives have been installed, in order complete this you will need to reboot the server and catch the Storage option on boot (it will prompt you for F8 it think). It may have issues with RAID5 if you do not have enough RAM on the raid card but i think the RAID1 will be fine.

Once in the GUI you will be able to create a new raid set and select the drives that are not in use, it is pretty easy to follow but if you have any questions or concerns post back an we will be able to help.
Ganesh Kumar ASr Infrastructure SpecialistCommented:
It is little tricky
First remove the one of the 72GB hard drive and insert the 300GB and allow rebuild. When you insert the drive it will prompt to add and then wizard will direct you. After the rebuild is completed, you need to remove the second 72GB and insert another 300GB drive as secondary disk and let it rebuild. Once the 300GB are done,. Then use Diskpart.exe to extend the volumes which extends to 300GB.

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     If you are looking to complete the steps outlined by Ganesh above make sure you have a good backup of the system first. As Ganesh noted this is a little tricky and not quite how the system was designed to work. Ensure that all RAID sets are rebuild and the end of each stage before removing and adding new drives.

If possible make yourself an image level back up of the machine P2V (physical to virtual) and drop this on some shared storage so worst case you can reload the server nice and fast from a very recent backup with minimal down time.
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kastro AbbasiIT consultantAuthor Commented:
Thanks for ur comments But i have some Confusions

If i will remove one of the 72 GB and insert  300GB it will corrupt the RAID ?

Should i need to power off the system to replace 72 Gb with 300GB.

and when i remove the second 72 GB and insert the another 300Gb then it means i will loose both of 72 GB disks.

and first removing of 72 Gb and adding 300 Gb needs a restart each time.
kastro AbbasiIT consultantAuthor Commented:

If i go by your suggestion and build another  RAID1 in this case i would be able to extend C drive
You can extend the drive BUT the C drive will then be dependent on both RAID sets as it will be "Extended" rather and on a dedicated set.

I suppose the next question is what do you see this server doing in the future? will you need to extend or add drives in the future? why is the drive filling at present? can you migrate and logs or services to a new D:\ hard drive and then protect the C:\ drive from filling again?

Option 1 - Offload data to a second attached Drive D:\ (with the 300gb capacity)
Option 2 - Convert the server to a virtual machine and re-apply to the server on the 300GB drives using a hypervisor (vmware/microsoft)
Option 3 - Follow the instruction set from Ganesh and try to bounce over the RAID set to the 300gb drives and use DISKPART to extend out after#
Option 4 - Build a new Virtual Server and migrate all roles and data, decommission the existing server and virtualise the host, migrate the new server to the new host and 300gb drives

There are many ways to shuffle things around you just need to find the technology you are most happy using.
You should be able to create a 2nd RAID 1 array with the new disks, and then just clone your current OS to the new array using a 3rd party cloning utility, then when done, shut down the server and remove your old disks and make sure the BIOS or RAID controller is setup to boot from the new array.

Another option, rather than cloning, is to first make a backup image of your current array (The builtin backup tool of Windows 2008 makes image based backups, but also here you have more options with 3rd party tools). Then remove the old disks and replace them with the new ones and create a new array. After that just restore the OS to the new array.

Personally though I think it should be easy to maintain your system properly, 72GB is more than enough for the OS. You shouldn't install anything else to C:, but rather to other Volumes, also logs from exchange etc can be moved to other locations. Make sure C:\ only has a very small pagefile of 256MB, the main pagefile should be on another volume. Install the desktop themes or experience, that will give you the disk cleanup wizard, and if you are also using the "R2" version of 2008 server, add the "KB2852386" which will add obsolete updates to the cleanup wizard. With it you will be able to easily cleanup your disk:

Also delete the contents of C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Downloads, all those measures will free up a lot of space.
Mr TorturSystem EngineerCommented:
reading your question and all past comments I think you best shot in order would be :

1. well, first of all, make a good image backup (Acronis, Symantec System Recovery, Ghost, ...)
2. try the Ganesh method. It is the more efficient and should be technically great IMHO.
3. if not working I would power off server, remove the 2 old disks, insert the 2 new 300 GB disks, push F8 key for RAID menu when prompted at POST, then create a new RAID 1 and restore your image on it.
4. in cse there is an issue you could put back the old disk and when prompted at start recover the RAID config from disk, and your OS will start.

Ganesh method seems quite good because :
When you will remove one of the old disk, the RAID card and system will detect a disk failure but will continue working as it is RAID1.
With RAID it is greatly advise to have exactly the same disk, supported disk model for your hardware, and most of all same size and speed.
But, you can put a supported disk drive bigger than the old disk, and you can put a drive with different speed, but in this cas all the array will be at the slowest component speed.

So IMHO replacing a 73GB disk by a 300GB disk will work and RAID 1 will be rebuilt.
Once rebuilt next operation is the same, as a disk failure you remove the second old disk, so you have your system working on the 1st 300GB disk.
Then replace the 2nd 73GB disk by the 2nd 300GB disk, rebuild and done.

Don't forget that you can install and have a RAID GUI in your OS, that will help you not doing reboot every time to access the RAID GUI during POST.
Hope this helps even I don't add new information, only my advice. Good luck.
kastro AbbasiIT consultantAuthor Commented:
I have proposed the solution to the user and let u know for final approval once they agree which one suits their need.
andyalderSaggar maker's framemakerCommented:
There's a better way with recent HP Smart Array controllers, instead of the split-mirror process described by Ganesh you can create a new array with the 300GB disks and then move the LUN to that using SSA and then extend it without any downtime. Both methods work but the move LUN option maintains the mirror during the move so there's always redundancy whereas the split-mirror method has a few hours of no redundancy (although you do have a backup disk in hand with the split-mirror method so long as you shut the OS down cleanly prior to removing the first disk).
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