16 Jun 11 14:27
"I read a few of SPI200(or similar usr name) posts and he claims that you can install a bigger drive regardless of raid setup and it will rebuild as the original sized partition. Then you could extend the volume and receive the increased GBs from the bigger drive. "
Nope, at least with most raid adapters on the market.
With raid 5, to expand a raid 5 volume, you need to add the drive to the array (not replace), as in adding another 147 gig drive giving you (4) 147 gig drives. Then you can incorporate the added disk's space to increase the original volume's size
This is not the same as adding larger drives to replace failed or pulled drives. If you eventually replace all the original drives with larger drives (assuming new disks same size), you can not increase the original volume size by any means but the unused space on the new drives could be used to create a new volume (think of it as a separate hard disk).
Most of the time (say 95%) you should not have a problem using hard disks which are larger then the original array disk. There are occasions where firmware conflicts cause different make/models not to play well together, but it it is rare.
As you have found out, original make/model/size drives get hard to get, more expensive, as time goes by. Go for the 300 gig drives, make sure they are new retail drives (5 year warranty, verify warranty at the Seagate site), NEVER buy refurb/recert drives for use on hardware raid adapters, they have a very high failure rate; avoid OEM drives as they can become warranty issues, and at best 3 year warranties. Purchase extra drives NOW if you have the resources and plan to maintain this server for a few more years.
"all I would have to do is physically install it and use ASM to tell it that it is a spare, correct?"
Yes, pretty simple
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