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DL380-G6 Expanding RAID 1

DL380-G6 Expanding RAID 1

DL380-G6 Expanding RAID 1

I have a G6 server equipped with a mirrored pair of 73GB 15k rpm drives for the Server 2008 R2 system/boot volume.  I have 4 more 146GB drives setup in a RAID 5 for storing programs and data.

Everything is working fiine, but I now realize I should have spec'd larger drives for the OS.  With active directory and SQL server installed, I only have about 15 GB of head room left on the C: drive.  I'm worried that log files and other system data will eventually fill up the drive.  I tried moving the 12GB swap file to the RAID 5 array but found out that Server 2008 R2 does not allow you to do this (it insists on having a swap file on the boot volume).

I want to replace the 73GB drives in the RAID 1 with larger drives.  What is the most seamless way to do this?  My first thought was to pull out one of the 73GB drives, replace it with a 146 and let the Smart Array controller replace the data on the new drive.  Once that was complete, I could pull out the other 73, replace it too with a 146 and again allow the controller to copy over the data.  Shouldn't this work? Or is there a better way?

Thanks for any suggestions!

RE: DL380-G6 Expanding RAID 1

As far as replacing the drives, that should work.  Just make sure the first drive has finished rebuilding before pulling the 2nd one.  

Your C:\ will still only use the original 60-something GB of space.  You will still need to extend the logical volume to be able to see the additional space.  I'm pretty sure that you need to boot off the Smart Start disk to do this task.

I don't know if Windows 2008 will automatically expand the drive once you extend the logical volume or if you will need to do that manually.

Make sure you verify that you have valid backups before proceding.  Better to have them and not need them, then need them and not have them.


Light travels faster than sound. That's why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

RE: DL380-G6 Expanding RAID 1

One other thing regarding the expansion of the C:\drive, if Windows doesn't automatically see it (which I would assume it would NOT), you will need to get a 3rd party software to do it.  Last I checked, you couldn't expand the boot volume with diskpart.

Light travels faster than sound. That's why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

RE: DL380-G6 Expanding RAID 1

2008 R2 should allow you to expand even the C: drive into the free space in the logical volume.

It's a nice though semi-hidden feature.


RE: DL380-G6 Expanding RAID 1

Thanks for the replies guys. I'll order the bigger drives and see how it goes.

RE: DL380-G6 Expanding RAID 1

Sorry to burst the bubble, but raid 1 is not capable of expanding like raid 5...
As far as I can see, the raid adapter you have is Lsilogic based. Very few raid interfaces, including Lsi based adapters can expand a raid 1 volume (unlike raid 5 expansion) to incorporate the additional spaced created by replacing smaller drives with larger drives at the raid interface level. If the volume at the raid adapter level can not incorporate the addition space, the OS can not either. Due to this there is NO means of incorporating the space at the OS level by ANY means. By doing it as described in posts above, you can only use the additional space as a separate volume.

To get the volume to use the full 146gig...
You would need to clone or image from the original 73 gig array to a new raid 1 array of the 146gig drives, choosing the option in the cloning/imaging software to expand the original 73 gig size to use the full 146 gig during the cloning/restore process. Always backup first, run chkdsk on all drives involved before cloning/imaging, as neither process will likely work with disk errors.


Chernobyl disaster..a must see pictorial

RE: DL380-G6 Expanding RAID 1

I don't know what to think now.  I read this on the HP site:

"When increased capacity is required, an administrator can replace half of the drives in a RAID 1 or RAID 1+0 array with larger capacity drives and rebuild the new drives. Afterwards, the administrator can replace the other half of the drives and allow them to rebuild in the other direction. Once all drives in the array are of larger capacity, the administrator can use the ACU to increase the logical drive size or to configure additional volumes."

The manual for my Smart Array 410 controller also indicates that logical drive expansion is supported using the Array Configuration Utility.

So my original plan should work, but maybe I'll call HP Support to confirm.


RE: DL380-G6 Expanding RAID 1

You can increase a RAID 1 array and logical drive size as HP say BUT NOT if this is the drive where the OS is installed. Haven't tried it with win2008 R2 so can't comment though it would be great if the OS drive can now be increased.


If it doesn't leak oil it must be empty!!

RE: DL380-G6 Expanding RAID 1

Hi Icetech1.

The HP note is correct as far as I know.
Only time you can't do expansion with the modern HP controllers is if you aren't using battery backed cache or have it disabled.


RE: DL380-G6 Expanding RAID 1

I don't know if my controller has a battery backed cache or not.  HP seems to make at least 4 different variants of the P410 so I'll have to see which one my server shipped with:

HP Smart Array P410/256MB Controller 462862-B21
HP Smart Array P410/512MB with BBWC 462864-B21
HP Smart Array P410/512MB with FBWC    578230-B21
HP Smart Array P410/1G with FBWC    572532-B21

As to Server 2008 R2 being able to expand the boot volume, this does seem to be supported according to what I've been reading.

Thanks for the input guys.

RE: DL380-G6 Expanding RAID 1

If you go into the System Management homepage it will tell you whether you have a battery or not and whether it is working.

If you've got an 'Entry' model you would have 0MB cache RAM and no battery, if it is a Base model then you'll have cache but no battery, if a Performance model then you'll have RAM and battery.

For the first easiest is to get a 512MB BBWC - 462967-B21.
If the 2nd then get Battery Kit Upgrade - 462969-B21.
For the 3rd of course you don't need anything.


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