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DL380 G5 E5430

DL380 G5 E5430

DL380 G5 E5430

Not have any prior knowledge of server hardware/storage I thought it was a simple matter of just adding new drive to my DL380 to add extra space.

I currently have 4 x HP 146GB 10K SAS 2.5 DP HDD's (assuming RAID5?) and want to add a 300GB SAS drive into it to increase storage space.

Being a hardware-server-noob I'm not even sure what type of drive would be compatiable with my current 146GB SAS drives.  I've read that I would need to add identical SAS drives to my disk array but am not confident on how best to do this.


1. What type of HP drive/s would I need to insert to increase storage
2. How do I integrate to the current array?

Any help would be appreciated smile


RE: DL380 G5 E5430

Well, I am far from an expert, but I did learn something about this recently.

You can make some guesses about the drive configuration by looking at the activity lights of the drives.

3 drives with almost simultaneous activity and 1 drive dark
  = 3 drives in a raid 5 + 1 hot spare

4 drives with almost simultaneous activity
  = 4 drives in a raid 5

2 drives with simultaneous activity
  = 2 drives in raid 1

First, a disclaimer.  Whenever you start messing around with the storage on your server you might experience data loss.  Be sure you have a good backup and if you are not confident with what you are doing you may want to seek some help.

I assume this server is running Windows.
You will need the 'HP Array Configuration Utility' software installed on server.  With this you will be able to see the configuration of the drives and controller on the server and manage any disks present.

To be able to expand a raid 5 in place you will need to have the battery backup option on the disk raid controller. You will be able to determine this with the Array Configuration software installed.  Without the battery backup option you will have to backup the volume(s) that are on the Raid array, break the array, add the new drive, create a new array including the new drive, and then restore from backup.  If the OS for the server is on the Raid volume then this gets fairly complicated as you are essentially doing a bare metal restore.

You will need to add identical drives to expand the array.  Raid 5 'wastes' one drive for parity so the array capacity is always the total storage of all drives in the array less one. You can technically add higher capacity drives to a raid 5 but each drive will only use the amount of storage of the smallest drive, so I would not recommend that.

RE: DL380 G5 E5430

I have to disagree, Jim, when it comes to storage, guessing will get you in trouble.  You need to be POSITIVE what configuration your array is in and what drives are in which array.  If your server is really busy it could look like a couple of RAID1 arrays are actually a RAID 5.  For some of our servers, we have 4 drives in a RAID0+1 (striped and mirrored) for the OS and a RAID5 (10 drives) for the data.  In that case all the drives in RAID0+1 will light the same and you'd assume incorrectly as to what kind of array it is.  Does that really matter for the drive expansion?  Probably not as you're replacing 1 drive at a time.

Regarding expanding the array and extending the drives, there has been a fair amount of conversion around this topic.  If you're running a windows OS, here is a link you may want to check out...then follow the others I listed in it.  http://www.tek-tips.com/viewthread.cfm?qid=1558257

As Jim pointed out, anytime you do anything with the storage, there is potential for data loss.  Personally, I would make sure you have at least 2 CONFIRMED valid backups.

There are more benefits to having battery backed (or Flash-backed on the newer servers) cache.  If you don't have it, I would recommend getting it.

Good Luck

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

RE: DL380 G5 E5430

Hi nhbilly

Its a Smart Array P400/256MB Controller


RE: DL380 G5 E5430

Another question, the term HOT PLUGS I thought denotes that your can

1) Swap out a faulty drive while system is still live


2) Increase storage capacity "on the fly", again, while system is live

These are my own assumptions so feel free to put me straight smile


RE: DL380 G5 E5430

"on the fly" I've heard being done but I've never done it myself.
Plenty of tools out there to expand the drive when everything is copied over.

Google Hiren for tools to expand drive.

RE: DL380 G5 E5430

Regarding "Hot Swap" drives.
I've done it. (Not so much since we've transitioned to VMs)  The key is to wait.  Wait to make sure the server has failed the drive you just pulled before putting in the new one, and make sure you wait long enough before swapping out another drive.  If the previous drive isn't finished rebuilding and you swap out another drive, you will most likely crash your server.  

SIDE NOTE: Some RAID levels may allow you to replace more than 1 drive at a time (like RAID 1 you, might be able to replace all the mirror drives at once), but I've never done it.  It takes so much of the system resources just to rebuild one drive that I never considered even testing it out in our lab. In that case I would shut the server down break the mirror, put in new drives and re-establish the mirror.

It works best with Microsoft OS, because you can expand the drives while the OS is up and running (Windows 2008 claims you can even do the C:\ drive, although I've haven't done it).

Follow the link I posted above.  There is a lot of discussion about the exact process to use, given by those that have done it.

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

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