Advice about upgrade Hard Drives from 250Gb each to 2Tb each in DELL PowerEdge2900

25 pts.
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Dell PowerEdge
Dell PowerEdge 2900
SATA
SATA Hard Drive
Hello World; At the business we looking to upgrade hard drives for DELL PowerEdge2900, currently having 8 hard drives SATA @250Gb each (used only 7) under RAID5 (one hard drive not configured) Client wants to upgrade Hard Drives to SATA 2Tb each for the 7 drive without killing RAID5, and without an outage in the business. Can you advice about the best scenario for such task. Thanks Nader
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Software/Hardware used:
DELL PowerEdge2900

Answer Wiki

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AFAIK although you can upgrade each drive one by one waiting the array to rebuild in each replacement, in order to resize them to use all available space you *need* to schedule downtime.

When you replace each drive, the new one will be only using the same size that it’s predecessor was using. This means that after changing all the drives you’ll end with exactly same storage available.

The next step will be to resize the partition(s) in that array. This means downtime and for that difference (250GB to 2TB) it’ll not be very short.

HTH

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  • Justinfact
    Something to consider: you are upgrading to 2TB drives and want a single volume, so you need to figure out if your RAID controller will even support volumes >2TB. I know my PowerEdge 1900 controller didn't. I assume you are running Windows Server 03/08, so even if the RAID controller supports the volume size that doesn't mean the OS does. You might need to change your partitioning scheme from MBR to GPT to support it. Either way, this will require some downtime for your server. Some articles with more info: http://carltonbale.com/how-to-break-the-2tb-2-terabyte-file-system-limit http://www.microsoft.com/whdc/device/storage/GPT_FAQ.mspx Justin
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  • jinteik
    If an Dell engineer who is really experience is going to do this upgrade for you, do get his feed back on your situation...make sure he really know the situation you are facing. just to share, we have 2950 server and when we wanted to add another 2 more HDD and modify the partition to add more space on C, it cannot be done and the reconfiguration is needed once again and this requires down time. when we upgraded our server, 1 engineer told us don't need down time, another engineer needs down time. so better fine out nicely before unwanted things happen during your upgrade.
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  • Naderiznait
    Thanks to all; I just relized that machine have one hard disk at slot 2 not been configured/included in the RAID 5. Is it possible to use that slor for inserting a 2Tb and move all from the (7 x 250Gb) to it? to avoid downtime. Let me know what you feel about that, it might be silly. Cheers Nader
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  • Hlx
    We really would need a bit more information to adequately answer this like what server OS, what controller you are using, what is the desired end result for partitions (6x2TB, 1x12TB, 1x14TB?), is it even hardware RAID or software RAID, and how is the RAID configured? Making a few assumptions (Win2003+, 6+1 drive 1.5TB hardware RAID-5, controller able to add drives to RAIDset, 6x2TB final) you should be able to do as follows without downtime: 0. Verify good backup! 1. Insert 2TB drive and verify that OS "sees" this drive and shows available space 2. Create OS software Mirror between existing 1.5TB partition and now new empty 2TB space, leaving 500gb empty. Wait until mirror is completly built and "healthy" 3. Remove one 250gb drive, sending the old array into degraded mode 4. Add second 2TB drive and hardware mirror (RAID1) to the first drive. Wait for rebuild to complete 5. Remove the other 6x250 drives, killing the original array but leaving the 2x2TB RAID 1 intact 6. Expand your partition to include the empty 500GB which is now available to the OS after removing the original drive from the OS mirror 7. Add 6x2TB drives. Create 5+1 RAID5 set. 8. Create OS software mirror between 2TB hardware mirrorset and empty 5+1 RAID5 set. Wait till "healthy". 9. Delete 2TB mirrorset from controller 10. Add now empty 2x2TB drives to 5+1 RAIDset. Recommend 6+2 RAID6 if controller supports this or 6+1 RAID5 and leaving one as a spare if not. 11.Add additional 5x2TB partitions and give them drive letters and shares. 12. Wait for users to complain about performance. Good luck. Hope this is helpful.
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  • Naderiznait
    Hello Hlx, Faced problem from booting server from OS images created. Advice please. Thanks
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  • Hlx
    Perhaps a bit more information such as how far you got in the listed steps before the problem would help a lot. Lacking that, you might find something of assistance in this technet article. http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc738132(WS.10).aspx
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