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Windows Thread, Expand or Not to Expand ?! in Technical; Hi I mave a Proliant ML370 with 3 x 9.1 GB HDDS Raid 5 and 2GB RAM.. OS Server 2000 ...
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    Grommit's Avatar
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    Expand or Not to Expand ?!

    Hi

    I mave a Proliant ML370 with 3 x 9.1 GB HDDS Raid 5 and 2GB RAM..

    OS Server 2000 SP4

    This is being used only as an Exchange Box.. Exchange 2003

    It's an old rackmount P3 Server..

    I am running out of space..

    I have not done this before but how easy and what is the largest size HDD I can add to the server and how do I do it ?

    What do I buy?

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    Re: Expand or Not to Expand ?!

    I fitted 6*300GB disks to a DL360 G2 which sounds the same kind of age.
    I suspect the ML360 can accommodate the same - but probably at only U160.
    your probably better off fitting 36 or 73gb as MSExchange is crippled by a size limit. I assume the ml360 has 6X HDD slots - 3 of which you have filled. In this case just add 3 extra disks and set them up in the scsi bios as a mirrored raid with a hot spare, them have windows format the disk as d:, e: etc. - i guess the exchange will be happy enough if you move it across to the new partition, hopefully someone will confirm.

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    Re: Expand or Not to Expand ?!

    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd
    I fitted 6*300GB disks to a DL360 G2 which sounds the same kind of age.
    I suspect the ML360 can accommodate the same - but probably at only U160.
    your probably better off fitting 36 or 73gb as MSExchange is crippled by a size limit. I assume the ml360 has 6X HDD slots - 3 of which you have filled. In this case just add 3 extra disks and set them up in the scsi bios as a mirrored raid with a hot spare, them have windows format the disk as d:, e: etc. - i guess the exchange will be happy enough if you move it across to the new partition, hopefully someone will confirm.
    Thanks CyberNerd...

    You are right I have 6 slots and 3 are filled with the 9.1's...

    I was told y someone that I would have to rebuild the box if i put in new HDD's.. but that is what I am trying to avoid ...

    I have already C, D and E Drive's in the server of around 7 GB each and the Exchange Database's is on D: which has 500mb space left.. what I wanted to do was expand the volume of D:

    If it goes OK I would put in 3 x 73GB's to expand ... would that work and how ?

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    Re: Expand or Not to Expand ?!

    The HP tools will allow you to create a new RAID volume after you add new disks. Exchange System Manager can then be used to move the Exchange datastore to the new volume - this is a very painless point and click process.

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    Re: Expand or Not to Expand ?!

    I think you'd have to format it as a new partition, AFIK windows isn't good enough to be able to expand partitions without the use of 3rd party tools. You may be able to mount the new partition within the D: though ? but TBH I think it would be easier to migrate the exchange to a new partition. Be sure you set up the disk in the raid bios leaving the other disks alone.

    anyhow the part number for a 73GB SCSI disk is PN:356910-007 ( I happen to have an old one sitting on my desk). IIRC we bought some from prolinx before.

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    Re: Expand or Not to Expand ?!

    Does RAID use the size of the smallest disk in the set or will it use the full 72Gb of the new disks?

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    Re: Expand or Not to Expand ?!

    With RAID5 it will be the smallest disk in the set.

    Edit: Not that you can't use more than one raid 5 set! So 3x9 and 3x72 could be used as 2 different raid sets.

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    Re: Expand or Not to Expand ?!

    Ah right - that sounds like a plan then!

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    Re: Expand or Not to Expand ?!

    OK.. Cool... So i buy 3 x 75GB HDDS...

    Insert HDDS and Boot to BIOS...

    Make a new RAID 5 with the 75GB HDDs in the BIOS (being careful not to touch the existing HDDS)

    Boot to Windows and Format the new HDDS

    Use Exchange System Tools to Move the Exchange Datastore to the new F: Drive which will around 150GB..

    Wallah...

    The do a quick inplace upgrade to Server 2003 :-)

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    Re: Expand or Not to Expand ?!

    Personally i'd use a mirrored disk with a hot spare. As Ric pointed out the HP tools will do the raid config, so no need for raid card bios - a point I forgot.

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    Re: Expand or Not to Expand ?!

    HOT Spare ? Is that installed as a stand alone or within the RAID 1 or 5 ?

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    Re: Expand or Not to Expand ?!

    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd
    Personally i'd use a mirrored disk with a hot spare.
    Isn't RAID 5 meant to offer speed advantages as well as redundancy?

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    Re: Expand or Not to Expand ?!

    Quote Originally Posted by m2d2
    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd
    Personally i'd use a mirrored disk with a hot spare.
    Isn't RAID 5 meant to offer speed advantages as well as redundancy?
    Raid5 has quite bad write performance and isn't so good for databases, which is essentially what the exchange storage is. Probably read performance on raid5 will be better though. I doubt Raid performance is likely to be a limiting factor on that server anyway. Also a 73GB max will be fine for the exchange limit so no need to take advantage of the better disk usage that raid5 offers, better to take advantage of an offline (and non spinning) disk IMO - then you get double redundancy - you can loose 2 disks before the data is gone!.

    @grommit
    When configuring the raid 1 or raid 5 there is an option for a hot spare (but you don't have the space if you use raid5). if a disk dies then the spare disk powers up and the data from one of the other disks automagically copies itself onto the spare disk and the broken one is marked as dead.

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    Re: Expand or Not to Expand ?!

    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd
    Quote Originally Posted by m2d2
    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd
    Personally i'd use a mirrored disk with a hot spare.
    Isn't RAID 5 meant to offer speed advantages as well as redundancy?
    Raid5 has quite bad write performance and isn't so good for databases, which is essentially what the exchange storage is. Probably read performance on raid5 will be better though. I doubt Raid performance is likely to be a limiting factor on that server anyway. Also a 73GB max will be fine for the exchange limit so no need to take advantage of the better disk usage that raid5 offers, better to take advantage of an offline (and non spinning) disk IMO - then you get double redundancy - you can loose 2 disks before the data is gone!.

    @grommit
    When configuring the raid 1 or raid 5 there is an option for a hot spare (but you don't have the space if you use raid5). if a disk dies then the spare disk powers up and the data from one of the other disks automagically copies itself onto the spare disk and the broken one is marked as dead.
    On the Compaq I have a Compaq Array Configuration Utility for a Smart Array 431 Controller..

    Do i just use this or this and the BIOS ?

    And thanks for the input.. trying to buy the disks from Insight now...

    What generation is the ML370 as they say your SCSI Disk SN is so old they don't make it anymore .....heh heh....

    My other option is to buy a new server... but why this server is doing it's job....?!?

    What would the others do as to backup, rebuild OS, install Exchange, Configure Exchange, restore old mailboxes will take a lot of time... as to just putting in 3 disks and moving the datastore ?

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    Re: Expand or Not to Expand ?!

    Quote Originally Posted by CyberNerd

    Raid5 has quite bad write performance and isn't so good for databases, which is essentially what the exchange storage is. Probably read performance on raid5 will be better though. I doubt Raid performance is likely to be a limiting factor on that server anyway. Also a 73GB max will be fine for the exchange limit so no need to take advantage of the better disk usage that raid5 offers, better to take advantage of an offline (and non spinning) disk IMO - then you get double redundancy - you can loose 2 disks before the data is gone!.
    RAID 5 doesn't have "bad" write performance; it might be slower than a single disc (because some data has to be written to all discs in the set) but it very much depends on what you're comparing it with. On identical hardware, RAID0 is probably faster; RAID1 is probably slower. In reality, as you say, they're all probably fast enough - but you need to measure things like this rather than just guess!

    For some databases, data is read more often than it's written and so in these cases, RAID5 wins. Somthing like SIMS probably falls in this category (lots of student data looked up but not often changed) - again, you can measure to find out.

    Exchange is probably similar. If I send an internal email to 1 person then it's written once when I send it. It's then read once by the person who reads it; it's probably read once by me when I clear out sent items and possibly read again by the recipient when they tidy up their in box. Send it to more than 1 person and the read/write ratio goes up further making it more likely that RAID 5 is the best choice.



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