robprose
1 Copper

Adding Drives to CX300

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Hello everyone!

I have two CX300 SAN devices and would like to expand one of them. One is under maintenance and one is not. As such I would like to take the drives out of the off-maintenance device and put them into the on-maintenance one to expand the storage.

I was just wondering if this is possible and if so how I would go about decomissioning the drives so they can move without a problem.

 

Thanks!

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Dev Mgr
5 Rhenium

Re: Adding Drives to CX300

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What are your plans for the out-of-warranty CX300? If you are thinking of putting it up on Ebay or so, you'll want to make sure you keep the first 5 drives in that system, otherwise it'll become a doorstop (or at most a source for spare parts to someone).

 

So, that being said, I'd first unbind all LUNs and raid groups on the old CX300 (don't forget the hotspare LUN/raidgroup). Once this is done, you can take the drives from bays 5 to 14 (the enclosure counts the drives from 0 to 14, so 0 to 4 are the so-called flare drives). These drives could now be put into the newer CX300 and then be used. Keep in mind that Dell support may ask you where those drives came from if you ever have a drive failure among them as they can see what originally shipped in the CX300 and if you buy new drives (to expand your space or to replace out of warranty drives), they'd need the order number of the newer drives to verify that they were purchased from Dell to ensure that they can cover them under their warranty.

 

If you're concerned about any possible data on those 5 remaining drives, you can create a 5-disk raid 0 on them and then bind a LUN on there. Let this do a full bind, then destroy the LUN and raidgroup and make it a raid 5 raidgroup and LUN and switch back and forth a few times. Each bind will do a full scrub, so after several binds (especially of different raid types), your data should be unrecoverable to a point that it would probably be safe to say nobody would bother. If you're still uncomfortable, what you could also do is after several binds, present the LUN to a host and let the host run some software to completely wipe the contents of the disk (I would usually suggest Darik's Boot and Nuke, but I'm not sure that this bootable ISO will have Qlogic or Emulex fiber channel drivers to be able to see the LUN, but there are also host-based software solutions that will do several runs over the disk to write zeros and ones to the disk to ensure recovery is impossible.

Member since 2003

4 Replies
Dev Mgr
5 Rhenium

Re: Adding Drives to CX300

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What are your plans for the out-of-warranty CX300? If you are thinking of putting it up on Ebay or so, you'll want to make sure you keep the first 5 drives in that system, otherwise it'll become a doorstop (or at most a source for spare parts to someone).

 

So, that being said, I'd first unbind all LUNs and raid groups on the old CX300 (don't forget the hotspare LUN/raidgroup). Once this is done, you can take the drives from bays 5 to 14 (the enclosure counts the drives from 0 to 14, so 0 to 4 are the so-called flare drives). These drives could now be put into the newer CX300 and then be used. Keep in mind that Dell support may ask you where those drives came from if you ever have a drive failure among them as they can see what originally shipped in the CX300 and if you buy new drives (to expand your space or to replace out of warranty drives), they'd need the order number of the newer drives to verify that they were purchased from Dell to ensure that they can cover them under their warranty.

 

If you're concerned about any possible data on those 5 remaining drives, you can create a 5-disk raid 0 on them and then bind a LUN on there. Let this do a full bind, then destroy the LUN and raidgroup and make it a raid 5 raidgroup and LUN and switch back and forth a few times. Each bind will do a full scrub, so after several binds (especially of different raid types), your data should be unrecoverable to a point that it would probably be safe to say nobody would bother. If you're still uncomfortable, what you could also do is after several binds, present the LUN to a host and let the host run some software to completely wipe the contents of the disk (I would usually suggest Darik's Boot and Nuke, but I'm not sure that this bootable ISO will have Qlogic or Emulex fiber channel drivers to be able to see the LUN, but there are also host-based software solutions that will do several runs over the disk to write zeros and ones to the disk to ensure recovery is impossible.

Member since 2003

robprose
1 Copper

Re: Adding Drives to CX300

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Thanks for your help.

I worked on it this morning and so far everything looks good.

As for the old unit, I don't know right now. We are going to leave the system drives in there so it can be sold, or donated or whatever. On the new one, do you think I called Dell and told them wehere the drives came from that they would add them to the maintenance on this unit? If not then we will just deal with it.

Thanks again for the advice.

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Dev Mgr
5 Rhenium

Re: Adding Drives to CX300

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From having dealt with Dell|EMC for a few years, I know that when you buy Dell|EMC harddrives from Dell spare parts (refurb) or regular Dell sales (as upgrades/expansion), these drives carry a 90 day warranty, or the warranty of the system that you put them into (whichever is longer).

So, when you call in about a failed drive, and the tech notices that it's a drive slot that wasn't occupied when the enclosure was sold (e.g. drive 0_0_13 fails, but the unit was bought with only 10 drives (which would have shipped as 0_0_0 to 0_0_9)), he or she may ask you where the drive came from. If you can provide an order number that you used to purchased the drive, they should honor the warranty. If you provide the order number of the out-of-warranty CX300, or explain it's from the out of warranty CX300, the drive is out of warranty and you'd have to buy a replacement. However, it's all dependent on the tech noticing that you have more drives in the unit than what originally shipped.

Member since 2003

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tommo666
3 Zinc

Re: Adding Drives to CX300

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I doubt Dell will take out of warranty parts and add them to an existing mantenace contract. So you will be the support for theses disks.

Before you dispose of the other CX300 ask a couple of questions.

How much longer does your maint contract run? Do you plan to use the CX for the forseeable future? Because once out of maintenance parts for these arrays are expensive and you now have a spare chassis which could be a source of known good parts and could be used in the future.

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