MBull123
2 Bronze

Maximum Storage

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Greetings,

We are looking to do significant upgrades to our P2950 PowerEdge storage with a PERC 6/I controller.  We are about to install 6 2TB drives setup as RAID 5, giving us 10TB of storage.  Does this configuration sound reasonable and supported by this controller and server?  I believe 2TB is the maximum drive size supported.

 

Thanks.

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theflash1932
7 Thorium

Re: Maximum Storage

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The 2TB limit is a DISK limit, not just a partition limit, so creating a single 10TB array presents the OS with a 10TB "disk".  Windows (and most OS's) can only handle >2TB disks if the DISK is converted to GPT.  The 'but' is that Windows can also NOT boot to a GPT disk UNLESS it is a supported OS installed on a UEFI-enabled system.  So, since the 2950 is not UEFI-capable, you can't convert the boot disk to GPT, and since you can't convert the boot disk to GPT, you can't have a disk larger than 2TB.  So, you have two options, as Daniel said:

1. Use two 2TB disks in a RAID 1 (or get two smaller disks for an OS array/disk to keep from wasting so much space on an OS disk) to which you would install the OS.  Doing this will cost you two disks' worth of usable space for redundancy though.

2. "Slice" the disks into multiple arrays ... one of say 100GB - small enough to install the OS to and will remain an MBR disk for a bootable OS disk, then another array (virtual disk) of 9.9TB, which you will convert to GPT to be able to utilize the entire space how you like.  I would strongly suggest making sure all your system firmware (BIOS, ESM, PERC, HDD) is up to date for this method.

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DELL-Daniel My
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Re: Maximum Storage

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Hello mbull123

Does this configuration sound reasonable and supported by this controller and server?

Yes, that would be a supported configuration.

I believe 2TB is the maximum drive size supported.

Yes, the PERC 6 max supported HDD size is 2TB.

The one thing you need to consider is whether or not you need to boot to that large array. The 2950 system board does not have a UEFI mode, so it does not support booting to HDD's larger than 2TB. If you configure this as one large 10TB array then the OS will see it as a single 10TB HDD. If the OS will boot to it then it will only use 2TB of the array. The remaining 8TB would not be usable.

You will need to create a second array for the operating system. You can put the operating system on a thumb drive, slice the array, or break up the array some other way.

Thanks

Daniel Mysinger
Dell EMC, Enterprise Engineer

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MBull123
2 Bronze

Re: Maximum Storage

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Great thank you, would this be as easy as doing a clean install of the OS (and program files) on it's own boot partition of say 250gig, then setting up the remaining space on another partition.

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DELL-Daniel My
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Re: Maximum Storage

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Great thank you, would this be as easy as doing a clean install of the OS (and program files) on it's own boot partition of say 250gig, then setting up the remaining space on another partition.

No, this is a hard disk limitation. The OS needs to be on a virtual disk of 2TB or smaller. You can create a GPT partition of any size you like for data, but GPT requires UEFI to be bootable. If you install the OS on a 10TB array then you will only be able to use 2TB. It doesn't matter how many partitions you create on that 2TB it will still only make 2TB available for use.

Thanks

Daniel Mysinger
Dell EMC, Enterprise Engineer

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theflash1932
7 Thorium

Re: Maximum Storage

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The 2TB limit is a DISK limit, not just a partition limit, so creating a single 10TB array presents the OS with a 10TB "disk".  Windows (and most OS's) can only handle >2TB disks if the DISK is converted to GPT.  The 'but' is that Windows can also NOT boot to a GPT disk UNLESS it is a supported OS installed on a UEFI-enabled system.  So, since the 2950 is not UEFI-capable, you can't convert the boot disk to GPT, and since you can't convert the boot disk to GPT, you can't have a disk larger than 2TB.  So, you have two options, as Daniel said:

1. Use two 2TB disks in a RAID 1 (or get two smaller disks for an OS array/disk to keep from wasting so much space on an OS disk) to which you would install the OS.  Doing this will cost you two disks' worth of usable space for redundancy though.

2. "Slice" the disks into multiple arrays ... one of say 100GB - small enough to install the OS to and will remain an MBR disk for a bootable OS disk, then another array (virtual disk) of 9.9TB, which you will convert to GPT to be able to utilize the entire space how you like.  I would strongly suggest making sure all your system firmware (BIOS, ESM, PERC, HDD) is up to date for this method.

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MBull123
2 Bronze

Re: Maximum Storage

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Brilliant, thank you.

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