I have a PowerEdge 1950 with 4x73GB HDDs in a Raid 5 configuration. I am running out of space and need to increase storage capacity. If it was possible, I would like to replace 2 of those drives with bigger drives. On the Server Product Details page it says that I could use 146 GB drives. Can I have mismatched capacity drives - 2x73 and 2x146? If yes, can I do it in phases - take one offline, swap, wait for the rebuild, repeat? And if I can do all this, I would ideally need to create a new partition, as now it is all one big C drive.
Is this all possible? If not, what are my options?
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You can replace each disk individually with larger ones, BUT:
1. If you don't replace ALL the disks with larger ones, the array will be the same size and you will NOT be able to use the extra space.
2. If you do replace all of the disks with larger ones, there is no way to make the array any larger. The only thing you would be able to do at that point is create a second array across the disks using the newly available space. Since each array is seen as a separate disk by Windows, you would not be able to extend the C: drive with the new space, but if you have another partition (say D, you could move the D: data to the new array, delete the old D: from the first array, then extend C:.
THEFLASH1932, thank you for the super quick reply!!
So - I would buy 4 drives and replace one at a time. After that, I would have all the new space available but unused. I don't want or need to make C any larger. What I have on C mostly is a mailbox database, which is 141 GBs out of the total of 203 that I see on the Openmanage Server Admin. I don't have a D: or any other partition right now. What I would ideally do is create a new partition (D) in the new array. Since my new disks will be double the size of my current ones (146 vs 73) I would have roughly 292 GBs of space for this D partition. Then I'd move the mailbox database to the new D partition and problem solved.
How does this sound? I'd have a C partition of 203 Gbs across all 4 drives; this partition would be Array 1. Then I'd create a D partition of 292 GBs across all drives again and this would be Array 2. (actually, I may create 2 new partitions, D and E, but that's for a different post). Is this making sense?
Yep, that should work. Also, you are not limited to 146GB. It will handle disks up to 2TB, but note that you cannot mix SAS and SATA, so your new disks should be SAS, and to keep from affecting performance, I would suggest you get disks with the same RPM as the existing ones (10K vs. 15K).