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RicohCurtis
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PowerEdge R630 Expanding RAID 5 PERC H730 mini

I have the above server which was originally built with 5 1TB HDDs (SAS).  I have since added 3 more identical HDDs.  I have assigned the drive in BAY 7 as the Global Hot Spare.  We had a HDD failure and once that drive was replaced and re-striped, we wanted something to be a failover in case we lost another.

Since we have the other 2 drives in Bay 5 & 6, we want to expand the ARRAY to add in these new drives. 

The server is an ESXi VM host, with 256GB RAM.  I know how to expand the space within ESXi - but I cannot get the RAID (either from booting from OMSA DVD, or the iDRAC to expand).  All firmware and BIOS are at the latest levels. 

I have worked extensively with IBM ServeRAID controllers in the past and expanding was always a snap - add new HDDs, go to VD and choose EXPAND.  Then choose the PD you want to add.  Then APPLY.  Takes hours to do the re-stripe - but when done the VD shows the new space.

I cannot for the LIFE of me figure out how to do this with the PERC H730 in this machine. 

I have gone to RECONFIGURE - and it appears that I can choose the new drives - but nothing indicates that the RECONFIGURE is not going to WIPE the existing data there and simply rebuild the VD from scratch.  I have been fighting with this for 2 weeks now.  Getting nowhere. 

There are 18 VMs on this server, and I really do not want to have to start over from scratch - even with a backup or copy - I know there has to be a way to EXPAND this array/VD.

Seeking the process to do this.

Thank You,

Curtis

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Re: PowerEdge R630 Expanding RAID 5 PERC H730 mini

Hello,

You're certainly looking in the correct spot, the "Reconfigure" option is what you want. You would select that, then the disks to be members of the array, and complete the wizard. I've gone thru RAID expansions in WebEx sessions with numerous folks using that same option, and no data was lost. That having been said, I also recommended they make a backup first. It generally is, anytime you start messing with an array. 

I looked in the iDRAC manual to see if I could find a line to help set your mind at ease with the operation, but I didn't see one. You might try the help page within the iDRAC. It should pop up with a window similar to an index that will help confirm that the reconfigure operation won't result in data loss.

#Iwork4Dell
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RicohCurtis
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Re: PowerEdge R630 Expanding RAID 5 PERC H730 mini

Dylan,

  Thanks for your reply.  I am going crazy - been at this 2+ weeks.  It should not be this hard.

  I WEB into the iDRAC  >>  Launch the CONSOLE view  >>  Go to SYSTEM CONFIGURATION  >>  Choose the PERC Controller  >>  From there I can see the RECONFIGURE option after choosing VD.  When I choose it - it defaults to RAID 0, but shows a message at the bottom that the DEFAULT configuration is used for the VD.  It is not doing what it says.

  I choose RAID 5, and I then go to the next screen where I can see the 2 remaining PDs (slot 5 & 6).  Logically thinking this would do what I want - but nothing in the help file at all from here.  There is nothing in the HELP FILE at all (pressing <F1>) other than one line message as to what some things mean. 

  I am not willing take the chance that I am gonna have to rebuild the whole thing - granted - this would allow me to get the drives as part of the VD - but I should not have to do this.

  I was working with IBM ServeRAID adapters in the 90's and 00's and they had the ability to do this very easily.

  I hope my steps (abbreviated) let you know what I am doing. 

  If you want to see what I am doing, we can do a WebEx.  I do have a WebEx account.

Thanks,

Curtis

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RicohCurtis
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Re: PowerEdge R630 Expanding RAID 5 PERC H730 mini

I am guessing that there are no other suggestions on this. 

I am not willing to proceed with any changes to the array until I am 100% sure that I can EXPAND the existing array with no data loss. 

 

This should not be this hard.  15+ years ago I was doing this on IBM servers with no problems at all.  In fact one of them we rebuilt the entire array (one drive at a time) from 150GB drives to 300GB drives (7 drive array - RAID 5)….replaced one drive at a time until all were re-striped and then expanded the array to use the new space.  Granted this is much different from what I am trying to do now (add 2 more HDDs to an existing array), but the premise is the same. 

Added 2 new HDDs (same size) to the server and just need to expand the existing 5-drive RAID 5 array to make it a 7-drive RAID 5. 

 

Anyone???

 

Curtis

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