We have a PowerEdge R220, 2 hard drives, RAID 1 with ESXi 6.0 installed on it, one virtual machine currently that is used as a ShoreTel VoIP HQ server.
The VM is configured with two drives, one is a system drive (C:) and the second one (D:) is for the data backup.
We are now in need to increase storage capacity so I need some guidance on how to do that.
I was wondering if I can replace the drives one by one, letting the array rebuild itself, then once both drives are replaced then expand the capacity to the max.
Once that is done, increase the virtual machine hard drive space.
Any guidance and directing to any helpful documentation will be highly appreciated.
Thanks in advance!
I may need to know what RAID card that you are using there, is it S110? H310?
If you would replace and rebuild the array, the space will continue be the same, as the container in the RAID controller is still registered as the old size, it would be a waste.
Though, you are using RAID1, it's going to be a difficult to configure without sacrificing to rebuild the whole array. Here's an example, say example your array is 500GB RAID1 with 2 500GB drives. You either reconfigure or replace either drive with 1TB, the RAID array is still going to be 500GB. If you reconfigure additional 1 500GB drive to your RAID1, and convert it to RAID5, then you would have 1TB.
ESXi does not support S110(because no general support for Fake/Chipset RAIDs) so it must be a H310 or better.
But my first question is how much space is left on the ESXi Datastore. Does the VM use thinprosioning for the vDisks?
Hotswap or Cabled version of the Chassis/Disks? The R220 is not a new one and when it is already out of service than buying new/certified dell drives for it doesnt make sooooo much sense.
The suggested solution about the R1-R5 conversion sounds smart!
Joerg, I'm not sure how to answer your question regarding thinprosioning. Can you direct me where I can find it?
As for space, there is only one VM on that server that has two virtual hard disks, one is the C drive, provisioned size shows 80GB with max size 115GB so I guess that I can add that to that drive. The other drive (D) provisioned size is 20 GB with max size 55 GB.
Here's a question: I can live without that D drive. If I remove it, how can I add these 50 GB to the disk 1?
For sure you can remove/delete the 2nd. vDisk and increasing the 1st. vDisk. After that you have to enlarge the Filesystem inside guest GuestVM. This can be done without to reboot/shutdown the VM when its a Windows 2008 or newer. If its a Linux based VM than it depends.
About the RAID5. Joey assumed that you right now only have 2 HDDs in use because you speak about RAID1 and have 2 empty slots available. ESXi can run from USB or Dual SD card and dont waste phys. Disks for boot storage. But now you told us that the other 2 slots are already populated.
So buying a single disk and expanding the local RAID1 to a RAID5 based on 3 HDDs gives you 1000GB of usable space. But i should take a look into the manual for your H310 first if a online raid expansion is possible. Otherwise it should not work and you have to destroy your RAID1 first before creating the RAID5.
Joerg, thank you for the quick reply.
I apologize if I wasn't clear enough with the information I provided.
Joey was right, there are only two physical drives which is why RAID is 1. That is why I wasn't sure that I understood it correctly when he mentioned RAID 5.
There aren't any drives other than these two.
As for vDisk 2, so if I delete it, will that space be added automatically to the max size for vDisk 1 in the VM's properties to increase or is there anything else I need to do after that?
The guest is a 2012 R2 server so good to know that it will not require a reboot. That's very important in this case.
Best that you need same size drives for configurations. Since you have mentioned your server drive size, I'm going to use it for example.
If you have 2X 160GB RAID1, your virtual disk will be 160GB. No matter how big size of drive you replace your HDD0/HDD1, your virtual disk size will still be 160GB (This you got it right).
The 2nd part that you mentioned is totally not possible. I might not have structured it well.
(Example senario A) If you replace HDD0 with 1TB drive, the virtual disk remains 160GB (RAID1), you will waste 840GB and you will not be able to do anything with 840GB.
(Example senario B). If you add 1TB drive to your virtual disk, you will need to reconfigure it as RAID5, cause RAID5 needs 3 disk configuration. But, your virtual disk will only be 320GB, as the array will follow the least size drive which is your 160GB. The remaining size will be waste, you will not be able to do anything to it.
Oh and, since you mentioned you're on SSD, the RAID card does not support drive mixtures of SAS, SATA and SSD.
In simple words, you need same size drives and type to rebuild or build any array.
Your RAID1 ends up in a ESXi Datastore which have right now 35GB free space left. If you delete the the 55GB vDisk which you dont have a need for anymore the free space on that Datastore will increased. After that you can increase the size of the existing vDisk of the VM and expand the c: filesystem inside the Windows OS. We do this on a regulary basis because our VMs starts small.
About the 2 SSDs. You have to check if thats where ESXi is installed on.
Thank you Joey for replying.
First, the controller is H310.
I am new to this, so I am going to repeat your example in my own words to make sure that I understand it correctly (thank you for being kind:)
Replace 1st 500 GB drive with 1 TB drive, rebuild array
Replace 2nd 500 GB drive with 1 TB drive, rebuild array
Array is still 500 GB
I still have 500 GB unused on each drive, which can be used to convert the RAID 1 to RAID 5 and total space will increase to 1 TB. Can I then add an additional 500 GB drive on top of what you suggested and convert it to RAID 6? Are there any benefits doing that?
Also, am I understanding this correctly that I am reconfiguring to RAID 5 with only 2 physical hard drives?
The server has two 160GB SSD SATA drives. We are however looking to replace them with 3.5” 2TB SATA hard drives. Are there any concerns in doing that might fail the process at any point?