Highlighted
vijay.vm
1 Copper

Powerdege 2900 - hard disk blinking amber

Dear All, 

Good day. 

I have a Dell Poweredge 2900 server in my office. Since I am relatively new to the job, I don't have much of an idea about it. Right now, we have 3 hard drives in the front. The middle one is blinking amber and I read that it means it's time to change it.

What i want to know is the following:

1) How do these drives work? I have read about RAID drives etc in books but don't have any idea how it works in real.

2) Does the poweredge 2900 have a separate hard disk inside and these three might just be for backup purposes? How are these  hard disks managed?

3) How crucial is this situation where the middle hard disk is having the amber light blinking? I do have a backup of the system. But how much time do I have to get these hard disk changed? 

4) If all three fail, what could happen?  

Appreciate some guidance so that I could at least know what I am dealing with. Thanks a lot in advance!!! 

0 Kudos
3 Replies
theflash1932
5 Iridium

Re: Powerdege 2900 - hard disk blinking amber

1. They work like normal hard drives, but the difference is that fact that they are connected to a RAID/storage controller in the system and not directly to the motherboard.  The controller manages the disks individually in an array that is presented to the OS and is all the OS can see.  Your three drives MAY be in a RAID 5, meaning that you can lose one drive and the data will stay accessible; two drives failing means the data goes offline.

2. No.  Unless someone just 'laid' a disk inside the box (there is no place to mount a drive internally), there is no way to put a drive in the system not attached through the backplane (drives accessible from outside).  Those are your drives.

3. Not relevant.  It is important to address a failed disk, regardless of its position in the system.  How much time do you have?  Maybe 5 minutes, maybe 2 years, it is completely dependent on when a second disk decides to go offline and can appear completely random.  Replace the failed drive as soon as possible.

4. If ONE more disk fails, you lose your array and you may or may not be able to resurrect it, which would mean replacing all disks and restoring from backup or paying thousands to recover.

Replace it as soon as possible; replace it with a Dell-certified drive (same size or larger); replace it "hot" (do NOT power down to replace it).

0 Kudos
krisd32
1 Copper

Re: Powerdege 2900 - hard disk blinking amber

Hello,

I would suggest that your hard drives are configured in a raid 5 array which would allow for you to use the Hot plug features of this server. This would allow you to remove the faulty drive and replace it with a drive of the exact same manufacturer and size. After replacing the drive the RAID controller will rebuild the array for you automatically. As mentioned above you do not need to power off the server whilst doing this.

0 Kudos
krisd32
1 Copper

Re: Powerdege 2900 - hard disk blinking amber

Hello,

I would suggest that your hard drives are configured in a raid 5 array which would allow for you to use the Hot plug features of this server. This would allow you to remove the faulty drive and replace it with a drive of the exact same manufacturer and size. After replacing the drive the RAID controller will rebuild the array for you automatically. As mentioed above you do not need to power off the server whilst doing this.