Knowledge Base

What should I consider when using dynamic disks with a SAN-attached host? - KB Article - 175383

How to Use Dynamic Disks with a Windows Host

To use dynamic disks with a Microsoft® Windows® 2000 or Microsoft Windows 2003 host, all dynamic disks should exist on one storage subsystem. In a SAN environment, perfom one of the following actions:

  • Use dynamic disks on only the Storage Area Network (SAN) storage drives and keep the locally attached storage as basic disks.
    If the host is attached to multiple storage arrays, all dynamic disks should exist on one storage array.
  • Use basic disks on the SAN storage drives and configure the locally attached storage as dynamic disks.
NOTE: For more information on configuring the SAN storage drives, consult your system documentation.

This recommendation is based on the way that Logical Disk Manager (LDM) keeps track of dynamic disks and synchronizes the databases. If you follow this recommendation and you lose access to the SAN storage that houses the dynamic disks, all dynamic disks will drop offline from the Windows system at the same time. Because you have no dynamic disks attached locally, there are no LDM database synchronization issues to contend with when the SAN disks eventually come back online. If you have one dynamic disk on the locally attached storage, you run the risk of the LDM databases being mismatched, and you may have trouble bringing any SAN-attached dynamic disks back online.

NOTE: For more information on basic and dynamic disks, refer to Dell Knowldge Base Article: "What are the differences between basic and dynamic storage disks?"

Process for Taking SAN Storage Offline in a Mixed Dynamic Disk Configuration

If you must take the SAN storage offline for maintenance in a mixed dynamic disk configuration, perform the following steps:

  1. Shut down the server before you take the SAN storage unit offline.
  2. Make sure that all the SAN devices are available again when you bring the server back online.

NOTE: Removing a SAN-attached dynamic disk from a running system may cause a LDM database mismatch.

Microsoft® Windows® does not support mounting a disk volume to multiple hosts at the same time.

Microsoft Windows does not support mounting a disk volume to multiple hosts at the same time. This restriction applies to volumes that are located on a BASIC disk or a dynamic disk. Volume corruption may occur if changes are made to the volume by both hosts. Windows also does not support exposing and then importing dynamic disks on multiple hosts (nodes) simultaneously. This practice can also lead to data loss or to LDM database corruption.

The information contained in the above article consists of excerpts from Microsoft Knowledge Base. The technical information and troubleshooting described herein are for informational purposes only. For additional information or the complete article, go to the Microsoft support Web site at and search the Microsoft Knowledge Base.

Article ID: Q329707 Title - "Best Practices for Using Dynamic Disks on Windows 2000-Based Computers (329707)"

Article ID: Q816307 Title - "Best Practices for Using Dynamic Disks on Windows Server 2003-Based Computers (816307)"


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Article ID: SLN79109

Last Date Modified: 08/14/2018 07:15 AM

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