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Increasing storage space on HP server - RAID5 configuration


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hello fellow msfn-ers!

I have a question to see how you guys would tackle this as I am curious what to do myself...

Our office in NYC is running out of space on their file server. This server was setup 3 years ago, it's an HP Proliant with two 34gig drives in a RAID1 as the OS hd and the remaining 4 drives in a RAID5 configuration with 72gig drives....they only have 50 gigs left out of the 200 odd gigs of total space.

How can I go about getting more storage without purchasing another server? if we bought lets say, (4) 300gig drives and config with RAID5 (about 900gigs) how can I xfer the data that's already there without messing up the permissions? I would assume that I just have no other way than to either back up all the data to tape and then restore to the new drives or back the info up onto a NAS unit and then restore to the new drives....but again, my concern is the shares and permissions to stay how they are.

What do you guys recommend?

thanks for the input,

ceez

:thumbup

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I'm pretty sure that so long as you copy the files to another NTFS drive... the permissions will remain.

The shares on the other hand...i think you may loose them. So just format a 250GB usb drive and transfer the data, swap the arrays drives and re transfer the data.

I'd recommend you purchase 500GB or 750GB drives so you won't have to deal with this for a long time.

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@X-Ecutioner - I haven't seen too many SCSI or SAS drives that come in 500GB or 750GB variants.

@ceez - You could image the current storage drives onto an external drive, and then restore the image on the new array. The imaging program should be able to write all the data in the larger space, and it would retain all of the permissions as well.

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Zxian is right, that imaging onto a larger array is a much better option (or adding another 4x 147GB drives as a new RAID5 array if the controller and chassis will support it). Purchase larger drives, image the old array (and remove if you replace, or reformat if you are adding 4 more drives), create a new RAID5 with the 147GB drives (in this case ~430GB), drop the image of the old 200GB array down on it, and viola, more storage.

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I'm pretty sure that so long as you copy the files to another NTFS drive... the permissions will remain.

Not with just a copy they won't. There are utilities (XXCopy being one of them) that will let you copy both the security and auditing permissions along with the files, but as was mentioned earlier, the easiest method is to just image the array and restore the image to the new array.

@X-Ecutioner - I haven't seen too many SCSI or SAS drives that come in 500GB or 750GB variants.

The largest SCSI Ultra320 drives you can get are 300GB 15K RPM (the 15K RPM drives just hit the market) and the largest SAS drives you can get are 400GB 10K RPM (those are new as well).

My recommendation would be to get 4 x 146GB or larger drives and configure them in RAID10 (if the controller supports it...most controllers from the last 5 years or so do). RAID10 will give you a (potentially) more redundant setup and will yield much better performance (the controller doesn't have to do the RAID5 XOR calculations).

EDIT: Oh...and as for the drive imaging. Do it from a BartPE disk. Do it in this order and you won't have to recreate shares or reset permissions:

1. Restart the system and boot it from a BartPE disk (make sure you integrate your RAID controller drivers)

2. Image the current array to either another server or an external drive (obviously something that has enough space to store the data)

3. Shut down the server and pull the existing drives out, but number them so they stay in order (this is for recovery purposes if the new drives don't work right)

4. Put in the new drives and boot into the controller BIOS.

5. Create your new array.

6. Boot the system with BartPE again.

7. Restore the image created in step 2 onto the new array. Be sure to change the restore size so that it uses the entire space available on the array.

8. Boot the server back up again.

If you did everything correctly you should now have your files restored in the exact same manner they were before with all your shares/permissions still entact and you should have an increased size available for files.

Edited by nmX.Memnoch
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wow thanks alot for the information guys! I knew i could get some good intelligent answers from fellow msfn members!

I never thought of imaging, and funny, I do use XCOPY when I need to move a huge amount of files (not shares just files) but never noticed the switch in regards to permissions.

I will definitly use all these suggestions.

thanks again to ALL!!!! :thumbsup

ceez

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