dell poweredge upgrade

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Hi all

I got dell poweredge with standard dell sata raid. 4x sata 250 gb hdd
connected to the raid controller (raid5 with hot spare)
debian linux on it
basically I want to add another two 250gb sata drives to existing raid5
Scenario seems to be like this:
1. full backup system (partimage, dd whatever) (obviously the full
backup step is a must allways)
2. add hdd's
3. destroy raid
4. create new one
5. restore system form backup
the question is: shold I destroy completly the raid configuration or is
there any "less dangerous" method to do it?
any thoughts?
thanks in advance


Re: dell poweredge upgrade

On Thu, 14 May 2009 10:20:01 +0100, whitey

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What SATA RAID controller is this Poweredge using for the
array?  There should be documentation from Dell or the
chipset manufacturer as to whether it supports advanced
features, but in most cases your description is correct on
what needs done.

Make your backup then unplug all the existing drives,
connecting only the new ones and restore the backup to the
new drives to test that the backup is viable.  If the two
new drives lack the capacity to do this, consider arranging
them as a single drive span for the test, or add more drives
borrowed from some other project or system (obviously other
drives could not hold important data as they will be part of
the test, being written to).

Having confirmed that the backup restores without issue,
that the data is intact, then proceed to delete the array on
the new drives, disconnect them and reconnect the old drives
and confirm they are still working in the old array.

Next reconnect the new drives so all drives are connected
and delete the array(s) and create one comprised of all
drives, then restore the back up to the new array.

Certain drive controllers do provide a method of adding
members to an array (some of Intel's southbridge integral
controllers IIRC, but I am not familiar with all the Intel
Matrix Raid features nor their configuration), but beyond
those you do generally have to get rid of the existing array
and define a new one comprised of all drives.  Having
confirmed that your backup is intact and restores properly
it does not seem any more dangerous than any potential
oddities invovled with trying to add members to an existing
array even if you did have that less common feature.

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