Server 2008 R2 RAID5 -- Moving backward to Server 2003 DC

Discussion in 'Windows Server' started by ruggieroav, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. ruggieroav

    ruggieroav MDL Novice

    Mar 7, 2012
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    Hi all,

    Been a lurker here for a while, and love this forum; helped me many times. I have some questions about Software RAID 5 in Windows Server 2008 R2, and the eventual move of the entire array to a down-rev Windows Server 2003 Datacenter machine.

    - I have 4 3TB hard disks in a port multiplier eSATA enclosure. On my 'home' Server 2008 R2 machine, all disks were initialized as GPT, then converted to Dynamic, then a RAID5 array was created. Had some initial trouble with disks dropping during the creation, until I enabled SSC on each of the disks, using a 'legacy jumper' on each drive.

    - Was surprised that even though the disks were "blank", there is still a bit of 'resynching' going on. This was approximately 8 hours ago, and it is now 15% done. I am guessing it should be completed by the weekend, if I'm lucky - LOL. (I have read about long resync times with software RAID, so I am not concerned too much except I have also read at least once that a blank array should not resync at all, until data is copied -- IS THIS NORMAL?) I am guessing this sync is because I attempted to create an array multiple times?

    - If and once this eventual resync completes, I would like to shut the server down, disconnect and power down the enclosure and pack it up for a move. This enclosure will then be connected to a SATA controller on a second server running Windows Server 2003 Datacenter with SP2.

    - This enclosure will not be used for OS files, only data. Will the entire RAID5 array be shown in Windows Server 2003 disk manager? (I wish I could simulate this somehow, and I know the ultimate test will be when I hook it up at its new home, but I am wondering if anyone has done a Dynamic Disk/RAID move between machines like this.

    Thanks to anyone and everyone for your time!
     
  2. sebus

    sebus MDL Guru

    Jul 23, 2008
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    The time it takes IS (sadly) normal

    As if that is going to work when moved... probably not (but I might be wrong, I never actually attempted such move)

    Why not buy proper hardware RAID card?

    sebus
     
  3. ruggieroav

    ruggieroav MDL Novice

    Mar 7, 2012
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    Thanks Sebus,

    Yes, I have learned a great deal about patience when working with RAID rebuilds. As stated above, I am surprised about the initial rebuild.

    As for not going with hardware RAID, this is not my choice. The company I am doing this for is looking to save money, and this is an addition to an existing server on a mobo that will have SATA, but not RAID. This also allowed me to test first at home, and at least provide a proof-of-concept, however lame. :)

    I am hoping the entire array is recognized, assuming the controller on the other server's mobo is compatible. The sata controller is a Silicon Image 3114, and it actually MAY support RAID, but it would be most likely software-based anyway. I have to look closely at the boot / bios screens on that server...

    Just clarify - I should have no problems using the 3TB disks as data disks in Server 2003 Datacenter, right?
     
  4. sebus

    sebus MDL Guru

    Jul 23, 2008
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    If the hardware supports it, then OS will, but the disks will have to be GPT (as MBR can only be 2 TB)

    You can get SATA PERC RAID on fleebay for £20, so the money is not an excuse!

    sebus
     
  5. ruggieroav

    ruggieroav MDL Novice

    Mar 7, 2012
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    Sebus,

    Thank you again - going to try the migration on Monday or Tuesday... if the array is recognized on 2003 as it is on my 2008 box, then I'll be happy for now - I am also going to look into the possibility of hardware RAID on that server; as I said it may already be present.
     
  6. sebus

    sebus MDL Guru

    Jul 23, 2008
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    Unlikely, on the plain mobo you will most likely have pseudo-raid for mirror at most
    Good luck & report back the results

    sebus
     
  7. ruggieroav

    ruggieroav MDL Novice

    Mar 7, 2012
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    Just getting back to this thread now! Other projects were accelerated earlier, so this storage move was put off until today. So... the RAID array I created in Server 2008 was NOT recognized. IN FACT, on the new server, running an add-on SIL3512 controller, only the FIRST "slot" in the enclosure was recognized. That is, drive 1 was recognized as a 2.7TB drive... cool! Now, if I moved drive 2 into that first slot, then IT was recognized. I BELIEVE the issue is with the 3512 CONTROLLER. Can anyone confirm this?

    There are 3 OTHER 1TB drives running on an add-on SIL3114 controller; would replacing the 3512 with another 3114 card work? Oddly enough I think the 3512 controller is OLDER than the 3114.

    Let me know!
     
  8. ruggieroav

    ruggieroav MDL Novice

    Mar 7, 2012
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    Update. I still have the SILICON IMAGE 3114 controller in the server running the 3 1TB disks. But I scrapped the 3152 and idea for the second 3114. I then purchased a NEW 4-port PCI-X eSATA controller, based on Silicon Image 3124. The port-multiplier enclosure is running off ONE port. Running perfectly under Windows 2003 software RAID-5. Took over a week to sync everything, with approximately 11% done per day; it would have been faster, but they started copying data to it before the initial re-sync was done. Whew!

    Overall, the client happy, and that he is budgeting for a second 4-drive enclosure which can run off a second port. In theory he could have 3 more 4-drive arrays! What's more, if we decide to go full hardware RAID with the original enclosure/drives this second enclosure and drives will work as a backup unit to move data.

    Thanks!