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I have an old, old, old EMC AX100 RAID array. It's not being used for anything important, but I would like to use it for testing and lab work.

One of the problems is that the OS itself is stored across the first few drives, and they're original model 250GB SATA drives. I have no shortage of these around to replace in the event that something fails, but I'd much prefer to migrate to newer disks.

Despite many claims to the contrary, non-EMC branded disks do work (although with the caveats that data loss will probably ensue if I lose chassis power because of drive caching, performance hits, yadda yadda, like I said, nothing remotely important).

I've managed to get up to 500GB drives to be recognized by FLARE, but I've added those to the otherwise-empty spaces, not the ones used by the OS.

Is there a way that I can migrate, through a process of swapping out the original disks with new ones, from the original 250GB drives to more modern models? Anyone have any experience doing anything this foolish?

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3 Answers 3

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If the AX is anything like the CX (CLARiiONs) I manhandle then the fist 5 disks of the enclosure hold the Flare OS and DB. If I remember right on the AX100 it is only the first 4... 0 to 3.

I am only truly familiar with CX and Flare 23 and Higher.

But the OS disks should be and are reported as capable of rebuilding to any "Compatible drive" if swapped out one at a time.
It must be completely done the rebuild and completely transitioned before moving to the next.
If the non-reserved space is unused, create a raid disk on it.
This will help indication show once the entire drive has migrated.
This is because the reserved space is migrated then the usable space.
Once you have swapped them you should be fine and can delete the raid disk IF you created it just for the migration.

500GB are the max "Supported" by the system. There are reports of "select" 1TB drives working with latter versions of FLARE for the AX. But I would stick with supported for the OS drives.

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I'm impressed that you managed to get normal drives recognized, I'd always understood that the various Clariion's used a 520byte sector and modified firmware that would prevent this. Nice work - I wish I had a spare to play with too. :)

The Flare OS drives - 0 to 4, have a kind of convoluted partitioning with various mirroring and RAID combinations built across reserved chunks of the drives. These partitions are for the SPA boot, SPB boot, Flare OS, PSM, Database, Write Cache Vault. I can't recall specifically but I think the PSM is triple mirrored across drives 0,1 & 2, the Cache Vault is Raid 3 striped across all 5, SPA's boot partition is mirrored on drive 0 and 2, SPB's on drive 1 and 3, Recovery code and dump space resides on drive 4. Have you tried pulling out one of the Flare drives and slotting in an original as a replacement as a start? I'm not suggesting you should mind you but if you have I'd be interested in what happens, even with all the redundancy there's a chance it will come back looking for some official EMC voodoo to actually repair it.

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Have you tried dding the 5 x 250GB disks onto 5 x 500GB disks, and booting from those? If that works, you may be able to extend/create larger data partitions with the EMC tools, or maybe with parted?

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