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Dell PE R710, received from Dell in the following state :

Windows Disk 0 1800GB ( Volume C & D ) Windows Disk 1 526 GB (Volume E )

Perc6i Integrated Raid Controller 6 x 500GB Nearline SAS 7200RPM HDDs

Raid 5 Configuration with two Virtual Disks

I have installed Dell open Manage and it shows the following :

Virtual Disk 0 - State : Background Initialization ( 7% ) Virtual Disk 1 - State : Background Initialization ( 25% )

Now when I click on Virtual Disk 0 it shows me all 6 Disks and the same happens when I click on Virtual Disk 1 it displays all 6 disks.

But when I click on Storage > Perc6i > Connector 0 > I get 4 Physical disks with the following numbers :

Physical Disk 0:0:0 Physical Disk 0:0:1 Physical Disk 0:0:2 Physical Disk 0:0:3

When I click on Storage > Perc6i > Connector 1 > I get 2 Physical Disks Listed in the following way :

Physical Disk 1:0:4 Physical Disk 1:0:5

I am a little confused in this description, does this 1:0:4 interprets to Controller1, Disk4. Does this integrated raid card have two controllers coming out of it ?

Also, When I first switched on the machine, the boot partition was showing 1GB Available out of 40GB, now its showing 38GB available out of 40GB.

Is this because the Virtual Disks are still Initializing ? Any recommendations or suggestions ?

Also, this server have 6 x 500GB NearLine SAS Hard drives, what would be a good raid config ?

We are planning to use it for Hyper-V with quite a few (7 or 8) virtual servers, your suggestions would be helpful.

Also, while the virtual disks are in a initialization state, can I destroy and re-create the raid configuration ? I would have to do it at the BIOS CTRL-M ?

Thanks and Regards

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2 Answers

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I am a little confused in this description, does this 1:0:4 interprets to Controller1, Disk4. Does this integrated raid card have two controllers coming out of it ?

I think that it is still technically one controller. EDIT: @techieb0y has the right answer to this part of the question below.

Also, When I first switched on the machine, the boot partition was showing 1GB Available out of 40GB, now its showing 38GB available out of 40GB.

Is this because the Virtual Disks are still Initializing ?

Yes.

Any recommendations or suggestions ?

Wait until they are finished initializing.

Also, this server have 6 x 500GB NearLine SAS Hard drives, what would be a good raid config ?

This really depends on your needs, and I am sure there are many threads here on ServerFault that talk about the benefits and drawbacks of various RAID configurations in various scenarios. What is most important to you? Safety? Speed? Maximum volume? When I'm in doubt, I usually stick with a RAID5, cause it offers a good combination of performance and safety.

We are planning to use it for Hyper-V with quite a few (7 or 8) virtual servers, your suggestions would be helpful.

Depending on how much RAM and CPU you have, and depending on what you are doing with these systems, that might not be that many at all. I've run as many as 30 simultaneous VMs on my similarly spec'd hosts (although running VMware ESX and not Hyper-V). But those VMs have all been "light-duty" machines that aren't heavily utilized.

Also, while the virtual disks are in a initialization state, can I destroy and re-create the raid configuration ?

Yes, I've done this many times on my R710s with no ill-effects. Just make sure you do a new initialization before using them.

I would have to do it at the BIOS CTRL-M ?

Yes, as far as I know, this is the only way to do it. There might be others though, I haven't looked for any alternatives.

Hope this helps. Good luck,

--jed

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Thanks, I destroyed the raid then ctrl + m, to create a new raid created 2 disk groups on perc6i diskgroup0 = raid1 2x500Gb for the OS partition diskgroup1 = raid5 4x500Gb for the data / virtualserver partition do you think keep all vhds and configs on the same partition will be a problem ? i have another hyper-v with all vms on one raid5 partition and so far no probs ? thank you so much jed & techieb0y for your to the point answers Kind regards –  rihatum Apr 12 '10 at 9:11
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The PERC6/i (and 5/i) cards have 2 4-port multilane SAS connectors. On the 2950, R710, and similar they can be configured as 4+2 with 3.5in disks, or as 4+4 with 2.5in disks, each port running 3GBps and dedicated to a single disk. The OS, though, should see the virtual disks on a single channel.

The best RAID config depends on the workload, but RAID5 is often the best balance between speed and capacity.

If you want to change the RAID config, you can do so via OpenManage, unless you're changing the virtual disk containing the OS you are currently running from. For that, you need to use the BIOS.

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Thanks techieb0y for your answers. –  rihatum Apr 12 '10 at 9:11
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