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I have an x346 server with 3 x RAID 5 73GB U320 HDD's running ESXi with 2 VM's on it.

1 VM is an exchange server running IIS and SQL2008. The other is an applications VM running IIS.

I have another 3 x 36GB U320 HDD's and want to put these into the server as more storage, possibly on RAID 5.

What is the best way to add these drives? Is it possible to have 2 RAID 5 disk arrays? I've not had a play yet with putting the drives in.

As the 36GB drives will be used for storage which will be backed up off-site, which RAID option would be the best? I would like redundancy, but as this will be file storage ONLY (no DB, OS etc.) a backup may be sufficient.



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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Whether you can put the disks into RAID depends on your RAID controller; it's probably an IBM ServerRaid, so check the documentation to see what it supports. You'll need to reboot to access the RAID controller setup though, so plan downtime.

If you want to decouple the other servers from filestorage, it may be worth creating a third VM with low resource allocation to act as a fileserver (Linux with Samba would be a good choice) and then using the new disks as the datastore for a dedicated file storage partition. You can then use a network backup solution to mirror the files offsite.

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