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Our current main filer server is a Windows 2003 R2 cluster with 3 2TB disks connected to a backend SAN.

Our main issue right now is 1 of the 2TB disk is getting full. What options do I have?

  1. Mount another disk to a folder within the 2TB volume
  2. Use GPT disks to go beyond the 2TB limit

I'm just looking for feedback to see if there are other options or gotchas with these 2 options from people that have implemented either ones. Option 1 would be the simplest solution to implement. I'm just concerned about any ill effects with the volume being at the 2TB limit already. Thank you.

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I'd go GPT-Dynamic and span the disks (I'm assuming these 2TB volumes are on a RAID Array).

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2003 cluster doesn't support dynamic disks. Would have to clone the data to a new GPT disk. – rktek Aug 26 '10 at 21:29
@ErikA, going after Strunk & White? – Chris S Aug 26 '10 at 23:30
Hehe, I guess I am. :) – EEAA Aug 27 '10 at 1:31

GPT will allow you to create disks larger than 2TB, so long as everything in the storage path is 64bit. One of our storage arrays won't make LUNs that large, so the fact that our 64-bit Win2008 hosts can use them is irrelevant. Our newer array can do so, and we currently are. If you have the option, I'd say go with GPT.

If you're stuck with 2TB LUNs because of a 32bit problem somewhere, spanning the volume over multiple LUNs is your only real choice.

Since you're on a cluster, and Cluster doesn't support dynamic disks (at least not without Veritas Storage Essentials or whatever it's called), you have even fewer options. I'm facing this exact problem right now, and we're contemplating breaking the volume up into multiple LUNs and changing how our users access storage.

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Ultimately, DFS is the way to go but I can't get buy in from management so I'm stuck where I am. Have to look in to Spanned volumes to see how they behave in a cluster. So if you can serve up a volume of 3TB either through GPT or volume spanning, are there any issues with clients (XP, W2K, etc.) accessing the volume (shared) at all? – rktek Aug 27 '10 at 13:33
Clutering can only use basic disks. Basic disks' maximum volume size is 2TB. Spanning isn't an option then it looks like. – rktek Aug 27 '10 at 14:18
Not that I've found. I was doing 3TB volumes with NetWare and our XP clients never blinked. I can't imagine Windows/Windows would be worse. – sysadmin1138 Aug 27 '10 at 14:18
@rtek I feel your pain. Really. I'm facing the exact same issue right now. Also, 2TB+ volumes take a really long time to back up. – sysadmin1138 Aug 27 '10 at 14:44

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