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I have a HP DL120 server running under co-location with a 2 disk RAID 1. Now i want to gain DB read speed by adding two more disks. My question is if the two disks automaticly will be included in the raid 1 or if the machine will have to be reconfigured in bois to include the two exta disks. The first confugoration to get the two disks in raid were bios config but now i can see and admin them from HP Array Configuration Utility.

(Using Smart Array B110i SATA RAID)

BR
Andreas

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3 Answers 3

You machine will take up to 4 disks and will support a 4 disk RAID 10 array but you'll need to buy the 'HP Smart Array Advanced Pack' (HP P/N: 516471-B21) and one of the forms of flash-backed cache (ie. HP P/N's 534916-B21) if you don't already have one.

Once these are in place and you've got 4 MATCHING drives then you'll be able to boot into the HP ORCA utility via F9 or boot from a SmartStart CD/ISO (a better idea) and initiate a RAID-level migration from 1 to 10. Once complete this will either allow you to add the new space to any existing virtual disks or create new one/s.

As all before have said, make sure you've got good backups first ok :)

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I've never worked with this particular RAID controller before, but typically you'll need to go into the BIOS and add them to the RAID. If you do go this route, make sure you take good backups! You never know what could go wrong, despite any precautions you may take.

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Adding two extra disks to the machine will not 'automagically' add them to an existing RAID.

I think you have three options:

  1. Check if the RAID card in your HP supports a 4 disk mirror.
    Make a backup of all your data and test the backup. (Do not skip the testing!)
    Add the two extra drives.
    Go to the RAID cards BIOS.
    Remove the existing RAID (goodbye old data!)
    Create a new RAID with the four drives in it.
    Restore the backup.

  2. Check if the RAID card in your HP supports a 4 disk mirror.
    Make a backup of all your data and test the backup. (Do not skip the testing!)
    Add the two extra drives.
    Go to the RAID cards BIOS.
    Use the built in features to expand the RAID. NOT all cards support this. Depending on the size of the disks this will take some time. (e.g. up to several hours.)

  3. Check if the RAID card in your HP supports a 4 disk mirror.
    Make a backup of all your data and test the backup. (Do not skip the testing!)
    Add the two extra drives.
    Boot the host and go to the HP Array Configuration Utility.
    Either use the tools features to expand the RAID (if supported), or
    Remove the existing RAID (goodbye old data!)
    Create a new RAID with the four drives in it and restore the backup.

Some notes:

  1. You explicitly wrote you wanted to increase READ speed.
    I assume that you are aware that this (RAID1/mirroring) using will not improve WRITE speed.

  2. Depending on the size of your database you might want to look at an SSD.
    This is kind of a non-answer, but it will yield superior read speeds.

  3. Migration option 3 might not work if the RAID also holds your OS.

  4. Does the server do more things than just the database you want to speed up? If it does and this includes disk access then creating a second RAID volume might work better.

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