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We have an SQL 2005 Server we need to upgrade the Hard Disks on. The most efficient way I can think of to do this is the following;

  • Run a backup using Backup Exec on the D:\ Partition (This partition holds the SQL DATA Files)
  • Disable the SQL Services from starting on start-up
  • Reboot the Server into the RAID Controller
  • Remove the old Hard Disks
  • Insert the new Hard Disks
  • Initialize the New Array
  • Boot into the OS
  • Assign the Drive letter D: to the new array
  • Use backup exec to restore all the Data files to the D:\ partition
  • Enable SQL Services on Startup
  • Reboot the server

Is this the best way of doing this? Am I missing something?

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Couple of questions: does your controller support hot swap? Do you have a specific time period allowed for downtime? –  Brent Pabst Dec 5 '12 at 20:16
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Also, DO NOT run the backup until after you have terminated all current SQL connections and even better, until after you have disabled the SQL Server services. –  Brent Pabst Dec 5 '12 at 20:17
    
What type of server and RAID controller? –  longneck Dec 5 '12 at 20:17
    
Why do ou think you need to reinitialize the arrays? Backup, replace one set if discs, let array rebuild etc. –  TomTom Dec 5 '12 at 20:20
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What we are trying to explain is that the disk sizes can be mismatched, they do not have to be the same size. The only issue is if you stick a smaller disk into the array, larger is not an issue. –  Brent Pabst Dec 5 '12 at 20:47

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

If the disks are hot-swappable I would simply replace disk by disk and allow the array to rebuild in this case. You have an entire weekend to do so. You don't mention how big the array is or what type of RAID config you are using but allowing the disks to rebuild is a very simple solution.

You do need to make sure however that your RAID controller supports expanding the RAID volume once the larger disks are in place.

Alternatively what you have mentioned abover should work too, however as I mentioned in the comment above, make sure you run a full SQL backup first, then disable the SQL service, then proceed with the disk backup and go from there.

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We are upgrading from 146GB drives to 300, meaning we couldn't just replace the drives one by one, because the array will be a different size. –  CryptoJones Dec 5 '12 at 20:40
    
The RAID controller should only utilize an equivalent amount of space as the smallest hard drive in the array. Moreover, if the volume is not expanded it will remain at the preset size of 146GB even if you install the 300GB disks unless you expand the volume. –  Brent Pabst Dec 5 '12 at 20:44
    
@CryptoJonesYou can always upgrade one by one, then, once all discs in an array are larger size, expand the raid group. Most controllers these days let you plug in larger replacement disks. –  TomTom Dec 5 '12 at 20:44

You can definitely do this online with HP Smart Array controllers. See the following for more detail:

What are the good ways to migrate a RAID array to bigger disks?

Expansion of a logical drive using an HP Smart Array RAID controller can be done by replacing each disk with a larger drive, one at a time, allowing time to rebuild in between. This will result in a larger logical drive (in HP terms) that will provide unused space that can be allocated to the existing drive or carved into a new logical drive.

Do you have the HP Management Agents and support pack installed on the server? If you do, then this can be done graphically and you can monitor the progress of the the process.

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Thanks! I appreciate the feedback! –  CryptoJones Dec 5 '12 at 22:18

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