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I'm looking at upgrading hard drives in a PowerEdge R720 and need a little guidance.

Current configuration:

OS: CentOS 6.5
Drives: 
2 x 300gb drives (RAID 1)
4 x 600gb drives (RAID 5)

I have 6 new 1.2TB SAS drives that need to be swapped in.

  1. Can I add a 1.2TB drive where a 600GB drive used to live?

  2. Since #1 would take a while, would it be possible to swap all the drives out at once while retaining the RAID config? All data will already be backed up elsewhere, just wondering if swapping them out all at once will kill the existing RAID config or if that is saved on the Perc H710 card.

  • 1. Yes. 2. Raid 5 means you can only have 1 failure. If you pull out more than 1 drive then you will have lost the entire raid 5. So it is one at a time if you don't want to lose the data. Or all at once if you want to lose your data. – lbanz Jul 21 '16 at 14:37
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    Well he asked for the raid config, not the data on it. If the data doesn't matter then just do all at once, just make sure to go into the RAID BIOS later to make sure the new drives have been correctly initialized. – Marki Jul 25 '16 at 9:37
  • Right. I didn't care about the data. Just didn't want to reconfigure raid unless I had to. – a coder Jul 25 '16 at 12:54
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One disk at a time.

Let each drive rebuild successfully, then replace the next drive.

That's all.

(replacing all disks at the same time == data loss - don't do that!)

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    However, depending on the raid implementation (software or hardware), it may not work with a different size drive. Also, putting in a bigger drive with a raid implementation that will use different size drives, usually won't use any of the extra space. So you'll probably have the same size raid array with a bunch of unused space at the end of each drive. If you have backups, rebuilding is probably better. – lsd Jul 21 '16 at 14:43
  • I'm actually going to have to do that myself sometime. Sooner or later my raid5 will have drives fail, and getting drives this small will be very hard, so will have to replace them all with new drives and rebuild. Getting an expansion unit (in my case), adding new raid volume, migrating things across, then rebuilding old raid would work too, if you could do that. – lsd Jul 21 '16 at 14:45
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    This is standard hardware RAID operation. The LSI/PERC controller used in this setup will absolutely allow the use of larger disks. Once the array is rebuilt with the larger disks, the virtual drive (VD) will need to be expanded. – ewwhite Jul 21 '16 at 14:45
  • the virtual drive (VD) will need to be expanded << Is this handled in the RAID configuration screen on boot? – a coder Jul 21 '16 at 14:54
  • Sorry, not that familiar with the PowerEdge R720 and it's PERC controller. Older ones didn't support that, as far as I knew (in the 620 for example). At least, we never did, we always had to rebuild. – lsd Jul 21 '16 at 14:59

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