RAID5 with OCE ROCKS!

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gregoryx
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RAID5 with OCE ROCKS!

Postby gregoryx » Sat Jan 21, 2006 1:12 pm

Thought it worth posting my experience with Online Capacity Expansion for those who haven't seen this work:

I got a 3Ware 9500S 12-port SATA card a while ago primarily because it supports OCE and I wanted to be able to just build the array as I needed it - unlike when I built the other RAID5 using 3Ware 7506-8 with 8 250G PATA drives.

I originally got 6 400G WD RE drives (1,000,000 hour claimed MTBF, RAID-targetted TLER feature, 5-year warranty), but one of them came "bad". I was bummed at first, but then realized this was a great opportunity to test out OCE right away. I built the array with five drives (storage capacity of ~ 400G x 4 with one parity drive). I set up the drive as a "dynamic volume" in WinXP as I understood this was the way to go to utilize OCE without requiring the use of some third-party repartitioning software (such as Acronis, which I use regularly anyway... but I like learning).

I finally got it sent back (replacement came in three days) and went to put it in Thursday night. Turns out I had old firmware on the card. Got the firmware updated and did a "migrate" which simply asked if I wanted to add the one unused drive to the RAID5 array.

It took about 30 hours for the migration to complete.

Once complete, XP still didn't see the new space. I went to disk management and right-clicked on the volume and it had an "expand volume" option! It automatically guessed that I wanted to add the new space.

It looks a little weird in disk manager because it appears to be two volumes (both with the same drive name assigned), but it functions as one just fine.

In short, very little actual "work" to get from 1.6T to 2T. I'm pleased.

If anyone has any knowledge about dynamic disks that advises against using this model, please let me know; otherwise, I'm quite pleased with the results and would encourage anyone considering this direction to consider the same hardware combination.

:D

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Postby AccessHA » Sat Jan 21, 2006 6:34 pm

:) Couldn't agree with you more! OCE is a must for media servers. Thanks for sharing your experience as always.
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Postby PeterM1 » Sun Jan 22, 2006 11:15 am

If anyone has any knowledge about dynamic disks that advises against using this model, please let me know; otherwise, I'm quite pleased with the results and would encourage anyone considering this direction to consider the same hardware combination.


I've got a 2-stage dynamic volume from OCE too, from what I read at the time, it's harmless, although it certainly looks wierd. I researched alternative disk managers too, none of the existing and older resizing products work on such volumes anymore with the exception of Symantec Volume Manager which is expensive. Acronis Director doesn't handle dynamic disks and the older PowerMagic, ServerMagic products were bought by Symantec and rolled into VM.

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Postby ccharmatz » Sun Jan 22, 2006 11:48 pm

Gregory,

Yes OCE is awesome!!! I have been using this functianilaity with the maxattach 6000's for a while and love it. However I am at an inpass currently where by I can no longer expand my current sdtorage options and need to look at additional options. ( this partly due to the recent addition of theatertek to my configuration. thanks to all your posts helping others that i was able to use )

I am curious as to what you are using for storage servers, and if you have a dedicated location for them where the noise is isolated. I keep my disk arrays in my home office, in an effort to keep them out of the way and as cool as possible.

I have been looking at the supermicro product sc933 for the addition of additional space and would like your input.

http://www.supermicro.com/products/chas ... 2-R760.cfm

Thank you,

Charles.

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Postby ccharmatz » Tue Feb 27, 2007 12:50 am

Just thought I would update this thread as I believe it is somewhere in the topic to update often and keep current.

I still use the MaxAttach 6000's bless their reliable little hearts, however I did invest in the supermicro 933t chassis and have been very happy with them.

I now have three of these boxes with the 3ware 16 drive 9550sx cards. I plan to upgrade my drives once the 1tb hitachi's hit the market.

you can never have enough storage.

:)

one more time OCE rocks!!!

*note* You do want to ensure you have a nice closet for these loud boxes. And the MLwmi is nice to be able to start up or shut down the array's as needed.


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