Tuesday 26 February 2013

HP P420i Smart Array: Adding 4 New Disks to a RAID 10 Array

We started off with a new HP ML350p G8 that our now client had purchased.

We had the RAM bumped up to 128GB and then suggested changing the existing 4 disk RAID 10 plus hot spare into a RAID 6 array across 8 disks.

We managed to secure the additional three disks for the task but for now we will hold off on RAID 6 as that requires a "feature activation license" according to HP.

We start by opening the HP System Management Homepage.


We then click on the Storage icon.


Next up is the Array Configuration Utility (ACU).


We then select the P420i Smart Array controller.


We then get a list showing any available disks, in this case 3, and the array we plan on expanding.


The fourth disk we plan on adding to this array is actually the current Global Hot Spare.

We can't see the hot spare in Logical View so we change to Physical View.


Click on the SAS Array A with Spare and we see the following options.


Click on Spare Management and we see:


We unselected the spare drive and chose Save near the bottom right.

We not longer had a Global Hot Spare.


Making sure that SAS Array A is selected we clicked on the Expand Array option.

We clicked the Select All (4 Drives) check and clicked Save.


Our status changed immediately:


We click on the View Status Alerts link to see what the exclamation mark is all about.


So, we have not cache while the RAID array is in the process of changing.

It took a few clicks to figure out where the status report was for the ongoing change. It's under Logical View.


We ran a timer for 1% to see what kind of time we were looking at and the result was about a minute and a half. So, about three to four hours for the initial step to be completed.

Hopefully once this process has completed we will be able to expand the existing array. We shall see...

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

Chef de partie in the SMBKitchen
Find out more at

Windows Live Writer


Unknown said...

How long did the actual expansion take you? I just added 4 146GB drives to my RAID 10 array. The only thing I can find was the manual stating to allow 15 minutes per GB, but they dont mention for what type of array. I am going with 584 GB. So i'll need just over 6 days.. worst case scenario.

Philip Elder Cluster MVP said...

As I recall it did not take too long since the server was not into production yet.

Count on HP's guidance.

It may be a lot simpler to just back up using your favourite imaging product, flatten the array, create a new array and logical disks, and restore your VMs.

BTW, I suggest dropping RAID 10 for RAID 6. We lost a server that had a single disk failure, we hot swapped the dead drive, and about two minutes later its pair died. Server Dead. :P

We would have been okay if we had a RAID 6 array.