[SOLVED] Converting RAID 5 to RAID 10 Using Intel RSTCLI Tool

SparkyTech934

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Jan 22, 2020
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Hi All,

I am currently running 4x 4TB WD Gold Re HDDs in my HP Z640 workstation/server. These drives are in a RAID 5 array using the built in Intel(R) C600+/C220+ series chipset sSATA RAID Controller. My goal is to convert the current array from its RAID 5 level to a RAID 10 level.

I have been managing the drives and the array by using the Intel RSTe CLI tool, inside of Windows Server 2019 Standard. The conversion from the RAID 5 level to RAID 10 can be facilitated through the tool, by using the following command:

-m --volume VolumeName --level 10

My question is what the best practices for this are in order for it to succeed with minimal impact on the system. The documentation for RSTe CLI the tool does not specify things such as:
  • Can the array be in use while it is converting the RAID level?
  • Does the host operating system need to 'offline' the disk before starting the process?
  • Will the drive letter need to be re-added once the process completes?
  • etc.
Has anyone here had any experience using the RSTCLI tool, and if so, what order were things done in to ensure a smooth transition. Thanks in advance for all the help!
 

faalin

Illustrious
Thanks for the reply!

To answer your question, yes, it could be considered a 'production' server. I run all of my personal data off of the machine, including my Nextcloud VM, Plex server, etc, and I want to have access to it at all times.

Backups are done every day using Windows Server Backup. Good point, and yes, I was aware that I will be going from 10.8TB down to 7.2. I have the headroom available for that move.

Per your suggestion, I don't quite understand what you mean by 'remove' the RAID 5. You mean remove the drive in Windows Server, remove a single drive from the array to induce a failure, etc, etc. My plan was to use the command I listed in the beginning to have the chipset and RAID controller convert the level from 5 to 10.

And okay, so it sounds like you are of the opinion that executing the command will do the necessary steps to offline the disk, etc. That means that I will have to kill any processes using the D: drive before I begin. Do you have any experience using the RSTCLI tool itself? Thanks faalin!

Ralston18, thanks for the comment as well! I think that for my 24/7 access needs and data availability it makes sense to use RAID. I am aware that RAID 5 is no longer considered a good choice, and I have to agree due to write penalty, and long rebuild times. RAID 10 is a bit more robust, but of course, I lose half of my capacity. Be that as it may, RAID fits for my scenario with this implementation. Any suggestions on how to use the RSTCLI tool are welcome. Thanks for commenting!

I dont use chipset raid i use LSI raid cards, so i have not used the RSTRCLI tool. By remore the RAID 5 i mean go in a delete the RAID volume so you're left with 4 normal drives, then set the drives back up as a RAID 10 volume.

The thing im worried about is where is all your data going to go when it converts a RAID 5 to 10. All the info is striped across the drives, it now has to move all the data to two drives, format 2 drives and make it a RAID 0, move all the data from whatever is left of the RAID 5 to the RAID 0, then delete the last 2 drives and place them in a RAID 1 to mirror the RAID 0 drives.

I would still say the fastest way would be to open the raid controller and remove\delete the RAID 5 so your left with 4 empty disc. Then make a new volume with those 4 discs into a RAID 10 and then restore all your data back to the new volume.

Depending where your backups are at, should take all of 10 min to delete the RAID 5 and make it a RAID 10, then however long to restore the backup to the new volume. I moved a 6TB volume from one computer to another over a 1GB ethernet connection in around 8 hours.
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
What are the requirements driving the need for RAID?

Be that RAID 0, RAID 5, or RAID 10.

Overall RAID is now rarely needed for most environments.

It may well be that a non-RAID environment will perform quite well (maybe better) and be much simpler to manage.

More information needed.
 

faalin

Illustrious
Is this a production server that has to be up and running, or something your playing around with.

Regardless you need to make sure you have Known and a working backup of the data on the drives. How much Data is on the RAID as you will be going from a working 10.8TB drive down to 7.2TB working size.

For the least amount of down time it would back everything up, if not already done, remove the RAID 5 and rebuild it as RAID 10. Set the drive up how you want it and then restore the data back to the RAID array from the backup.

If doing the migration on a live server the software should take the drives offline and no one will be able to access the information while the migration is in progress. Basically you dont want some to have a file open or changing data during the migration.
 

SparkyTech934

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Jan 22, 2020
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Is this a production server that has to be up and running, or something your playing around with.

Regardless you need to make sure you have Known and a working backup of the data on the drives. How much Data is on the RAID as you will be going from a working 10.8TB drive down to 7.2TB working size.

For the least amount of down time it would back everything up, if not already done, remove the RAID 5 and rebuild it as RAID 10. Set the drive up how you want it and then restore the data back to the RAID array from the backup.

If doing the migration on a live server the software should take the drives offline and no one will be able to access the information while the migration is in progress. Basically you dont want some to have a file open or changing data during the migration.
Thanks for the reply!

To answer your question, yes, it could be considered a 'production' server. I run all of my personal data off of the machine, including my Nextcloud VM, Plex server, etc, and I want to have access to it at all times.

Backups are done every day using Windows Server Backup. Good point, and yes, I was aware that I will be going from 10.8TB down to 7.2. I have the headroom available for that move.

Per your suggestion, I don't quite understand what you mean by 'remove' the RAID 5. You mean remove the drive in Windows Server, remove a single drive from the array to induce a failure, etc, etc. My plan was to use the command I listed in the beginning to have the chipset and RAID controller convert the level from 5 to 10.

And okay, so it sounds like you are of the opinion that executing the command will do the necessary steps to offline the disk, etc. That means that I will have to kill any processes using the D: drive before I begin. Do you have any experience using the RSTCLI tool itself? Thanks faalin!

Ralston18, thanks for the comment as well! I think that for my 24/7 access needs and data availability it makes sense to use RAID. I am aware that RAID 5 is no longer considered a good choice, and I have to agree due to write penalty, and long rebuild times. RAID 10 is a bit more robust, but of course, I lose half of my capacity. Be that as it may, RAID fits for my scenario with this implementation. Any suggestions on how to use the RSTCLI tool are welcome. Thanks for commenting!
 

faalin

Illustrious
Thanks for the reply!

To answer your question, yes, it could be considered a 'production' server. I run all of my personal data off of the machine, including my Nextcloud VM, Plex server, etc, and I want to have access to it at all times.

Backups are done every day using Windows Server Backup. Good point, and yes, I was aware that I will be going from 10.8TB down to 7.2. I have the headroom available for that move.

Per your suggestion, I don't quite understand what you mean by 'remove' the RAID 5. You mean remove the drive in Windows Server, remove a single drive from the array to induce a failure, etc, etc. My plan was to use the command I listed in the beginning to have the chipset and RAID controller convert the level from 5 to 10.

And okay, so it sounds like you are of the opinion that executing the command will do the necessary steps to offline the disk, etc. That means that I will have to kill any processes using the D: drive before I begin. Do you have any experience using the RSTCLI tool itself? Thanks faalin!

Ralston18, thanks for the comment as well! I think that for my 24/7 access needs and data availability it makes sense to use RAID. I am aware that RAID 5 is no longer considered a good choice, and I have to agree due to write penalty, and long rebuild times. RAID 10 is a bit more robust, but of course, I lose half of my capacity. Be that as it may, RAID fits for my scenario with this implementation. Any suggestions on how to use the RSTCLI tool are welcome. Thanks for commenting!

I dont use chipset raid i use LSI raid cards, so i have not used the RSTRCLI tool. By remore the RAID 5 i mean go in a delete the RAID volume so you're left with 4 normal drives, then set the drives back up as a RAID 10 volume.

The thing im worried about is where is all your data going to go when it converts a RAID 5 to 10. All the info is striped across the drives, it now has to move all the data to two drives, format 2 drives and make it a RAID 0, move all the data from whatever is left of the RAID 5 to the RAID 0, then delete the last 2 drives and place them in a RAID 1 to mirror the RAID 0 drives.

I would still say the fastest way would be to open the raid controller and remove\delete the RAID 5 so your left with 4 empty disc. Then make a new volume with those 4 discs into a RAID 10 and then restore all your data back to the new volume.

Depending where your backups are at, should take all of 10 min to delete the RAID 5 and make it a RAID 10, then however long to restore the backup to the new volume. I moved a 6TB volume from one computer to another over a 1GB ethernet connection in around 8 hours.
 

SparkyTech934

Reputable
Jan 22, 2020
101
13
4,665
25
I dont use chipset raid i use LSI raid cards, so i have not used the RSTRCLI tool. By remore the RAID 5 i mean go in a delete the RAID volume so you're left with 4 normal drives, then set the drives back up as a RAID 10 volume.

The thing im worried about is where is all your data going to go when it converts a RAID 5 to 10. All the info is striped across the drives, it now has to move all the data to two drives, format 2 drives and make it a RAID 0, move all the data from whatever is left of the RAID 5 to the RAID 0, then delete the last 2 drives and place them in a RAID 1 to mirror the RAID 0 drives.

I would still say the fastest way would be to open the raid controller and remove\delete the RAID 5 so your left with 4 empty disc. Then make a new volume with those 4 discs into a RAID 10 and then restore all your data back to the new volume.

Depending where your backups are at, should take all of 10 min to delete the RAID 5 and make it a RAID 10, then however long to restore the backup to the new volume. I moved a 6TB volume from one computer to another over a 1GB ethernet connection in around 8 hours.

Thanks again for the help, faalin.

You brought up some good points and I may find that the tool will not even let me convert from RAID level 5 to level 10. It may not be possible. I may have to resort to doing what you suggest, deleting the array, and creating a new RAID 10 array, carefully restoring the data afterwards. I appreciate your time and effort!

EDIT:
faalin, will keep your answer marked as best, I believe I found definitive proof that your theory is correct. I did an obscure Google search and found this webpage from intel about their C600 chipset RAID controller. See the table called RAID-to-RAID migration. It seems to be an exclusive list, if it isn't on there, it's not possible. I see that it is possible to go from a RAID 10 level to 5, but not the other way around. Thanks!
 
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