Disk space is never enough. On an on-going basis system administrators will be getting request to increase the disk space on a server.
In this article, let us review how to add new physical disks and create a virtual disk with a RAID configuration on an DELL PowerEdge Server using PERC 6/i Integrated BIOSConfiguration Utility.
The new DELL Servers has the ability to create RAID 0, 1, 5, 6 and 10 using the hardware controller.
Assume the scenario where the server came with 2 physical hard drives configured in RAID-1. This Logical Volume is where the operating system is installed and you got a request to expand disk space on this server. So, you have purchased additional disks and would like toconfigure a RAID setup. In this example, 4 additional disks are configured as RAID-5 on a DELL PowerEdge 2950 server. The same steps works on other DELL PowerEdge servers as long as you have the same PERC BIOS Configuration Utility.
If you are using an old server that uses PERC/CERC BIOS Configuration Utility, please refer to the article we wrote earlier about how to create RAID on DELL Serversusing PERC/CERC BIOS Configuration Utility (with screenshots).
1. Launch PERC 6/i Integrated BIOS Configuration Utility
First, insert all new disks in the empty slots. If there are already disks on slot 0 and slot 1, start inserting the new disks from slot 2. In this example, the new 4 disks are inserted from slot-2 to slot-5.
After the disks are inserted, reboot the server. When the server isstarting up, press Ctrl-R to launch the PowerEdge Expandable RAID Controller BIOS. Press Ctrl-R when it is displaying the following message on the console.
Fig: Press Ctrl-R to Launch DELL PowerEdge 2950 III Expandable RAID Controller
This will launch the PERC 6/i Integrated BIOS Configuration Utility. This utility will have the following three TABs on the top.
* VD Mgmt – Virtual DiskManagement, which will be selected by default.
* PD Mgmt – Physical Disk Management
* Ctrl Mgmt – Controller Management
2. Create New Virtual Disk
From the Virtual Disk Management, use arrow key and select ‘Controller 0′. Press F2 to show available operations for the ‘Controller 0′. This will display a pop-up menu with following choices. Select ‘Create New VD’.
Fig: Create New VirtualDisk on DELL PowerEdge 1950 III Server
This will display the Virtual Disk Management screen with ‘Create New VD’ Panel. Following are the various sections displayed in this screen:
* RAID Level
* PD Per Scan
* Physical Disks Section
* Basic Settings
* VD Size
* VD Name
* Advanced Settings
* Stripe Element Size
* Read Policy
* Write Policy* Force WB with no battery
* Configure HotSpare
3. Choose RAID Level for the Virtual Disk
Press Enter on the RAID option, which will display the following RAID choices. In this example, I choose RAID-5 as shown in the Fig below.
Fig: Select RAID Level in Create VD Screen for DELL PowerEdge 2970Server
4. Select the Physical Disks for the Virtual Disk Group (RAID Group)
After selecting the RAID Level, press TAB and jump to Physical Disks section. This section will display all available disks that are not configured yet. Every physical disks will display Drive ID and Size.
Press space bar to select the disks. i.e the check-box in front of the physical disk will be selected. Once you’veselected one disk, it will automatically jump to the next available disk. Keep pressing space bar until all available physical disks are selected as shown below.
Fig: Select All available Physical Disk in Create VD Screen for DELL PowerEdge R900 Server
5. Set Virtual Disk Group Basic Settings
Since I have selected 4 disks (each 139G) for RAID-5, the total usable space would be around...