Moving multiple PERC4e/Di arrays on PE2850

Derek Yuen derek.yuen at
Tue Sep 28 13:26:43 CDT 2010


I currently have PowerEdge 2850's with the PERC4e/Di controllers
(firmware 5B2D).

They are configured with 6 disks, all 146 GB/U320SCSI as two arrays:
 Logical disk (LD) 0: two 146 GB RAID 1  (operating system: RHEL5.4)
 Logical disk (LD) 1: four 146 GB RAID 5 (customer data)

I am looking to upgrade the operating system on these machines but need to
keep logical disk 1 intact (post-upgrade).

I was planning to do this by swapping out LD0 with another RAID1 pair from
a staging machine with the new OS configured.

  (this idea was from a very successful run with the PERC5 and PERC6

I first tried a straight swap of LD0; that resulted in the controller not
seeing LD1 and I couldn't recover the array on LD1 (via recreating the
RAID 5 array, without initializing).  It appeared that the controller
still initialized the disks as a part of the array creation process even
after the "initialize disks" was unchecked at the time of creation.

I reviewed the PERC4 manual and can confirm that if I ...
  - I shut machine down and removed all disks;
  - I powered up the machine with no disks, entered the controller
    configuration screen and cleared all arrays,
  - I plugged in the pair of disks with the operating system

This worked as documented.

But ... clearing the controller of all array configuration information
and when I plugged in all disks, the controller only saw one array and
wasn't able to detect the second array.  Deleting and recreating the array
resulted in the disks being initialized.

I've tried all I know.  Does anyone have any experience or ideas to
suggest ?  Or, is what I'm trying to do impossible with PERC4 series of
controllers ?

  Or, is there an easier way to upgrade several hundred 2850's from RHEL3
  to RHEL5 before RHEL3 becomes end-of-life on support ?  :-)

I'd appreciate any advice.

Thanks in advance,
Derek Yuen
University of Toronto

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