How to expand a Dell Perc H710 raid array

Dell Server Update Utility

In this post I’ll take a step by step look at how to expand a raid array on the Dell Perc H710 raid controller.

The initial raid configuration will often be performed through the Perc bios utility if you are old school, nowadays though it can be configured within the Lifecycle controller during the initial server setup. But if you want to expand an array at a later date after deployment then we can use the Dell Server Administrator to perform the task.

Follow the steps below.

  1. Insert the new disk – if it is a hot swap just plug it into the next numbered slot. Obviously confirm it is the same type, spindle speed, and preferably capacity first, although it can be a larger capacity, but you just won’t use it all.
  2. Launch the Dell Server Administrator.Dell Server Administrator
  3. Navigate to System – Storage – Connector – Enclosure – Physical Disks. In the image below you can see 0:1:4 is the new disk and has a status of Ready.Dell OpenManage Server Administrator - Physical Disks on Controller PERC H710 Adapter

  4. Navigate to the Virtual Disks, and from the Available Tasks drop down menu select Reconfigure, then click Execute.Dell OpenManage Server Administrator - Virtual Disks on Controller PERC H710 Adapter
  5. The Reconfigure Virtual Disk wizard will open. Read through the instructions, and select the new Physical Disk with Free capacity.
    Dell OpenManage Server Administrator - Reconfigure Virtual Disk0 step 1 of 3
  6. Confirm the disks in the Selected Physical Disks section. Click Continue. Reconfigure Virtual Disk0 step 1 of 3
  7. Step 2 of the wizard will require you to choose the correct Raid Level. In our case we are expanding a Raid 6 array. Click Continue.
    Dell OpenManage Server Administrator - Reconfigure Virtual Disk0 step 2 of 3
  8. Step 3 of the the wizard is a summary of the new Virtual Disk configuration and the previous Virtual Disk configuration.Dell OpenManage Server Administrator - Reconfigure Virtual Disk0 step 3 of 3 aClick Finish to complete the reconfiguration.
    Dell OpenManage Server Administrator - Reconfigure Virtual Disk0 step 3 of 3 b
  9. Watch the progress of the reconfiguration, this could take a while depending on capacity, disk type and spindle speed. In the image below we’ve just got to 1% after a couple of minutes.
    In this example expanding a 4 x 600GB 10K SAS Raid 6 with an additional disk took about 13 hours, so plan to do this during a maintenance window.Dell OpenManage Server Administrator - Virtual Disks on Controller PERC H710 Adapter - Progress

  10. Once complete you will see a new larger Virtual Disk. The previous size was 1.1TB, now it is 1.6TB.Dell OpenManage Server Administrator - Virtual Disks on Controller PERC H710 Adapter - New Larger Size
  11. The expansion of the disk in Windows is beyond the scope of this article, but in short. Once you have completed the physical raid expansion, Open Computer Management – Storage – Disk Management. The OS should see the new size of disk and mark it as free space but if not, select from the Action Menu Refresh, and Rescan Disks. Select the Partition to expand and follow the wizard.

Related Posts:

1. Dell PERC: How to clear the foreign configuration on a HDD using the Raid Configuration Utility

2. Dell PS Series Configuration Guide version 17.1 (formerly EqualLogic Configuration Guide)

3. How to convert a Hyper-V VHDX to VMDK for VMware Workstation

4. How to add a USB disk to a Windows 2012 Hyper-V VM

5. How to convert a Hyper-V VHDX to VMDK for VMware Workstation

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