Best way to add SSD RAID 1 for 2003 Server OS

YellowSnow

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 27, 2009
Messages
463
I have an HP Proliant ML350 Server running 2003 Server with both OS and Data partitions on one RAID 5 array. Well, sometimes while navigating folders with Explorer (locally or from a client over the network (navigating network folders) the server freezes for a couple seconds or sometimes as much as 20 seconds at a time. It is also very slow to reboot. And after a reboot, is slow for the first few minutes while everything starts up.

But other than that, it's a super fast server. It's got a quad core Intel Xeon CPU and 4GB of RAM. It's used mainly for file serving and with a Foxpro database that a few clients interact with over the LAN using software that runs fast. Network file transfers are generally pretty quick, as is using Adobe CS2 suite with files on the network. But every month or so, there will be a momentary freeze.

I am thinking that separating the OS from the RAID5 array and moving it to a separate array might cure this issue. I want to do it right, but I need to keep it low cost in order to get approval. I'd like to add a PCIe hardware RAID card connected to two small SSD's in RAID1 for fault tolerance. Sound good?

Please suggest the best card and SSD drives for this scenario. I'd love to keep the total cost under $250 but let me know if that's unreasonable.

Also, what software should I use to move the OS from the existing partition to the new one? I don't think Gparted will let me go from the existing 100GB partition to a smaller one. I have 10 Acronis workstation licenses, but none for Server.

Any advice is appreciated.
 
Last edited:

vectravl400

Weaksauce
Joined
Sep 24, 2007
Messages
80
Have you checked to see if there are any mapped drives showing up that reference a nonexistant folder or path? Explorer will try to reach every mapped drive and will sit waiting until it times out before the window responds again. It sounds exactly like what you're describing.
 

YellowSnow

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 27, 2009
Messages
463
Have you checked to see if there are any mapped drives showing up that reference a nonexistant folder or path? Explorer will try to reach every mapped drive and will sit waiting until it times out before the window responds again. It sounds exactly like what you're describing.

There were only 2 mapped drives in "My Computer" and they were both mapped to local folders that I use a lot. They always show up as "disconnected newtwork drive" but work fine when I open them. I deleted them just in case. I can just use shortcuts on the desktop instead.

Another reason I'm interested in learning more about moving the OS to a new array is that we're considering upgrading the Foxpro based software to a newer version that's based on SQL instead...
 

YellowSnow

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 27, 2009
Messages
463
It will, actually. It can support 8 drives and the current array only uses six (7,200 RPM SATA II) drives (one is a hot spare).

However, as I understand it, you have to/should only use HP (rebranded) SATA (or SAS) drives with it.

I've added an eSATA port to the back of the server with a PCIe eSATA card and it works great for backups. I just figured I should follow the same idea for adding a new array. Wouldn't the performance be better with a stand alone RAID card?

Maybe you're right though. I could just buy two HP HDD's (and the special bracket to house them) and add them to the existing RAID controller as a seperate mirror. Thoughts?
 
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