A question recently came in on the bloghotline from a customer who asked about implementing scalable storage on server clusters and how to avoid downtime when storage needs to be extended. One of our cluster PMs, Elden Christensen, replied as follows:
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In regards to the ability to dynamically increase volume sizes to eliminate downtime, this can be accomplished today on Windows Server 2003 with basic volumes using the DiskPart utility. After dynamically extending the LUN size in the storage cabinet, you can use this utility to extend the volume size. See the
DiskPart Help on the web
for the DiskPart syntax. Diskpart is available as a
download utility for Windows 2000
and is included in the product in Windows Server 2003.
An important distinction between Dynamic Disks and DiskPart is that Diskpart can be used to extend a partition on an already existing LUN where the size of the existing LUN has been increased. Diskpart is not used to span a volume over multiple disks/LUN's.
Another option is that additional storage capacity can be added and preserve the single name space for users by using volume mount points (also called mounted drives). With mount points, volumes are mounted under directories, such as D:MarketingPresentations. Users access Marketing as they are used to, but the Presentations directory can actually reside on a separate volume/disk. This allows you to increase storage capacity without impact to users.