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How to add space to Server without taking it down SQL Server 2005

By syedali1975 ·
Hi,
I recently joined a small company as a DBA.
I have a situation,my company has one Server which is an application server windows Server 2003, and having SQL Server 2005 instance .
The SQL Server contains around 83 databases. The problem here is most of the databases are running out of space and my company wanted to add the space, but they cannot take down the server even for a minute.

Most of the databases are set up on SIMPLE recovery model and it seems that they are not setup properly for backup and recovery. Also the previous person who worked here did not set up for backup and transaction log and differential back ups failed every time.

Can someone please tell me how to add the space without taking down the server. Also this server is not clustered so I cant use clustering services.
that server up and running.

Please suggest the possible solutions.

I would be grateful if someone suggest solution which would be easy to execute. The company can have one standby server.

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All Answers

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Has the server in question got hotswap connections?.

If not then you will have to shutdown the server, or if they can not then it will shutdown on its own because of the space issue.
So you have five options:

1). They let you shutdown and add new big drives. OR
2). Wait until the server runs out of space.
3). Do a backup before you do any of the above of which you should be able to do with the server running. Or:
4). Get another bigger server in, and clone the beast over to the new one.
5). Make sure you get hotswap bays for the next one or if possible add it on. Yes you can get hotswap bay add-on's.

Please post back if you have any more problems or questions.

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RAID Arrays??

by CG IT In reply to How to add space to Serve ...

As PT [Peconet Tietokoneet] mentions, unless you have SCSI RAID hot swap, your pretty limited with what you can do. Actually, there's really nothing you can do to add space, if your HDDs are running out of space and you aren't running hot swap drives.

I find it a sorry state that you can't take the server down. Eventually, performance is going to drop and users are going to complain. Best to take the pain now, rather than later.

Make a plan for new Hardware which includes hotswap drives and go forth...

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Moderately confused here

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to How to add space to Serve ...

Leaving aside a server with 83 databases in a 24/7 environment and no replication/hotswap ( ffs !).

By default in sql sever 2005 databases are set to autogrow, so they can't run out of room unless you run out of hard drive...

So if you have more hard drive space, and they are not auto grow, set them to it.
If you have more hard drive but on a different drive add some more files.

All your options are available through SQL Server Management studio. Pick a db, right click choose properties then the files tab.

If you haven't got space then the only thing you can do is free some up.

Personally, after you've finished beating to death the brainless morons who authored this situation, I'd start moving some databases off to another server and start looking at pointing the applications at it.

And get some hotswap clustering etc going.

P.S. Simple recovery model means transaction logs are dumped it's a get out of jail free card when you don't have enough physical disk space to store them and to be honest little to do with your problem.

If I was you I'd be glad this has happened, It would be my entire argument for setting up something remotely sensible to cover their needs, and they can even blame it all on the guy who left, instead of accepting responsibility themselves.

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I think you are correct

by syedali1975 In reply to Moderately confused here

Hi Tony,
I totally agree with you the last moron did all, actually when they started the company most of them didnt even know what to choose and how big the server should be based on future business need.
All they picked up the server with ever growing databases are just 160GB server, can you imagine we are getting this much space in less than 50 Bucks now.

The guys that are providing the space I am asking them the question about how they going to plan to add the space. I believe its not my headache as far as other morons petty dirty deeds.

Thanks for the inside guys.

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