Shrink Partition on Production Server

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Shrink Partition on Production Server – Managing your servers can streamline the performance of your team by allowing them to complete complex tasks faster. Plus, it can enable them to detect problems early on before they get out of hand and compromise your business. As a result, the risk of experiencing operational setbacks is drastically lower.

But the only way to make the most of your server management is to perform it correctly. And to help you do so, this article will share nine tips on improving your server management and fix some problem about windows, partition, shrink, windows-server-2008, .

Our production server was only set up with one large partition.

I have set up a standby server and properly partitioned it.
Now the boss wants the production environment’s partition shrunk.

It is an HP DL380 G6

We have 4 hot swap drives in a RAID 5 array.

How best should I go about doing this. Seems like a bad idea to me.

Should I use windows or HP to do the partitioning?

What should I be aware of in a production environment? The idea is to put the site (Inetpub) on a separate partition instead of the C: drive.

How much downtime should I expect?

Is this a terrible idea?

Anything else I have missed?

EDIT/UPDATE:
I presented the information I gathered and included the information given here by the users and we are NOT doing the partitioning!
THANK YOU!
FYI: His idea was to create two partitions so that if the OS failed the data would be safe.

Now the hardest part is going to choose a correct answer for this… You all gave such good information. Make a suggestion in the comments of this question and I will pick one of the answers.

Solution :

Um…not a good idea, in my opinion. It’s a production server.

When would it be a good idea?

You would need backups. Tested that you can restore it from bare metal. I.e., you are playing with a partition. One mistake = lots of downtime.

You might be able to use a Linux bootdisk with gparted to edit the partition, but you’re still taking quite a risk, esp. with the RAID controller.

Your best bet is to back up everything, wipe the drive and re-partition it, and restore data from the backup.

Better yet switch your standby server into your production server, then turn your production server into a standby and repartition it with the technique above.

Downtime-it could take an hour, or if something goes wrong, anywhere from half a day to a day or more. You won’t know until you find out if something goes kaput.

Primarily I’d worry about migrating it off of being a production server before trying anything with it. You’re kind of asking for trouble by playing with a live production server’s partitions.

Yeah, as Bart said, move the load over to the other server and then wipe and reload the first one in peace would be the simplest option. But I don’t see much point either in having two partitions if they’re both on the same RAID-5 array, fully extended – it’s not like it will help performance or that inetpub is hard to find on the system volume.

I’d almost go the other route and redo the other server to only use one partition instead to solve both your path problem and the issue with tampering with a running production server? Or invest in a pair of extra drives for a separate operating system mirror array and wipe, reload them both ^^

If there’s no space to shrink (love Server 2008+ volume management btw, it’s finally beginning to do useful stuff like extend and shrink system volumes) you’re out of online options. Use a defrag tool that will move files to the beginning of the disk – perhaps the built-in defragger would help you enough. Then re-run the shrink check. Have a well-tested backup and do it during a maintenance window.

Switch your standby server into your production server, then turn your production server into a standby and repartition it, while it might be junk it only has to work while you are rebuilding the old primary. If this is your bosses idea get him to approve what option he wants- use some planned downwtime and hope that the standby can be brought up if the server rebuild takes longer than expected or swap machines and take potentially degredated services while it’s being built. This shouldn’t be your call per se- present the options to the business and let them decide

First off, repartitioning is no big deal, with a number of readily available products to do the job, but there is always a possibility that something can go wrong. Murphy’s Law ensures that the more you need this system up and running the higher the probability that it will all go pear shaped. You therefore absolutely must have backups that can be used from the cold metal state, as others have already said.

Despite the foregoing, you haven’t given a real reason for such an operation, which can cause downtime lasting anything from half an hour to whatever time it takes to restore from the backup. Even when it all goes well the amount of downtime will depend on a number of factors, mainly the size of the partition, the amount of data on it and the level of fragmentation.

The old idea of separating the OS and data into separate partitions, at least on Windows machines, is only followed by a very small number of admins these days, as most of us learned a long time ago that there are numerous disadvantages and no real advantages. If they must be separated do so on separate drives, not partitions on the same drive. The use of RAID doesn’t change this in any way.

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