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Looking for feedback/advice. I have a web server with 3 disks of which I currently only use one running Ubuntu Server.

I was curious if it is possible to attempt the following:

  • (re)install Ubuntu using software RAID 1 on disk 2 and 3
  • then swap out 2 and 1 for booting purposes and 3 for 2
  • finally mount the original disk 1 (now 3) and import the web data

Or would I be better off just re-building the whole thing from scratch and not moving any disks?

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The difference between your two proposed solutions is not clear. Why would you install the new RAID device with the disks in the 2&3 positions when you don't need your original disk1 in the system at all for the re-install? Just add that disk back in later to get your data. –  Caleb May 28 '11 at 8:17
    
I guess my first and second steps could be swapped and it would still accomplish the same thing. –  emaynard May 29 '11 at 10:28

1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

If the time to restore data isn't prohibitive, then re-installing from scratch will be faster and less error prone.

I'm not sure what is your planned final setup, but if you intend to use all 3 disks, you could do 3-disk RAID 1 for /boot partition, and have the rest of the disks set up in RAID 5, if it's acceptable performance-wise for you.

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It sounds like @emaynard's proposed plan is a from scratch install on new disks, later adding the old disk to get the data. –  Caleb May 28 '11 at 8:16
    
@Caleb You're right, the process I outlined is from scratch to begin with. –  emaynard May 29 '11 at 10:26
    
I plan to swap disks around, then re-install Ubuntu w/ Raid 1 on disks 1&2, then copy old data over. Might add in old #1 drive as swappable unit if possible. –  emaynard May 29 '11 at 10:33
    
If the old one isn't smaller than the two new ones, you could add it as a hot spare. –  Paweł Brodacki May 29 '11 at 15:40

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