I'd like some advice from anyone who might already posess the experience that I'm about to gain.
We're about to upgrade the RAID-1 array in our POP server with some larger disks. The system itself is about 6 years old (I was the one to build it originally), runs FreeBSD 4.9 and the RAID controller is an Adaptec 2400A. The operating system is on a separate drive. We have already considered and rejected the idea of completely replacing the controller and drives due to cost, the uncertainty of new hardware, and the unavailibility of old PCI controllers.
I've searched for documentation on this process, but haven't found any. The dead tree format makes no mention of it either.
My plan, so to speak, is this so far:
- Inform the users.
- Make a full backup of the data.
- Shut down the server, replace drive 2 in the array.
- Boot the server, let the array rebuild.
- Shut down the server again (maybe the next day), and replace drive 1 and the hot spare in the array.
- Hope that this makes the size of the array bigger automagically, or fiddle with it using the storage management software on the disk it came with.
I don't like plans that end with "Hope." Which is why I'm asking Serverfault. "Testing it on a testbed" isn't really an option either (which is how the original "replace the controller" option died).
The last possible option of course, is "nuke the drive and build a new one, then restore the backup", but there's the distinct possibility of losing mail while that's happening, plus extra downtime. I'd rather the plan I have works out just the way I it should.