Best (and safest) way to migrate to new drives and RAID configuration
Posted on 2008-10-18
I'm looking for some input on how to best (and most reliably) reconfigure my SBS 2003 HDD/RAID configuration.
I currently have 3 drives in RAID-5 configuration and have been running this for the past 3 years. I made the poor decision of using the onboard RAID controller for RAID-5 and it is rather slow (especially when dealing with the large file sizes I've been working on). Also, the drives are configured as dynamic volumes.
What I would like to do is reconfigure the drives and RAID setup I have.
I'd like to setup two RAID-1 arrays. One for the OS, the second for the data files.
Right now, what I'm thinking I can do is... backup all the data files (non-OS partitions) onto an external drive. Then plug in two additional drives and set those up for RAID-1 then use imaging software to clone the OS partition onto the new RAID-1 array. Then, connect two more drives (now that ports are free), configure as RAID-1 and clone back my data files onto it. Hopefully, all will boot well but I have the old RAID-5 drives in case anything goes wrong and can always fall back on that and get the server back up.
Does this sound reasonable? Is there a better/smarter/reliable way to do this?
What imaging software should I use? We're a small family business so droppig hundreds on a commercially available software for a one-time reconfiguration is too expensive, but if it is more reliable then it is worth the expense. Is there a particular freeware imaging tool that people trust and will work with my configuration?
I looked at HDClone but only the professional version and above supports dynamic volumes outside of running natively in Windows. However, at ~$150 it is one of the better priced options for me.
Any other suggestions are very welcome, thank you for your time and input.