We have a Linux server using 2x250GB drives in a RAID 1 (hardware) configuration. We need to upgrade these drives to allow for more space, and I'm inquiring about the best way to achieve this, preferably without reinstalling the whole system.
We use a S100 from Dell for RAID.
My main concerns are getting the RAID system to recognize the new drives without having to re-initialize them and losing data. Once we buy the two larger drives and I pull out one of the existing drives, replace with one of the new drives, what exactly takes place? Will the data from the old drive be copied over to the new drive? What controls whether data is copied or the drives are formatted?
We use Gentoo, and I'm also wondering if there is an easy way to increase the partition sizes? We are going with a 500GB or 1TB, and we need to increase the space used for daily backups, user partition, and root partition. I know I could use a partition manager, but that requires taking the server offline while the partitions are resided. In Windows, partitions can grow according to unused space, under certain conditions, without having to power down the system. Is anything like this possible with Linux?
I've never done this type of drive upgrade before, though I have used Linux to clone drives for the purposes of upgrading drives in the past, so any thoughts or recommendations on the best procedure to accomplish this? Specifically in regards to ensuring data integrity while also being able to make use of the additional space being acquired.
Thanks for any help you can provide.