[sclug] RAID and/or LVM for ganging together HDDs to expand capacity?

John Stumbles john at stumbles.org.uk
Thu Oct 18 20:38:02 UTC 2007

Been here before :-(

$ df -h ~
Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
                       268G  253G  1.1G 100% /home.shuttle

I can spend an hour or 2 freeing up another few gigs but sooner or later 
I'm going to have to buy another drive. I could 'just' get a 500G[1], 
copy everything over from the 300G and swap them, but I also have 
another 300G on another machine I'm using alongside it. Having to run 2 
PCs just to access all my data is pretty daft, as is having to split my 
stuff across two separate filesystems, so I'd like to put the new 500G 
in one of the existing machines and make them appear as one filesystem.

Can I do that with RAID or LVM? (Or both?). And how could I go about 
converting from a conventional setup where the existing 300G disk is 
partitioned into something like /, swap and /home. (Depending on which 
machine I put the new disk into: one also has an NTFS partition and 
another ext2 or 3 for kubuntu, although neither is used these days.)

I also want to anticipate the next time I need to expand the system. 
Then I'll want to replace one of the 300Gs with something bigger. To do 
that I'll somehow have to migrate the data off the 300G onto the new 
drive then replace the 300 with the new one in the RAID/LVM system. 
Would this be possible?

Gilding the lily, I'd really like to have the filesystem be  sort of NAS 
box, separate from the desktop. I don't suppose commercially available 
multi-disk NAS boxes would let me leapfrog storage capacity upwards as 
described, so I guess I'd have to use a spare desktop. I have a shuttle 
which I could probably fit another IDE drive into (it doesn't have SATA) 
although it wouldn't be particularly low power. Any other options?

I'm running debian etch on both machines.

[1] seem to be best !/$ atm: @ ~ ?70-80 with a USB caddy thrown in

John Stumbles

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