Backing up disk(s) when all bays are full.

  • Wasn't sure where to post this, so if there is a better area, my apologies!

    My server is slowly getting to capacity in the number of disks it can hold. Right now I can use an empty sled and bay to transfer contents when replacing drives, but one day all my bays will be filled and I'm looking for the best way to replace disks which is a mix of SATA and SAS drives.

    The rest of my network consists of Windows small form factor computers and laptops with one compact desktop, so not much help there. I have thought about external enclosures, but I have a good bit of SAS drives and am slowly collecting more and can't find a SAS enclosure. I'm newish to Linux so be gentle, but I've been using OMV as a learning tool besides a media server.

    The small desktop has a free PCI 16 slot and a 1x slot I think, so I thought about buying a SAS card, and a power splitter from the internal drive, then running Linux in VM to format the drive(s) and make transfers easier. When the time comes to change drives, I can connect drive(s) to this board and do a rsync? copy across the network to my desktop and then replace the copied drive in the server. If things get really sideways, I could connect multiple drives and do multiple transfers using the SAS card.

    I also thought about yanking a parity drive and using that empty bay to do the transfer as well, but I don't think that is the best method.

    I also thought about leaving a bay open for transfers, but am worried about needing to do a rebuild with 2x or even more drives if I'm having a bad day, then I'm kinda in the same spot of not having enough bays. I can't foresee the future, so do I leave one bay open, four bays open? I'll just use them and find a backup plan like the one I'm working on.

    What would you guys do with full servers when it's time to replace drives? Which transfer tool would you use, rsync, clonezilla, other? Is there an easier method? I'm new to Linux, but not afraid to try things.

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