Swapping in larger drives in Exchange Server

By jblack ·
Our Microsoft Exchange 2003 server is currently running out of space. I've had an idea bouncing around in my head and I need some feedback (Preferably from those with experience).

This is what the system has:
It has 2 RAID 5 Arrays. The first array has Windows 2003 Standard server on small partition. The second array plus the left over space from the first array are used together to make a second volume for Exchange Server 2003 SP2 (I didn't set this up).

Now what I'm thinking I can do to get more space on this server is: Backup the Exchange volume to another server in the building. Shut the Exchange Server off, and then pull the drives from the second array. Then put larger drives back in and create a new second array. Turn the system on, create a new volume, then restore the backup to the new array.

So my question are:

A) How is Windows 2003 Server going to react when its "software array" is gone? ---- As in the space left over from the first drive is going to be sitting out there in LA-LA land and the second array is going to be gone. Is this going to pose any kind of problem?

B) Will I have a problem booting when files necessary for Exchange aren't on the drive?

C) What should I use to backup the Exchange Volume? --- I know I can do it with ntbackup, but will that get everything? I also have Symantec Backup Exec 11D (But I don't trust it so much). What do you think?

Other ideas I've though about:

A) Adding an external storage device (Such as ESATA or SAS) and creating a second Information store. I don't like this though because the server is older than the hills. It doesn't have PCIE, and I'd definitely be stuck looking for a decent PCI-X card if I want decent performance.

B) Migrating to a new server, but that is expensive.


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