One of my Dell HPC colleagues, Dr. Jeff Layton, has put together a great guide for getting started with Logical Volume Management on Linux.  LVM on UNIX based platforms has been around for a long time, but is relatively new (and now stable) on Linux within the last few years.

Over the years, I’ve used GUI volume managers on Solaris (Veritas), AIX (LVM), and HP-UX (SAM), but they were proprietary and expensive.  LVM on Linux is a great solution.  You may balk at using a GUI, but when you have your companies’ critical data on the line, there is nothing like “seeing” your volumes before you manipulate them.  For me, storage management was probably the most stressful part of UNIX/Linux system administration, because if you screwed up, you could lose data.  It is worthwhile to use all the tools at your disposal (even a GUI!) to make sure you aren’t, for instance, removing the wrong disk from the wrong logical volume.