this linux stuff is all a bit voodoo to me so please bear with me

I need to take some images of my linux machines at work. We used to have a linux expert but he left, now i have to look after them. Having only very basic linux knowledge (installs and networking) i thought the best way to safegaurd my linux machines would be to back them all up by taking image and then just blasting them backon if theres a problem.

However, i discovered that this is not as straight forward as imaging a win32 server.

I use powerquest and acronis on my windows machines but discovered that there are not toomany tools available for linux as it comes with the "dd" command.

I would like to learn how to use this command safely / without wiping my hard disks or corrupting the master boot record

Anyone got any tips?

My os are RedHat7,8 and 9, SLES8, SUSE PRO 9.1.

Thanks and repsect