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Hi Gang, I have a set of linux dedicated servers that I'm going to be migrating soon, but I need to first create backup images of each and store it ...
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  1. #1
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    How to create images of physical Linux boxes and transfer to FTP


    Hi Gang,

    I have a set of linux dedicated servers that I'm going to be migrating soon, but I need to first create backup images of each and store it locally on an EXT HD to which I've created an FTP Upload account.

    How do I image all of these machines and pipe the images over to the aforementioned FTP?

    Also, is there a way to 'sync' the physical servers' images on-demand with the images that will be stored on the FTP?


    Thanks SO very much in advance for your help. I know how to perform each of the processes above via various methods, but not in a consolidated, clean fashion.

    LinuxHombre

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    Any ideas on this?

    I just need to take an image / transfer to an FTP .

  3. #3
    oz
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    Hello and welcome!

    You could check out Clonezilla to see if it will meet your needs:

    Clonezilla - About

    I've used the liveCD version a number of times and it worked perfectly.
    oz

  4. #4
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    It sounds like you want a recovery image in case there are problems with the upgrade. IE, you want a pure bit-image of the system disc, correct? This is not hard to do. The problem is keeping it sync'd with changes between the time you do the backup and when the update is done.

    As far as using FTP is concerned, this is not a good idea. FTP doesn't support streaming. You can mount the remote destination file system and stream the bit image backup there. By a bit image backup, I mean the entire disc, including boot loader and partition table, along with all the partitions on the disc. This is the only way to fully restore a system after an upgrade goes south. So, please describe your backup/restore environment and requirements a bit more clearly.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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    @Rubberman, you are correct in that I want an EXACT img. Boot, everything, that can be migrated to another box later.

    Can you show me the best way to do this?

    Thanks SO much,
    LinuxHombre

  6. #6
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    If you aren't too concerned with changes between the backup and potential restore, then the easiest way is to boot into a live/recovery cd/dvd/usb image so the drive is not mounted. Then do a backup to an external (usb or esata) drive as a file. For example, in my case I do this (the gzip is to compress the image):
    Code:
    dd if=/dev/sda | gzip -c >/backup-disc-mount-point/system.img.gz
    If you really want to be able to update the image as the system changes, then you need to:

    1. Backup up the boot sector (includes the partition table).
    2. Backup the different partitions. How many depends upon the distribution and how you installed it.

    If you want details on how to do this (1 & 2 above) let me know and I will get into the details. In any case, doing it that way, you can mount the /boot and / partition images and copy file changes there using tools like rsync.

    Finally, as Ozar suggested, Clonezilla does a lot of this in a way that is better for migration to a new system. You may want to check into that.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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    Now this is just fantastic information and yes, I do want to be able to do 1&2 per the above.

    This is just what I'm looking for with one missing piece, I need to actually pipe that img to a remote server. Can it be done directly?

    Later, I indeed do plan on updating changes w rsync or similar.

    Thanks so much again, you are a mastermind,
    LinuxHombre

  8. #8
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    Ok. It will probably be tomorrow before I can get into the hairy details of what to do, so be patient!
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

  9. #9
    Linux User ptkobe's Avatar
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    Hi, linuxhombre
    While Rubberman don't return, would you like to explain what do you mean by a remote server? Is its really remote, like in the web? If so, why do you need that.
    I'll point out that you can use Clonezilla on a CD and create images for one machine at a time, or set it on as a server/clients on your network.

    The worst part of the image backup process for me is how to verify that the created image is ok. You'll have to restore it on another computer, or replace the original disks after backup, and try the image restore then (but if you can do that why not just clone the disks and keep the original as backup), or... (?).

    For backing up daily changes I use backuppc with rsync (or samba if necessary) and mysqldump.

    As a note, also use LVM and snapshots for dd/gzip dumps. Don't use it for backuppc but it will would be possible.

    Luis

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    Hi Luis,

    Basically I have dedicated linux servers (several) located @ one hosting provider.

    (A) I want to create images of each of these server on an outside FTP server (or I can set it up for ssh...). Ideally, these images would be kept up-to-date using some of the processes you mentioned.

    (B) My goal is to later then transfer those images to a new hosting provider (when ready) and extract/mount them as an accurate clone of the existing systems.

    Right now, I just need to know how to do item (A).

    Thanks so much for your help expediting my solution to this,
    LinuxHombre

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