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  1. #1

    * Full backup, can I restore with no modifications

    Hi all,

    I have inherited a server that has somewhat non-standard config, e.g. NFS mount and lighthttpd. I don't have a handle on all the way it is setup quite yet.

    So my question is: If I rsync backup the hard disk to an offsite backup, then in case of a crash, can I restore the whole thing (again using rsync) without any tweaking necessary (which I may not be able to do). In other words, would the webserver start working without any tweaks?

    Appreciate your advice.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    You'll need to correct ownership and permission of files (and maybe other things).

    Run a test restore
    Last edited by reasonpolice; 07-08-2009 at 02:13 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Groton, Connecticut
    You'll need to correct ownership and permission of files.

    Assuming the new server is preinstalled with lighttpd, same ip, and that you have no databases with a server only consisting of files, then doing a rsync can restore the whole thing easily.

  4. #4
    According to rsync, I can use -p and -o to preserve at least root permissions (?).

    I would have mysql running as well, forgot to mention.

    How would that work. Would it need tweaking to work after restore?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Greensboro, NC
    Look at R1Soft, they do 'bare metal' restores. Costs a little, but the software rocks. I backup all my servers with it.
    Marc / Falcon Internet

  6. #6
    Interesting, Marc. I like the idea of bare metal restore. Since we are in a hosted situation, how does this work in practice. I figure the hosting co. will bring up the server into some working condition, then we upload the app to the server, and then have it bare metal restore? Have you ever had to restore?

    Also I wonder if slight differences in disks (e.g. disk brands) would cause this to fail.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Greensboro, NC
    You can restore to another similar server, I am not sure about the size of the HDs, if they were smaller that might be a problem. But you can restore just the data too, it even backs up MySQL with a Plugin and you can do table level restores, just ask them, they are very helpful.
    Marc / Falcon Internet

  8. #8
    Thanks, I think bare metal (assuming it works) is answer to my prayers.

    I am calling R1Soft on Monday and will report back here what I learn. In the meantime, if anyone has successfully restored a live system from their backup, I like to hear.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Don't trust any backup process that you haven't tested a restore on, period.

    Bare metal always carries some risk, especially if you can't restore on the same hardware.

    If you've inherited the server, you may want to look at replacing it in the medium term - start on a virtual machine locally, building it from a known base OS configuration and install/test your application, then once your satisfied its reliable get a new hosted server, and build in a way that you know how to repeat. Ideally, write a shell script that installs the necessary applications and restores your data backups so that you can use it to commission a new server quickly in an emergency.

  10. #10
    Thanks RBBOT,

    Baremetal: I think it can easily be corrupted or fail on new hardware (my guess), so I think additional backup of db and script would be wise. Backup storage is cheap these days.

    Yes, I am very uncomfy with the inherited server, not being LAMP/cpanel, which I know how to deal with, so per your advice, I am looking at (a) first stablizeing the situation, and (b) start dev/migrate to a standard LAMP/cpanel server.

    Any other advice is appreciated. I think all of us grapple with how to do backups (that would also restore!!).


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