How of create an automated backup of system+files

Discussion in 'Installation/Configuration' started by jeremy, Feb 16, 2006.

  1. jeremy

    jeremy New Member

    I am running FEDORA CORE 4 on a HP Proliant ML350 server. CPU provide additional HDD slots, so i would like to create a complete bootable system + file backup so in the case of a HDD failure i can reboot and restore the server at no significant loss.
    I read the HOW TO's on creating a backup system image, but i assume this is only relevant in restoring a 'perfect' system image to a failed system, so of course this is assume that the hardware (HDD) is fine. In my case I want to protect against possible hardware failure.
    Does anyone have any ready-made "How-to's" or links you can provide. I must point out that I am very new to this level of system admin.
  2. ryoken

    ryoken New Member

    for a complete and bootable copy of your main hdd, i suggest you setup a raid1 mirror. basically, the 2nd hdd will be an exact replica of the 1st/main hdd. if your 1st hdd dies, the 2nd hdd will automagically take over.

    note that this IS NOT a backup solution. if you want backups, you will need something like amanda (for daily, weekly, monthly backups), or rdiff-backup (but u will need to bake your own scripts based on your needs).
  3. till

    till Super Moderator Staff Member ISPConfig Developer

  4. ryoken

    ryoken New Member

    cool... ghost for linux :cool:
    ill definately keep this in my toolkit! :)
  5. falko

    falko Super Moderator Howtoforge Staff

    If you want rdiff-backup, have a look here: :)
  6. jeremy

    jeremy New Member

    Ok, ryoken have been browsing the tutorials on RAID and i believe you are correct, RAID-1 sounds seems to be the solution. Now after sifting through the online tutorials i have struck a minor concern. Which? tutorial is applicable. I am very much over my head here so recognising that my meddling may result in data loss im a little cautious to proceed, I have done linux installation and rudamentry networking and server admin, but partitioning(after installation) and RAID is a very grey area.

    the two most detailed tutorials i have found

    my system looks like this
    [root@mylinux ~]# fdisk -l

    Disk /dev/sda: 72.8 GB, 72839168000 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 8855 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sda1 * 1 13 104391 83 Linux
    /dev/sda2 14 8855 71023365 8e Linux LVM

    Disk /dev/sdb: 72.8 GB, 72839168000 bytes
    255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 8855 cylinders
    Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

    Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
    /dev/sdb1 * 1 8855 71127756 8e Linux LVM
    [root@mylinux ~]# df -k
    Filesystem 1K-blocks Used Available Use% Mounted on
    135629888 18940244 109688764 15% /
    /dev/sda1 101086 14217 81650 15% /boot
    /dev/shm 517272 0 517272 0% /dev/shm
    [root@mylinux ~]#

    i have 2 physical 80gb hard drive which i want to mirror. ( i notice that in the tutorials the partitions are refered to hdxx where as on my system they are sdxx is this a distro thing? are the tutorials still applicable? any advise?
  7. ryoken

    ryoken New Member

    those 2 tutorials explain the general gist of software raid on linux extremely well. i assume you want something which is more step-by-step. if this is the case, it will be very distro-specific. please let us know what distro you are using. having said that, software raid in linux (provided by md) is pretty standard across all linux distros... so you can probably adapt the instructions even if your distro is different.

    before continuing further, ill answer your last question. /dev/hdx is generally idicates that the device is IDE/Ultra ATA. /dev/sdx generally indicates a SCSI or Serial ATA device. this is the general rule of thumb for linux 2.6 kernels. for linux 2.4 kernels, Serial ATA devices could be shown as /dev/hdx.

    to setup raid1 on your computer, you will need to decide if you want to use hardware RAID (if available - please let us know what hardware u are using, eg. motherboard with on-board raid, or 3ware PCI-X card?) or software RAID provided by Linux.

    there are advantages and disadvantages with both options. you will need to decide for yourself - but a lot of information is out there on the web. please let us know what you have decided. don't forget to mention your hardware specs and the distro you're using.

    once we have more info, we can continue further...
  8. jeremy

    jeremy New Member

    Hi ryoken thanks for your support
    my distro is
    Fedora Core 2.6.11-1.1369_FC4smp
    my hardware I'm not so familiar with as it is an out-off-the-box HP Proliant ML350 Server (i am still trying to figure out the spec's)
  9. jeremy

    jeremy New Member

    ryoken - I am learning from the HP website that the Proliant server has Raid support, however i am unable to conclude whether the support is pre-installed prior to shipping since the server did come with a Installation CD and i have been informed by the person who installed the Fedora OS that they DID NOT install anything from the HP Installation cd. Therefore i am unsure if there is any built in support or not, is there any way of checking what has already been installed?
  10. jeremy

    jeremy New Member

    according to HP the Proliant ML350 does have RAID hardware support

  11. ryoken

    ryoken New Member

    hmm... double posted... something went weird here. anyway, see my reply below...
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2006
  12. ryoken

    ryoken New Member

    sorry about the slow reply jeremy. have been offline for the past few days. thanks for providing the hardware specs for your system. the HP ProLiant ML350 G4p Storage Server is a nice chunk of metal... you could do a lot with Xeon processors ;)

    since you have hardware raid, you will probably want to use it, as it's _usually_ the easiest way to get things up and running. but there are some hurdles you will need to overcome. 1st, determine what chipset your hardware raid is. unfortunately, the information from the link you provided isn't detailed enough. once you have determined the chipset, it will reveal whether you have "real" hardware raid or "fakeraid". either way, you will need to check whether your installed version of FC4 supports your raid chipset.

    as i'm not familiar with fedora's hardware compatibility, it might be worth checking out their website. otherwise, there should be someone here to clarify this.

    once you've determined it's compatible, you should make a full sector-by-sector backup (similar to ghost or SystemImager backup) of your main hard drive. then, you can enter the hardware raid's bios (check your hp user manual or cd, it should have details on how to enter this - u might have to press F2 or some other key combination right after power on), and make a "mirror" copy of the primary hdd. make sure you DO NOT mirror the secondary hdd to primary, otherwise both hdd's will be blank (assuming secondary disk was blank). hence, ensure you have made a full backup of your primary hdd 1st.

    once this has completed, you should exit the raid bios, and the computer should automatically reboot. assuming it was successful, you will be launched back into linux. that's it!

    if you want to test whether it was successful, turn off the machine (and unplug power cord; otherwise the 5VSB will still be on), and unplug the data & power cable for the primary hdd. then plug the power cord back, and turn on the computer. if it worked, you should be back right into linux.

    please note that you _may_ experience problems booting due to bootloader problems (eg. grub/lilo). this does not mean that the raid mirror copy failed - simply the bootloader was not setup for booting from the secondary hdd. as im not familiar with FC4, you will need to check with someone else to confirm this.

    hope this helps! let us know how you go... :cool:
  13. jeremy

    jeremy New Member

    Hey ryoken, its seems i made a error, that is i have discovered that my server is NOT the G4p model but the G4 (no 'p') which apparently means that i DO not have RAID hardware installed.

    So i guess this means that i have to go with the the software installation. Again this leads me to the question - How?
    Will continue to sfit through the online forums, but if you have any advise would be grately appreciated.
  14. ryoken

    ryoken New Member

    yes, it looks like you'll be using software raid then. this is your ticket to get there:

    in particular, read to transistion your existing system to raid.

    this may also prove useful:

    otherwise, your other option is to do a complete wipe of your hdds, then prepare the raid autodetect partitions during anaconda setup (assuming that can be done as im no expert with fedora...)

    good luck jeremy!
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2006

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