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Cloning vs Backup and Restore



By: chrisj8

September 25, 2009 7:29 am

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I build network management systems for clients and in particular network analyzer engines. These servers are distributed throughout the world and allow clients to view packet data anywhere in their enterprises. Wireshark, and now Pilot from Cace Technologies seems to be a favorite. The IBM x Series and HP DL 385′s can be optioned to support between 12 and 16 ports on one server. Many clients opt to go the “free” software route to start and then move to supported software later. Times are what they are. I’ve built systems with TB’s of internal storage and a few with HBA controllers to connect to SAN’s switches.
The company site is http://www.oasyscorp.com if you’re interested.

I’m new to actually working with Linux O/S’s, finally, and I love it. I’ve been through most of the packages and I like SUSE as it has all the bells and whistles that I can understand at a GUI level. For this project I have been working through trial and error to create a procedure to “clone” a given system to new system. I call it the “Forrest Gump” approach. I recently went through the cloning packages to duplicate a server setup with little luck.

I don’t need to build 20 at once but just a few every month. None of the cloning packages worked. What works for me is to backup/restore in Yast and then burn the backup to a CD. After all if a server (or the main hard drive) goes belly up you will need to restore to a new hard drive.
For the original or source system I take a brand new server (in this case HP DL385 G6) and load SUSE 11.0. configure it the way I want it and then restore from the CD.

Comes up great and everything looks good, however, if you reboot you will fail because the Hard Drive ID’s from the original backup are pointed to during boot. This seems to be the problem with all the cloning packages out there as well.

The trick is to record the Hard Drive ID’s and save a few items before you restore and then put everything back the way it should be for the new system. I like point and shoot Gui’s and use Yast to manage the process.

You can contact me for a step by step procedure or look for a later Blog entry where I will hopefully find time to list a “by the numbers” procedure for us newbies.

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Categories: SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Technical Solutions

Disclaimer: As with everything else at SUSE Conversations, this content is definitely not supported by SUSE (so don't even think of calling Support if you try something and it blows up).  It was contributed by a community member and is published "as is." It seems to have worked for at least one person, and might work for you. But please be sure to test, test, test before you do anything drastic with it.

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