[CentOS] Upgrading Server Motherboard

Mon Dec 18 17:11:41 UTC 2006
Matt <lm7812 at gmail.com>

I have a server running CentOS 4.2 that works as a web/email with very
heavy load.  It runs Directadmin web gui which is like Cpanel.  It
runs on a cheapy mATX motherboard(ECS 741GX-M) with socket A 2800+ CPU
and 2Gbyte DDR.  The OS and data are on a 300Gbyte PATA maxtor drive
and data backups are run weekly to another PATA drive.  The server is
overwelmed and data backups take over 5 hours to complete.  I have a
Tyan(K8E) server board now that is socket 939 with SATA support.

Maxtor makes a utillity that will copy there drives so I bought a
second identical PATA drive and plan on copying it so if I screw
something up it will be a backup copy and not the critical original.

>My first question is can I simply plug this drive into the new faster
motherboard and have it just boot up and run?

>Next, should I get a dual core CPU or just a fast single core?  Most
of the load on this server is due to Spamassassin dealing with about
2000 email accounts.  Although it also serves up websites that is
pretty minor load I beleive since they do not get all that many hits.

>I was told up2date will update this server too 4.4.  Problem is that
the Directadmin GUI is a bit touchy.  Any modifications to the
services its married to could be bad.  I really need to talk to there
tech support on this.

>My new server motherboard is socket 939 and supports DDR 400.  It was
a bargin off ebay but appears to work fine.  Would I be better off
getting a socket AM2 that supports DDR2 or will that make much
difference in performance?  The 939 motherboard supports a max of
4Gbyte DDR too.

>I also purchased a Seagate SATA 500Gbyte drive.  The 300G PATA drive
is just under half full.  I imagine mostly email.  Mailboxes for the
most part have 50M cap but there alot of them and still adding more.
Is there anyway to copy the OS installed on the PATA to a larger and
faster SATA drive?  I am doubting this since the drives place/mnt in
/dev will change.

I know the best solution is to install CentOS 4.4 on new box, install
Directadmin, and then backup and restore to new server but that will
result in substantial downtime that I am trying to get out off.  Plus
a lot of work.  The Directadmin install has been heavilly customized
and I will need to remember what I all did to it.  Actually I may
still do that but I would like to move to a faster motherboard first
so just maybe the backups run faster.

Thanks for any help or advice.