[CentOS] Copy OS live to different hardware

Blake Hudson blake at ispn.net
Mon Oct 12 17:15:39 UTC 2009

-------- Original Message  --------
Subject: Re: [CentOS] Copy OS live to different hardware
From: Les Mikesell <lesmikesell at gmail.com>
To: CentOS mailing list <centos at centos.org>
Date: Monday, October 12, 2009 9:48:32 AM
> Bob Puff wrote:
>> Hello,
>> I've got some CentOS 5.3 servers that I want to clone to a backup server,
>> possibly a VM machine.  I want this to be done while the server is up, and
>> keep it synced at least once a day.
>> I've done this already by using RSYNC, but here's the twist: the backup
>> machine could be different hardware, and needs to have a different IP address
>> (so they don't conflict).
>> My question: exactly what files should I exclude, so that I copy everything
>> -except- what pertains to the ethernet card(s), and hard drive mounts.  I know
>> of at least:
>> /etc/fstab
>> /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/*
>> /var/run
>> /proc
>> But what else?  The original servers may have software raid, so those files
>> can't be copied either.
> /dev, /sys and /boot - but it is a good idea to use rsync's 
> --one-file-system option and explicitly copy the filesystems you want. 
> Also, if you are changing files underneath running applications, expect 
> some wierd things to happen.  It would be safer to plan to reboot the 
> backup if you ever need to activate it - and if you do that you could 
> have it running from a different root for the copies.

I think you'll have better luck if you virtualize the hardware on the 
production machine first. With virtualized hardware you don't need to 
worry so much about potential differences with RAID, NICs, etc - just 
shut down the existing instance of the VM and bring up the new one. Xen 
has a tool to do exactly what you are asking - clone a live VM. Most 
other VM technologies have a cloning feature, but only support cloning 
of a VM that has been shut down first.

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