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Old 03-31-2006, 04:14 PM   #1
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Registered: Mar 2006
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Moving locations - need help minimizing downtime

Hey All,
I'm looking for some help or suggestions from anyone who has had to deal with having to move their servers to a new location and really didn't want to have any downtime.
Here's my situation:
Basically, the company that I work for is moving locations. We have a high traffic website and don't want any downtime. The move is in 3 weeks, so we have time to figure out fine details still, but we really want to do some testing first. The server we are concerned about is running RHEL4 with apache, dns, and mysql.
We also have another (spare) RHEL server set up that we were thinking we could set up as a mirror at an off-site location. In the end, we would like to keep this "mirror" up as a backup server incase our main web server ever goes down and also for a secondary DNS server.
Is a mirror what I'm looking for? Or some sort of a cluster?
Either way, I have been trying to find a tutorial or something online about how I can get this set up.
Have any of you had to deal with this situation? or one like it?
If anyone could point me in the right direction that would be greatly appreciated!
Old 03-31-2006, 10:41 PM   #2
Registered: Dec 2005
Location: Lawrenceville GA
Distribution: Slackware, CentOS. Red Hat Enterprise Linux
Posts: 216

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I can probably provide a few pointers since I recently did something very, very similar for a client. They had two RHEL machines that were setup as file servers and I created configurations and scripts for one system to mirror the other.

Since you are wanting the spare to be offsite, mirror would be better than clustering since clusters usually (from my understanding) require a fairly high-speed connection between the nodes. For an offsite mirror, you do file syncing across a T1 fairly quickly, depending on how big the file system that needs to be synced.

The first step is configure the secondary (mirror) system to provide the same or similar services as the primary system. The don't need to match exactly (the hardware can be different and such) nor do the backup services need to be on (you can turn them on when needed to failover to the secondary), but you need to preconfigure everything and test the secondary to be sure the services will come up with no problems.

The one thing you do want to do is make sure your directly layout for (say) Apache websites on the matches the primary exactly, including file ownership and permissions. Then you can use rsync to periodically sync the secondary with the primary. How often you need to do this will depend on how often the content on the primary changes. Then if the primary fails, you can failover to the secondary very quickly with no or little loss in content.

Hopefully this will help get you going.



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