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Old 09-04-2008, 03:39 PM   #1
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Cloning a hard drive while being used in Production (no unmounting allowed)

Hello everyone, great resource you have here, I'm very glad it exists. Now let's cut to the chase. I have a webserver which is in production and I absolutely can not take offline, turn it off or unmount any drives or partitions. Now I need to make a clone of this drive as soon as possible, so that if anything happens I can just turn on my backup machine(same specs as the production server) and it will be as good as new and up and running again.

I've heard dd can do this but it requires the drive to be unmounted while the process is going in order to keep consistency.

Is there any other way of cloning my harddrive while it's in production?
I can plug in a USB drive if need be.

If not, is there a way of at least backing up most of the files in order to have a really fast way of bringing the system up if something were to happen?

Thanks a lot in advance and best regards!!
Old 09-04-2008, 04:10 PM   #2
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you could build a duplicate system then configure rsync to automatically keep the data files current.

what distro ?

if you want to go all out you could setup an apache high availability cluster to balance the load and keep the site up if one of the servers fails..


Last edited by farslayer; 09-04-2008 at 04:17 PM.
Old 09-04-2008, 04:17 PM   #3
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I am using red hat 7.1. I could definitely do that but I don't have much time I am trying to do this backup before I leave work today. that's in about 3 hours... I know I should have done it a long time ago.

also what happens if I run dd without unmounting the drive? will it mess up the production server or just the "backup".
Old 09-04-2008, 06:18 PM   #4
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I've run dd without unmounting any drives about 4 times today, all with no appreciable problems. If this is a webserver, your logs are likely to be garbled due to the constant appending that happens, but you can rsync those over, after the procedure, if need be.
Old 09-04-2008, 08:24 PM   #5
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Just do it with dd. Then mount the image and wipe out the contents of /tmp, /var/tmp, and /var/run. So long as you do that, unless you installed a package or changed a config file while dd was running, you should be fine.
Old 09-10-2008, 09:43 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone I will go ahead and dd away! : )


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