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Jay1969 03-26-2017 01:51 PM

Server admin passed away... Help!
 
Hi Guys,

I hope this is the right section to post this. Any and all help will be greatly appreciated.

About a year ago, our small business expanded and we asked a friend of ours to set up our server. That person passed away unexpectedly a few weeks ago and we can no longer ask for his guidance/technical support to manage the server.

To keep costs to a minimum, our friend decided to use a Linux configuration and virtualize the server in order to add another virtual server who would be isolated from the first one so we can install a consultation software on the second server. ProxMox is being used as a virtualization engine.

I have all the passcodes to enter the ProxMox interface and was using the built-in backup feature to create snapshots of the server state. Last week, I did try to run a new back-up and the server crashed. I read that the crash could be linked to an overnumber of backups. I did delete a few of them, started the backup function and it crashed again.

If my memory serves me well, there are 2 data drives in RAID (is that it, RAID?) and 2 OS drives also in RAID, formatted Linux (that is all I know).

I can access the WIN2012 dashboard and console through RDC but cannot see, as you well know, the Linux Drives of copy their content.

I am not even able to get a hardware system report. I tried booting on a True Image 2013 CD I have and use to manage the Windows computers on the network. I am at a loss here and do not understand shoot about Linux File system nor ProxMox. I chose UEFI in the BIOS settings without any luck.

First, I would like to get the VM snapshots (.vma/.vma.lzo) out of the server and get them on an offsite, external HDD. I do not even know how to do that, I have read about CloneZilla, but it seems to work with [Linux] line commands. Again, at a complete loss here. It is my understanding that I will need to format the XHDD to a Linux File format. Which?

Second, I would like to understand why the server is crashing when doing a backup.

Third, I would like to get a hardware system report since we are considering buying a new piece of equipment and migrate on to a VMWare/Windows file system architecture. Support for Linux on the web seems to be very limited and, I suppose it is because I do not know a single thing about Linux, it seems very complex to me.

Where should I start? Any advices or tips? Is there a crash course tutorial that would help me understand how this whole gig works? Please respond to this thread. I desperately need help.

Thanks a million,

Jay

wpeckham 03-27-2017 07:20 AM

You did not mention what continent, country, or city you might be in. ( I think I can assume the planet, etc. ;-) )
If someone good is local to you, that would be an advantage, but we cannto tell from what you posted.

Rickkkk 03-27-2017 08:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wpeckham (Post 5688753)
You did not mention what continent, country, or city you might be in. ( I think I can assume the planet, etc. ;-) )
If someone good is local to you, that would be an advantage, but we cannto tell from what you posted.

Jay1969,

Similarly to wpeckham above, the best advice I can think of given your situation is to find a local resource familiar with linux to come and troubleshoot on site. You have many questions and if a small business depends on this system, I wouldn't take any chances. Your setup, although not necessarily unusual, is unique to your business's situation and troubleshooting this from a distance is not optimal in my opinion.

Best -

Jay1969 03-27-2017 08:45 AM

We are based near Montreal, Canada. Any ideas on where/how I can find a tech? I already looked on the net with no luck!

Rickkkk 03-27-2017 08:56 AM

Jay1969 - I'm in Montreal - I can try and dig around and see if I come up with something. In the meantime, you might try looking to see if there is a local linux user group.

Out of curiosity - you mention both Windows 2012 (Server, I assume) and linux.

- Can you explain a bit more about how this is set up on the server ? What is the physical host OS and what OS is being virtualized ?

- What linux distro are you using ?

Rick

Jay1969 03-27-2017 09:04 AM

Thanks for your time, Rickkkk.

When the physical server boots, it launches ProxMox which then powers a Win2012 Server Essentials VM.

I am not sure where/how I can find the distro for you... Let me know what I need to do to get you this info.

Rickkkk 03-27-2017 09:05 AM

Jay1969 ... I found the Montreal Linux Users Group at http://mlug.ca

I am not active there, but the members may be able to suggest a locally based resource.

Rick

Jay1969 03-27-2017 09:07 AM

Thanks, much appreciated!

Rickkkk 03-27-2017 09:16 AM

Hey Jay1969 ..

I'm unfamiliar with ProxMox - but I just read up a bit on it. It's a linux-based virtualization environment that can be installed on top of Debian or as a bare-metal hypervisor (based on, again, Debian ...). It's virtualization engine is KVM/QEMU.

Given this specificity - it would be optimal if you could find a person familiar with ProxMox in order to minimize uncertainty. Let us know if you have no success, and I and other members here will do our best to assist you (maybe we have some folks here familiar with ProxMox ... ? ...). Again, however, since a business is depending on this system, it would be best if you get someone over there that has the right profile to take a look at it in person.

Let us know how you're doing ...

Jay1969 03-27-2017 09:18 AM

I will. If it is of any help, in our setup PM is used as a bare-metal hypervisor. Thanks again!

Rickkkk 03-27-2017 09:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jay1969 (Post 5688802)
I will. If it is of any help, in our setup PM is used as a bare-metal hypervisor. Thanks again!

OK - if you run into a dead end, get back to us. Even if there are no PM-knowledgeable members here, we might be able to help you out since it's Debian-based.

Just for clarity, priority-wise, what are your most urgent objectives ? This will also help the on-site resource, should you find one ...

Jay1969 03-27-2017 09:32 AM

1- I need to get the VMs out of there and back them up to 1 or 2 XHDDs to prepare for disaster recovery. I can live with the backups I have for now.
2- Understand how I can (and succeed) in transferring the VMs to another computer, i.e. install ProxMox on another computer, import the VMs to this new machine and reboot the virtual server on this new machine. In other words, migrate the virtual WIN2012 server and config to a new hardware.

Luckily, I am a fast learner. :)

Rickkkk 03-27-2017 09:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jay1969 (Post 5688806)
1- I need to get the VMs out of there and back them up to 1 or 2 XHDDs to prepare for disaster recovery. I can live with the backups I have for now.
2- Understand how I can (and succeed) in transferring the VMs to another computer, i.e. install ProxMox on another computer, import the VMs to this new machine and reboot the virtual server on this new machine. In other words, migrate the virtual WIN2012 server and config to a new hardware.

Luckily, I am a fast learner. :)

lol ... Excellent ... Copying the VMs shouldn't be complicated. You could even easily do that from the command line, I'd guess. I've only briefly experimented with QEMU/KVM (I regularly use Virtualbox), but from memory VM files usually have .qcow or .qcow2 file name extensions. Importing VMs into a new installation of QEMU/KVM is fairly simple natively - I imagine it must be similarly easy under PM.

There seems to be good online documentation for PM, by the way. Found this, amongst other sections of their wiki:

https://pve.proxmox.com/wiki/Qemu/KVM_Virtual_Machines


... Rick

riahc3 03-27-2017 09:49 AM

You might want to head to http://www.reddit.com/r/sysadmin There are people there that will get you out of the pickle you are in.

Having said that, I like others suggest you hire some professional help; Its not we dont trust you but if your business depends on it.

Jay1969 03-27-2017 09:50 AM

Appreciate the documentation, Rick. The thing is I am not even sure how to get these files on an external HD. I have an old 500GB that I could reformat to a Linux-recognizable file system (can you recommend anything?)... Then, do I boot on Linux live CD link Knoppix? And (this is where I am at sea) how can I get to understand and use the command lines. I miss the Windows GUI in times like these...


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