Take the 2-minute tour ×
Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I know Ghost and Clonezilla aren't able to build images of a system while the system is running(Without Rebooting). Haven't Checked on Acronis though, but i don't simpatize with private solutions.

Question: Is there a software solution which is able to build a "Live" image?

Would appreciate anwsers, since I'm one step away from building a Clonezilla test enviroment and this will just help on my decision.

Thank you.

share|improve this question

3 Answers 3

Appreciate you don't necessarily want a commercial app. Symaantec Backup Exec System Recovery 2010 will image a running system and also convert it to VM if you wish.

Works well and has saved me a great deal of work many times. Lots of other features. Should be a freee 60 day trial here: BackupExec

share|improve this answer
    
+1: Symaantec Backup Exec System Recovery -- works great, use it all the time. –  samsmith Apr 30 '12 at 4:15

I don't know of any and I doubt they exist. The problem is extremely challenging since open files may not be consistent. Even if you're using Linux where the concept of a deny-read lock doesn't really exist, or on Windows with Shadow Copy, the only way to guarantee that the disk is in a consistent state is to not only fully quiesce I/O to the disks but flush all caches (app and OS) to disk before doing so, and make sure that all open applications put their files in a state where they can recover cleanly from a sudden power-loss and keep them there for however long it takes to take the disk image.

I'm not saying that it can't be done, I'm saying that it is exceedingly tricky to make something that'll do it and work as reliably as the offline imaging methods we've been using for over a decade.

The more fancy virtualization solutions do something kind of like a live disk image, but they're also snapshotting the running memory when they do it. They can get away with this since they can be sure to load the snapshot-memory before starting off of the disk snapshot, real hardware doesn't have this luxury.

share|improve this answer

Yes, Acronis can create a live image of a Windows machine. To image a Linux machine, you have to use a bootable Acronis CD.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.