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Our company has a co-located production web server hosting multiple websites and other applications running on Fedora 13.

We want to move everything on that server over to an internally-hosted box while our powerful Co-Located server is retrofitted as a Virtualization platform (using XenServer or ESXi/vSphere).

We have a lot of software and libraries installed on our server that support our various hosted applications. I want to minimize the turnaround time to get everything the local box setup, so I'm looking for the fastest and most stable solution possible.

Question:
What's the best way to move our server to another box quickly and with minimal fuss? Can we just install Fedora 13 on the local box, then yank the hard drive from CoLo and drop it into the local box, copy everything over? What should we NOT copy?

The more ideas and assistance I can get on this the better; I've got to ensure we're investing the minimum man-hours and downtime in this project in order to get final approval!

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2 Answers

If you can move the hard drive you should be able to just put it into your local system and boot. Linux is pretty good about knowing what to do when hardware changes. What I would probably do is take a USB drive to the colo, boot the colo box from something like Knoppix then copy the contents from the colo box to the USB drive using dd. I would then make the colo box live again and take that USB drive to your local server and make sure it boots and that it functions with a new set of IPs because the big pain you will face is dealing with the IP addresses that are valid at your colo but won't be valid for your local internet connection.

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Ideally you should still have it documented how you set up your server. If you do not now is a good time to start documenting. It will come in very handy in six months to a year when you need to migrate off of Fedora Core 13 as it will no longer be in support.

If you have your documentation then you could configure a new instance and then copy your data sets over. If you do not you can do a few things. The best would likely be a P to V (Physical to Virtual) migration. VMware has a tool called "VMware vCenter Converter Standalone Client" which is free can migrate physical hosts into ESXi. You can also just take the disks (or disk images/copies) to a system in the colo and reconfigure from there. No matter which you choose P2V or Physical move you will need to edit a few files. The ones that come to mind are /etc/sysconfig/network /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-* and /etc/hosts. You may or may not also need to edit your web server and database server configuration files. Again your documentation mentioned above should help, and again if you don't have it documented now is a fantastic time to start writing it up.

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