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I have a server having power failure issue and trying to replace with exact same model. A company that I bought the server sent me exact same model but slightly different CPU. old one has Xeon E5530 and new one has E5620. Both 2.4GHz clock speed.

Will it work as long as raid controller is same?

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Update: It turned out to be the same CPU. invoice was wrong. –  shinya Oct 25 '11 at 18:07
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migrated from superuser.com Oct 20 '11 at 21:29

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4 Answers

Do you have a separate backup?

What if it has virtual server under it? I have Vsphere and running win 2k3 as virtual image.

You should be relatively safe. The hypervisor will mask any hardware details away from the guest virtual machines. If the new equipment has a storage controller that will recognize your disks, and you have a similar nics, then swapping the drives should be trivial.

You will probably need to reconfigure network adapters at the console.

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If Shinya is simply moving one virtual image to a different virtual server, that's one thing. But if he's moving the server itself, which is what he's doing, it doesn't matter if what he deems the critical parts are are virtualized: The critical parts RUNNING the critical parts are not virtualized and their failure would cause the whole house of cards to come tumbling down. –  music2myear Oct 20 '11 at 21:51
    
@shinya: Can you back up the configuration for Vsphere from a functioning server or restore it from backup? –  music2myear Oct 20 '11 at 21:52
    
@music2myear Which is why he asked whether a seperate backup was available, and said that it should be fine as long as the storage works. Sorry, but vSphere's configuration is absolutely inconsequential - the VM's files will run on the same vSphere install, or a different vSphere install, or a VMware Workstation install for that matter, with no issue whatsoever. –  Shane Madden Oct 20 '11 at 22:03
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I would counsel against doing this, especially with servers. The management software may not be compatible even if the hardware is similar.

The rule of thumb is to always start with a clean install when dealing with significantly new hardware, and a new server counts as signficantly new hardware.

While you may get away with swapping the drive on your home computer or a workstation, a server has much more going on inside it and if it fails, it affects many more people.

Do a clean install. Set up security. Install necessary applications. Then copy the data from the old server.

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+1 for pointing out the greater risk & greater consequences. –  JRobert Oct 20 '11 at 21:01
    
what if it has virtual server under it? I have Vsphere and running win 2k3 as virtual image. –  shinya Oct 20 '11 at 21:04
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when someone is looking to do this for a server, then it usually means the system has already failed. Assuming he has a good backup, and a good way to test things after the fact, I don't see how testing a drive swap should make things any worse, and it might get him up and running far faster then a reinstall/restore. –  Zoredache Oct 20 '11 at 21:32
    
@Zoredache: It does indeed come down to his choice. We can in no way compel him to do things the way we think they ought to be done. However, we can offer counsel and experience to show that while he may end up saving a few hours or days on this end were he to do the simple swap, he is likely to experience serious problems further down the line if he makes this choice. –  music2myear Oct 20 '11 at 21:48
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If he is using a standard version of ESXi, then a new install would be exactly the same on similar hardware. There is almost zero per-machine configuration that is part of ESXi. The idea that a 'clean' install does something magical is outdated. Even recent Windows these days is basically installed via disk imaging. Swapping disks isn't any different then imaging disks. –  Zoredache Oct 20 '11 at 21:59
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The risk and consequences have already been noted, so I won't go over them again. But sometimes you just have to make the call and go with it depending on the situation.

I've done this successfully with the old Dell PowerEdge 1850 and 1950 series servers. They were both running linux, and as long as both processors were x86 or x86_64 it worked fine.

YMMV

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Try at your own risk is the answer? ;-) –  shinya Oct 20 '11 at 22:28
    
My philosophy is, the man on the ground makes the call. :) –  Alo Oct 21 '11 at 22:02
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Update: It turned out to be the same CPU. The invoice was wrong. Anyway, I swapped hard drives and turned on the server. Vsphere got same IP address and booted up normal. Win2k3 didn't start automatically. I logged on Vsphere and it was giving me an error message. I had to choose if I moved image, copied image or cancel. I chose "moved image" and win2k3 booted up. It took long time to boot. It stack at "configuring network" screen. After 10min or so, it gave me login screen and everything seems to be properly working so far. It's just update and I'm not trying to convince someone to try. I took full image back up on NAS first, so I could take a risk and it worked in my case.

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