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I have a Dell PowerEdge 2850 with a PERC 4 controller and SCSI drives. I need to clone that to a PE2950 with a PERC6i with SAS drives. I've used the DKMS package along with the latest driver on Dells website to create a driver disk and successfully installed by hand so I know that it will install but I need a good suggestion for cloning options. I've tried clonezilla but it does not recognize the hard drives and I'm no expert in debian based distros so I'm unable to manipulate it.

Does anyone know of a reliable way to clone this server? I imagine that if I can find a method to transfer the image then I will install the SAS driver on the source box before cloning it and it should be able to boot to the destination box.

Thanks all!

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

I've used SystemImager to move RHEL4 from 2850 to 2950.

RHEL4 did not recognize the drive controller on the 2950, so I booted using a rescuse disk and re-created the initrd.

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If you've got the new box partitioned and setup the way you want it, and just need to get the "soul" of the old box over, you've got nothing to lose by trying a quick and dirty method.

I'd boot the RHEL 4.3 rescue CD on the new box using the driver disk and verify that you've got working network drivers and an IP address. Once you do that, make a directory somewhere on the new box in a mount that has enough space to accept the old box's data, cd to it, and do a:

nc -l -p 8989 | tar x

On the old box, do a:

tar cf - /* | nc (receiving host ip address) 8989

That'll ship the contents of the source box over to a directory on the destination box over the network.

In theory, you should be able to use diff to find the differences between /etc and other folders between the source box and destination box and "combine" them together into one box.

Really, you can probably get away with untarring the old box right over top of the root of the new box, since the new kernel and modules will be in a different path and shouldn't be overwritten. If you do that, you might put a "--exclude=boot" on the sending tar command line, like so, to keep the grub configuration from being overwritten on the new box:

tar cf - --exclude=boot /* | nc (receiving host ip address) 8989
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I've had success with similar moves using a procedure like this (I mostly did this for moving from physical servers to VMs). Where I say "Knoppix", any Linux Live CD should work:

  1. boot both with Knoppix; or boot the OLD server in single-user mode. "knoppix 2" for text-only might be a good idea.
  2. Get networking going on both, with different IPs, of course.
  3. On the OLD server, run: dd if=/dev/sda | gzip -c | nc -l -p 3000
  4. On the NEW server, run: nc $IP 3000 | gunzip -c | dd of=/dev/sda
  5. wait 1 to 3 hours, approximately (depends, of course)
  6. turn off OLD server
  7. following steps on the NEW server:
    1. poke around and figure out which partitions are which. In my example, sda2 is / and sda1 is /boot
    2. mount -o dev /mnt/sda2
    3. mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/sda2/boot
    4. chroot /mnt/sda2
    5. mount /proc
    6. edit /etc/modules.conf and change the scsi_hostadapter to the right thing (looking at what knoppix has loaded using lsmod should help)
    7. module_upgrade
    8. mkkerneldoth
    9. rpm -qa | grep kernel
    10. new-kernel-pkg --mkinitrd --depmod --install 2.4.21-40.EL (version is from the previous; rpm -q --scripts kernel and emulate the post script)
    11. exit (from chroot)
    12. shutdown -rf now
  8. When NEW machine boots up pick the same kernel that you modified, do the kudzu thing about acknowledging hardware that's gone and hardware that's added.
  9. Verify that everything's working okay. Might have to adjust network settings, etc...
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