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We have two production servers for our website, one webserver, one database. I am needing to do some upgrades, but I need to test these first before we can apply them to the production server.

So, what I would like to do is duplicate both production servers onto the two dev servers. These are linux servers running Debian. Ideas?


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up vote 3 down vote accepted

If you have some spare server-grade hardware (in fact - you could even do this on lesser hardware considering it's just a Dev/QA environment) you could deploy ESXi (or some other free virtualisation technology - XenServer etc) and P2V (physical to virtual) the two physical boxes.

You would then need to tinker with the virtualised boxes to change hostnames etc, but you would effectively have an exact replica of your production environment.

The beauty of this approach is that using snapshots, you can test changes out, and if you want to roll back you just drop back to the last snapshot.

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+1 for VMWare - it's great for this sort of thing. Just be sure that the virtualised servers can't see the ones that they were cloned from when you first boot them, otherwise you'll get name and IP address conflicts galore. – RainyRat Nov 2 '09 at 21:50
+1 for XenServer because it's faster and much cheaper then VMWare. – Antoine Benkemoun Nov 2 '09 at 22:36
Does it have an equivalent feature to VMWare's snapshotting? – RainyRat Nov 3 '09 at 0:00

If they are exact hardware, clone the drives with a tool such as Acronis.

Supported Operating Systems:

  • Windows 2000 Server SP 4+
  • Windows 2003 Server SP 2+ x32 and x64 Editions
  • Windows 2008 Server SP2 x32 and x64 Editions
  • Linux with kernel 2.4.18 or later (including 2.6.x kernels) and glibc 2.3.2

    Examples of distributions include:

  • Red Hat Enterprise 5 & 4
  • CentOS 5 & 4
  • Fedora 10 & 9
  • Ubuntu 8.10 & 9.04
  • Debian 4
  • SLES 10
  • OpenSUSE 11
  • Asianux 3.0

Hope this helps,


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