We have a dedicated server running ContOS 5.5. The server runs our Magento store and a basic php website with mysql.

I have a spare rack server in my office (HP ProLiant DL360 G4) that has more than enough storage space to store a duplicate of our dedicated server.

I would like to clone the dedicated server entirely and have a local duplicate. It wouldn't need to be kept in sync because I can do that with GIT. The reason I want to do this is simple; learn more about the dedicated server and CentOS.

Is this possible? I have SSH access to the dedicated server and obviously complete access to the local server.


If your goal is to learn more about the operating system etc, it may be worth you sticking vmware ESXi (VMware vSphere Hypervisor) on that server so you can have multiple test machines. (a quick search seems to suggest it will work fine with your server)

The other advantage of doing it that way would be that you can utilise the vmware live migration tool which will take a clone of your running server and get it running on your local server with a couple of mouse clicks.

  • I would like to learn about virtualisation aswell but is it really easy to set this up? Complete beginner style easy? – dannymcc Jun 22 '11 at 15:59
  • I've done this, it works very well. – sreimer Jun 22 '11 at 15:59
  • To be honest, if you can work out magento documentation, I would think you are capable of setting this up! You basically stick the dvd in the server, answer a couple of questions, let it do its thing and then connect to it with vsphere client on your windows desktop machine. I was in the same position as yourself 6 months ago and got our development servers migrated in and working in a couple of hours. – Nick Downton Jun 22 '11 at 16:27
  • Great sounds pretty good! I've signed up for a vmware account so I'll get started tomorrow. Expect to see loads of questions about virtualisation from me soon! – dannymcc Jun 22 '11 at 17:49

I accomplish this using Clonezilla with DRBL; http://clonezilla.org/clonezilla-SE.php

From your description is sounds like what you are attempting to achieve. It takes an image of the disk and can be used to also push the image out to another system. Requirements are that the hardware isn't wildly different between the two systems, that the receiving disc has at least the same amount of hard disk space as the image size (obvious I know but you'd be surprised how often I've heard of people attempting this)

The only thing you need is to be able to have network access to the dedicated server and are able to reboot it (oh and network load capability - you can make a boot floppy/disc for this purpose if need be). Sorry if this isn't suitable. I've filled in a few blanks in your question and it led me to this.

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