View Full Version : Backup/Restore Without A Dedicated Server

The Rick
09-27-2005, 02:13 PM
I have a client who wants me to develop and implement a backup/restore solution for their web server. I don't have all of the details (I'm meeting with them this evening), but the summary is they have a Linux web server running Red Hat and I'm guessing Apache.

They do not have a dedicated backup server, but want a method of getting something else running quickly if their web server goes down. My first thought is to create an image of everything but the data for the web site or sites. Then, ensure they are doing proper backups of the web data. From those two things, they should be able to bring up a replacement server fairly quickly. Does that seem like a fairly standard approach for those of you who may be more heavily involved in this than I?

Also, if so, then what kinds of imaging/restore solutions are recommended? I've looked and Partimage (http://www.partimage.org/) which comes on the SystemRescueCd (http://www.sysresccd.org/) appears to be a fairly straightforward, yet functional solution.

KC Jones
09-27-2005, 08:50 PM
Not my forte but I'm curious how they expect new hardware to just magically appear after their server fails that they can load with the data.

Are they going to run out, buy a box, install red hat and everything else, then try to load data from said backup piece that you are to supply?

Sounds doomed to me. High availability (relatively high) can be had fairly cheaply by clustering your web app on 2 boxes. Consider it a cheap fail over solution. I mostly do J2EE development so I leave it to the J2EE container to handle the tricky bits like clustering.

09-27-2005, 08:53 PM
One really easy way to do this is to have another linux box setup on the same network. Write a script that SCP's the data from the live server. Then setup a cronjob to run the script on a regular basis. This way if the live server dies all you have to do is change the IP on the backup box and you are live again.

09-27-2005, 09:19 PM
My site runs on a shared server on my host's network. I just have 2 accounts running on 2 differnt shared boxes. My site does not change that much, so I just FTP a copy over to the backup anytime I make changes (but that could easily be done with a script). If one server goes down I just have the host point the DNS to the backup account, and everything is back up and running, usually only takes 10-15 minutes once we figure out there is a problem. In my case the backup only costs me $50/month, which is cheap insurance, IMHO.