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Transferring Mail Server to New Machine

Posted on 2003-11-02
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Last Modified: 2010-04-21
Hi all,

A little Scenario for you - A mail server running on linux(debian i believe). The mail server is running qmail and obviously some pop/imap software which i'm not familar with. The mail server is currently located on the premises, which isn't a good thing. For reason of security and redundancy this server needs to be moved into a Co-location.  The current server is essentially a Home build "Server" in a Full tower case. However we want to use a spare rack mounted machine we having lying around.

Now to the actualy question

What are the implications of taking out the HDD's in the current mail server and putting them in the new Rack mount server?? I'm guessing that linux isn't going to like that much?

One of the theories a collegue came up with was just try and if it doesn't work just put them back. However i find this a little dangerous as this is a production mail server. I'm rather new to linux but i know that windows 2000 tries to change when you put it in a new system. If the same occures in linux unsucessfully on the rackmount server i would assume it would leave the system in a unusable state - not working in the new systems but also not in the old system.

Any suggestion or advise would be appreciated

Stewart
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Question by:sjmclean
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by:paullamhkg
ID: 9668260
You can try to put the HDD into the RACK mount and let the kernel to detect the hardware for you, but as you said it's not safe to do that.

I will suggest you install the Rack mount server as mail server, and keep your production server running.

After you install the new linux server, try to config and setup all the users as your production server, and trnasfer the /home, /var/spool/mail, and all the directory for qmail and imap to your new linux server, and test run before you change the new one as the production server. beware of the permission and folder right of each.

This will be more safe to just take off the HDD and put into the RACK mount server.
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by:yuzh
ID: 9668408
Warming, if your old Linux box was configured as a DHCP client, your email will not work, because
the NIC card has change (MAC address) and it will get a different ip.

IF you old linux box, move to a different location and the port on the wall configured in the same
subnet, it will work.
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mburdick earned 50 total points
ID: 9707520
It sounds to me like you depend on a product/service that you don't know how to maintain. To make matters worse, you're looking to make changes to that system (that you don't know how to admin), move it off site, and expect it to still work exactly as you need.

I would look at this a different way...

1) What are the *EXACT* reasons that you "have to move this off site"?
2) What are the functionality requirements for your mail system, and can you just but that service from someone instead of trying to co-lo your server hardware? It might be cheaper that way, and the integrity level goes up because you rely on someone else to maintain and manage the system, back it up, etc...
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by:sjmclean
ID: 9708899
Hi Mburdick,

I totally agree with you on this one. I've only been working at this company for about a month or so and it would appear that they do this alot. ie Don't really have much of an idea how to actually admin and look after the systems properly. Infact just last week we thought we had lost some very important documents from the SAMBA server. Of course they don't have *any* kind of backup systems in place. Luckily someone had just moved the folder into another folder. I was completely floored.....You have critical financial data that the business relies on and no back. How completely stupid is that!!!

 Thankfully I'm not really responsible for maintaining any of the server yet!!  I certainly know where *my* limitation lie. I don't plan on staying there to long so hopefully it won't affect me too  much, however i do feel sorry for some of our clients that get mucked around because of my boss' lack of planning and experience in these areas.

Thanks for you feedback Mburdick

Stewart
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Expert Comment

by:mburdick
ID: 9710195
I guess what it all boils down to is an "age-old" question: build it, or buy it?

If can spec out the requirements for your mail system, we can help you decide if you should continute to own the hardware or farm out the service.
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