rsync backup

i started using rsync to backup a server, but i started thinking about it and wondered if i could take it a step further and image the server so that if it were to crash, then i could use the image and get back up and running with minimal down time.
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Matt VCommented:
If you used rsync, you would still need to do a base OS install to get network connectivity before you could restore the "image".

It is certainly doable though.
JeffBeallAuthor Commented:
so you could use rsync to "image" the server and use this image if the server goes down to restore the server?
Matt VCommented:
It is not an image, it is a replication of the filesystem.  So you still have to boot from a CD, install your OS and then rsync the whole thing back to the PC.

If you want an actual image you can restore, try something like selfimage.
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JeffBeallAuthor Commented:
yes, i think my goal should be, if the server goes down, what is the fastest way back up . in my experience - 90 percent of the time, the hard drive crashes - the cpu, memory, power are almost never the cause of the crash. so if i have a way to image the running drive, and the main drive crashes - i could mount the backup drive and run from that until the replacement drive comes in. if it helps, i'm running a HPUX server.
Matt VCommented:
In theory, if you are just mirroring the drives that should work.  But if that is the case, I would suggest an actual RAID 1 mirror instead of RSYNC.  It would be much better.  Especially if you can do it with your hardware drive controller instead of in software.
JeffBeallAuthor Commented:
exactly!! i didn't even think of that, i have a mirror on the internal drives. but this is a server with SCSI drives and an external SCSI port. so i could get a external SCSI drive, and mirror it to the internal drives. my goal is to have the drives hot swappable and take a drive off site in case of a fire. maybe if i can set this up, i could have two external drives, and break the mirror on one of the external drives, then take that off site, and start rotating the external drives
Matt VCommented:
I suppose you could, but breaking a mirror all the time seems less than desireable.
JeffBeallAuthor Commented:
so i wonder what is the best way to get my crucial server back up as quick as possible?
Matt VCommented:
If you have a mirror then you are covered for everything except a site disaster like a fire.  If that happens you are SOL anyway since you have no spare server to put the offsite drive in.

So I would say the onsite mirror is fine.  If you are looking to keep a copy of data offsite, RSYNC one way to the external drive on a cron job might work depending on how long it takes to run.

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JeffBeallAuthor Commented:
thanks for the help
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