Emergency backup virtual server

David Fletcher dave at thefletchers.net
Tue Dec 10 21:40:34 UTC 2013


This is about the home server I built a few years ago, with a 12V supply
Atom board and a Samsung 1TB HDD, and that's all that's in it, apart
from a fan, for low energy consumption.

I can no longer find the specifications for the HDD but I seem to
remember it quoted a very long MTBF. However I've been seeing data
centre statistics lately that drives start to become unreliable after
maybe three years running.

The data on the server is backed up of course, from time to time :-) but
I've become more and more dependent on it for email etc. over the years
so if/when something fails it will be a damned nuisance.

Obviously I can't have a duplicate set of hardware standing by "just in
case" so I'm thinking about setting up a virtual machine on my desktop
computer to act as an emergency stand-in. If I install the same Ubuntu
distribution as the real server, with all the same software packages
apart from boinc, then copy in the most recent backup of /etc/ and
the /home/ directories, change the router port forwards for incoming
http, smtp, imap and ssh then, in theory I reckon I should be good to go
until I can get new hardware running.

To keep a very recent backup copy of the /home/ directory with all the
maildirs, maybe plug a small laptop drive into the USB and rsync to it
every hour.

Any comments, please, on my ideas?


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