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Can I Move OS Drives Between Identical Systems and Reboot?

 
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Homer Shoemaker
Frequent Advisor

Can I Move OS Drives Between Identical Systems and Reboot?

If I have two hardware identical, stand-alone, integrity systems, running 8.3-1h1, FOE on each, can I pull the hard drives out of one and move them to the second, and reboot successfully?

 

There are no third party applications to worry about, just in house developed executables that currently run on either system already.

 

Basically, I am wondering, if this is a viable disaster recovery (assuming the hard drives are not what failed) option if we're not too worried about a little down time.

 

 

4 REPLIES 4
Hoff
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: Can I Move OS Drives Between Identical Systems and Reboot?

This is only a portion of a disaster-recovery strategy, but yes, the requested disk swap and bootstrap will likely work.  

 

You will almost certainly need to reset the EFI boot aliases, but the disks are generally otherwise portable across boxes.

 

Why "likely" and not "yes" with certainty?  There might be an odd metadata-based controller difference in play here here; I'm assuming a controller-based JBOD-capable storage controller.  (You don't describe your hardware in sufficient detail to be sure.)

 

I'd also suggest some consideration around clusting the boxes and establishing host-based volume shadow the disks, as that provides other benefits.  Even if both boxes don't boot and operate off the same disk, you can coordinate and can maintain identifical copies of the system disks in both boxes in parallel.

As part of most any disaster-recovery strategy, you will want to periodically live-test your disaster mitigation and recovery plans.  Trust, but always verify.  See what works.  See what doesn't.  Get some practice.  Etc.

 

Gotta love this crayon-based forum software.  It's my old friend "Your post has been changed because invalid HTML was found in the message body. The invalid HTML has been removed. Please review the message and submit the message when you are satisfied."  Thanks for stopping by, my old friend and horrid user interface design.

 

Homer Shoemaker
Frequent Advisor

Re: Can I Move OS Drives Between Identical Systems and Reboot?

Thanks Hoff,

 

Understood.  That solution is at the bottom end of a range of solutions that we are considering.  But it had to be in the mix, if it was possible.

 

Regarding the hardware specifics, I'm not quite sure what metadata-based controller differences are, but we're using the P400 controller in an Rx2660, using two disks in raid 1 for the system disk, and three disks in raid 5 for the data disk, with one in as a hot spare.  That would be duplicated in the second system.

Hoff
Honored Contributor

Re: Can I Move OS Drives Between Identical Systems and Reboot?

Storage controllers can store the configuration and settings on the controller, on the disk, or a combination of the two.  With some storage controllers, you can select "transportable" and "non-transportable" configurations; where the controller metadata is stored.

 

The P400 FAQ indicates that RAID-splitting is feasible with the right settings and sequencing, but (again) you need to test this stuff; definitely go try it.

 

There was a recent discussion of managing settings on the HP P410i series storage controllers, and having to use a fairly convoluted sequence to change the controller settings.  The P400 FAQ indicates you do need to use specific tools to split and then to recombine the mirror set.

 

Again, you really need to test this stuff, and see if what you want to have happen here actually does work.

Homer Shoemaker
Frequent Advisor

Re: Can I Move OS Drives Between Identical Systems and Reboot?

Thank you, again.