How do I migrate iFolder 3.6 to a new SLES 10 server?

Today’s question comes from Stan Chelchowski. Here’s the essential part of what he wrote: “How do you migrate open source iFolder server and corresponding iFolders to new hardware? Both are running SLES10. Can this all be done by copying directories between the servers and then making the new hardware take on the old server’s identity?

The answer is: pretty much yes. With an eye toward the particular sequence of events, of course. I’ve actually done this myself, and have had great success with the steps outlined below. Of course, you *could* always just build a new server, and tell the users to sync their data to the new place. After all, this method is a migration in itself… 😉

Anyway, back to the point, here’s the way I did it:

  • Install the exact same packages on the new target server as the old source server. Obviously, none of the following will work unless the software is installed correctly!
  • Shut down the apache2/simias service on the source server, and back up the simias database location (I just use tar, for example tar -zcvf if3.tgz /if3). This location must match the location you give/gave during the configuration script run. Copy the backup file to the new target server.
  • Make sure the server has the same name and/or ip address as the previous server. Whether it’s the name or address (or both) depends on how the iFolder service was originally configured. If ip addresses were supplied as responses during the configuration script run, then make sure the address is the same, or apply the same concept to the name if the script was configured by name. Also, obviously, the clients cannot connect unless the same name or address is used as before.
  • Ensure the same Simias/iFolder root directory exists on the target server as the source. For example, on mine, it is a special mount point “/if3“.
  • Run the configuration script on the new target server: /usr/bin/simias-server-setup …Make sure you specify everything the same as on the original source setup (things like the datastore, authentication details, etc).
  • You may need to do some final touch-up steps at this point, such as removing the extra simias_server.conf or adding the ifolder_apache.conf. (Make sure to check my other posts on this topic for details.)
  • Now that the script has run, and a new simias database is built on the new target server, rename that directory since we don’t need that instance of the db. For example:  mv /if3 /if3-dont-use
  • Untar/zip the backup file from the source. For example: tar - zxvf if3.tgz …so that the archive expands into the same place as before. You should now have a correctly named simias datastore that was migrated from the source server.
  • Restart apache2 with rcapache2 restart
  • That should do it! If all went well, and there’s no iptables rules blocking it and such, you should be up and running. Of course, there are other ways to do it, and there are things you can change on the way, as long as you know what configuration files to edit (like those in /etc/simias, and at the actual simias db directory), in order to stitch it all back together. But I thought that would be outside the general scope of this post. For now anyway, I hope it works for you… Enjoy!



    1. Stan Chelchowski

      Thank you Jeremy!!…

      I have been looking for guidance in this for so long, I am glad I found you….

      As a linux newbie I am going to have to take a big gulp of courage and go for it…. I’ll let you know how I get on…

      Best wishes

    2. Pavlov

      Glad to be of help, Stan! Thanks again for the prompt. By the way, your question has also prompted me to whip up a cheat-sheet for setting up iFolder 3.6 on SLES 10 sp2. It’s sort of a follow-up to the stuff I’ve done in the past with OpenSuse. It’s basically the same, with one or two exceptions… I’ll put that up early next month…

    3. Stan Chelchowski

      Hi Pavlov,

      I finally managed to focus on the iFolder 3.6 hardware migration.
      My iFolders are all stored on an external array. At present only about 45 Gbs in total (but very precious!!). No matter how I ran tar it would fail before completion, it was also incredibly slow – 6 hours plus… In the end I took faith in the hardware storing the array and moved the controller card with the array to the new server. I created my iFolders folder, built the iFolder server with that iFolder data path, then mounted the external array to the same folder et voila! – all running happily!!! – Phew!!!

      Just when I thougjht peace had returned to the camp…. Wham! Novell relaunch opensource iFolder…..Aghh!!! Fantastic eh!!!!
      O.K. any ideas/concerns on how to upgrade the iFolder 3.6 server & data to 3.7???

      Best Wishes

      Stan Chelchowski

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