Hot spare question from newbie nonprofit admin

Hi all,

I’m a full-time volunteer director for a nonprofit, and i have no sysadmin background but have been climbing up the Linux learning curve in my “spare time” [read: the wee hours] out of necessity for the last few years since we can’t afford a real sysadmin.

We’ve been hosting (our own sites and those of other nonprofits) on CentOS 4+BlueQuartz for the last couple of years, but we’re now outgrowing it.

Our biggest issue is that we need redundancy. We have projects in the Himalayas and other remote places so I have to run off for weeks and months at a time (and everyone else back in the USSA knows even less than me about servers). So, for us, it’s all the more important that our server doesn’t go down, and in case it does we need a hot spare. I have read that CentOS 5 supports hot spare functionality natively, but my poort little nonlinear artist’s brain can’t parse the how-to files. I know enough to run a Linux box once it’s set up, but building a box from scratch manually is over my head (I’ve relied on NuOnce.net’s automated CentOS+BlueQuartz installer in the past), and trying to build two boxes and set up a functional hot spare relationship between them from the command line is way beyond me.

I see that Virtualmin Pro has a very sensible licensing policy that allows hot spares (assuming identical configuration, which it would be), and that’s great.

My big question, though, is does Virtualmin make the process of setting up a hot spare simple enough that a GUI-dependent semi-n00b like me can get it working and keep it working? I tried to take the tour to see if i could spot that functionality, but it’s down due to Webmin birthday traffic, and i’m not sure i could spot it there anyway.

So, to put it in a few specific questions:

  1. Does Virtualmin offer a GUI for the process of creating a hot spare?
  2. Does Virtualmin allow setting automated backups to the hot spare?
  3. Does Virtualmin support configuring automatic failover transition to the hotspare when the primary server goes down, stops responding for a certain period, or is otherwise hosed?
  4. Does Virtualmin support configuring the hot spare to re-sync (copy more recent files back) to the primary server automatically when it (the primary) comes back online?

The only product i know for sure that does all this is Aventurin{e}, but if Virtualmin also does it, i think it might be better for our needs.

Any and all thougts would be so very much appreciated.

Thanks,
m<br><br>Post edited by: liber8, at: 2007/10/08 11:45