[linux-lvm] vgimport without vgexport (hardware crash)

Taylor Lewick tlewick at tradebotsystems.com
Fri Mar 28 12:40:19 UTC 2008

Just wanted to let everyone know, that I've tested moving a disk array
between two hosts several times and everything works.

Our setup is a database server connected to a dell md1000 disk array and
the disks have been carved into 3 volume groups.


We've simulated a server crash by just powering it off, and connecting
the disk array to another like linux server.

When you boot up the new server you just have to tell the bios to import
the foreign configuration (that's at hardware level).


The first time I tried it, because we didn't run a vgexport on the
primary server (you wouldn't have the chance to do that in a crash

I had to vgexport the volume groups, then vgimport and vgchange them,
then mount the filesystems.  But I discovered, that if you add the same
entries to /etc/fstab for the logical volumes on the backup server, that
you do not have to run any lvm steps like vgexport, vgimport, or
vgchange, the OS does all of that automatically.  And if you boot the
backup server when its not connected to the disk array, it just fails
trying to mount those drives but it doesn't keep the O.S. from starting


So the net of all of this is if we have a hardware failure on our
database server we can have it back up and running on a secondary server
in less then 5 minutes, unless it has to do an fsck on the filesystems.






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