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Moving ZCS to Another Server

Moving ZCS to Another Server

Posted in PowerTips – Admins by John Holder on the October 9th, 2007

In this Zimbra Administrator’s PowerTip, we’ll discuss how to move your instance of Zimbra to another machine. It applies to all version of Zimbra.

Administrator’s PowerTip
#4: October 09, 2007
Zimbra Forums Zimbra wiki Zimbra


Either you, or someone you know has been there. Almost out of Disk space, RAM is topped out, and the CPU is constantly running above 80%. It’s time to upgrade the hardware. But how easy and safe is it to move the Zimbra server instance? Well, it’s easier than you might think.

In this Zimbra Administrator’s PowerTip, we’ll discuss how to migrate your Zimbra server to another Machine or OS. The one big caveat is that both instances of Zimbra MUST be running the same version. So if your old server is running 4.5.5, then you’ll need to install 4.5.5 on your new server. This wouldn’t be the time to upgrade your ZCS version.

Part 1 : Backing Up

Zimbra Network Edition contains a backup feature, and although it’s useful, we won’t be using it in this tip.

We have an external Hard Disc mounted to /mnt/migration. When rsync’ed, this is now your live copy (although it’s not live), and you should always have a backup of your live data. So, you might want to rsync again to another location to be safe.

Once you’ve rsync’ed all your data, umount the external drive, and put it somewhere safe.

Part 2 : Meet Your New Server

The only thing that really matters on your new server, is whether or not meets Zimbra’s server Hardware and the Operating System requirements.

It’s also very important that you have resolved any dependency issues. The ZCS installer for your newer OS should check for these.

Setup the newer server with the old server’s networking attributes. Make sure your older server is offline.

If changing the hostname, please see this wiki article: Set zmhostname

Part 3 : Create a “dummy” Install Then Remove It

The goal of this step is to get the rpm/dpkg databases correct. When you download ZCS, make sure it’s for your newer OS, and the SAME version of ZCS that’s rsync’ed.

Run the installer with the -s option. This tells the installer to only install the software, and not to configure the installation.

Once the installer has completed, delete it by rm -rf /opt/zimbra. This wipes any dummy data you have in that location.

Part 4 : Mount Your Backup HD, rsync, and Install

Connect and mount your external hard drive. Then, rsync the backed up data to its new location (rsync -avH /mnt/migration/zimbra /opt).

Connect and mount your external hard drive. Then, rsync the backed up data to its new location (rsync -avH /mnt/migration/zimbra /opt).
Unmount your backed up copy, and keep it in a safe place.
Now that our data is all in place, we need to fix some permissions. Go into the /opt/zimbra/libexec directory and run zmfixperms. This helps insure that all the files are owned correctly.
Once that has completed, re run the installer that you downloaded. It will detect ZCS already installed, and ask if you want to upgrade. Select Yes.

Another useful guide

Network Edition: Moving from 32-bit to 64-bit Server