Mounting an LVM snapshot containing partitions

LVM snapshots can be really handy when you’re trying to take a backup of a running virtual machine. However, mounting the snapshot can be tricky if the logical volume is partitioned. I have a virtual machine running zoneminder on one of my servers at home and I needed to take a backup of the instance with rdiff-backup. I made a snapshot of the logical volume and attempted to mount it:

Lessons learned in the ambulance pay dividends in the datacenter

While cleaning up a room at home in preparation for some new flooring, I found my original documents from when I first became certified as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) in Texas. That was way back in May of 2000 and I received it just before I graduated from high school later in the month. After renewing it twice, I decided to let my certification go this year. It expires today and although I’m sad to see it go, I know that sometimes you have to let one thing go so that you can excel in something else.

Strategies for storing backups

Although it’s not a glamorous subject for system administrators, backups are necessary for any production environment. Those who run their systems without backups generally learn from their errors in a very painful way. However, the way you store your backups may sometimes prove to be just as vital as the methods you use to backup your data. For my environments, I follow a strategy like this: I have some backups immediately accessible, others that are accessible very quickly (but not instantly), and others that are offsite and may take a bit more time to access.

Mounting a raw partition file made with dd or dd_rescue in Linux

This situation might not affect everyone, but it struck me today and left me scratching my head. Consider a situation where you need to clone one drive to another with dd or when a hard drive is failing badly and you use dd_rescue to salvage whatever data you can. Let’s say you cloned data from a drive using something like this:

dd if=/dev/sda of=/mnt/nfs/backup/harddrive.img Once that’s finished, you should end up with your partition table as well as the grub data from the MBR in your image file.

Monitor MySQL restore progress with pv

The pv command is one that I really enjoy using but it’s also one that I often forget about. You can’t get a much more concise definition of what pv does than this one: pv allows a user to see the progress of data through a pipeline, by giving information such as time elapsed, percentage completed (with progress bar), current throughput rate, total data transferred, and ETA. The usage certainly isn’t complicated: