After our new Qmail server was up and running and all the major issues were ironed out, it was time to clone the email server’s hard drive to a backup drive we can store off site. I decided to do this at around midnight, so that our day-to-day business wouldn’t be disrupted. The biggest challenge was actually finding a workstation that was big enough to house two drives and had enough available SATA power plugs. (I realize, you can also push compacted images up to an FTP server, but I was afraid our FTP server wouldn’t have enough space to accomodate the complete disk image.)
My biggest fear was that I would clone images in the wrong direction. In other words, copy the garbage image from my intended target drive over the top of my intended source drive. But the G4L menu now has an option that allows you to identify which disk is which. So with a fairly high level of confidence, I cloned disk1 (/dev/sda) over the top of disk2 (/dev/sdb). Not sure how long it took–I went home after verifying that the process was running.
So this morning, it was just a matter of quickly inserting the original disk back into our email server and firing it up. Then I tested the cloned image on a separate (but similar) machine. Woo hoo! It works!