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Chapter 3. Backup and Restore

This chapter outlines the methods to back up, verify, and restore a Satellite system.
Backups should be conducted either nightly or weekly, depending on the amount of data being stored, and how much data can potentially be lost in the case of a system outage.
It is recommended that database backups are performed during a scheduled maintenance outage for the RHN Satellite Server, as all services will become unusable for website and client connections during the backup.

3.1. Backups

Procedure 3.1. Backing up the Embedded Database

  1. Stop the RHN Satellite Server server using the stop command:
    rhn-satellite stop
  2. Switch to the Oracle user, and create the backup using the db-control utility:
    su - oracle
    db-control backup [directory]
    Replace directory with the absolute path to the location where you want to store your database backup. The process will take several minutes.
  3. Switch back to the root user, and start the Satellite:
    rhn-satellite start
  4. Switch to the Oracle user, and use the examine option of db-control to check the backup time stamp and to determine if there are any missing files:
    su - oracle
    db-control examine [directory]
    You can also use the verify option of db-control to conduct a thorough review, which includes checking the md5sum of each of the files in the backup:
    db-control verify [directory]
    If the verification is successful, the contents of directory are safe to be used to restore the database.


Users of external databases should also perform periodic backups. Consult your external database administrator for more information on supported backup procedures.

Backing up System Files

In addition to the database, a number of system files and directories should also be backed up. The files and directories that should be backed up are:
  • /etc/sysconfig/rhn/
  • /etc/rhn/
  • /etc/sudoers
  • /etc/tnsnames.ora
  • /var/www/html/pub/
  • /var/satellite/redhat/[0-9]*/ (This is the location for any custom RPMs)
  • /root/.gnupg/
  • /root/ssl-build/
  • /etc/dhcpd.conf
  • /etc/httpd/
  • /tftpboot/
  • /var/lib/cobbler/
  • /var/lib/nocpulse/
  • /var/lib/rhn/kickstarts/
  • /var/www/cobbler/
If possible, back up /var/satellite/ as well. This is a duplicate of the Red Hat RPM repository, and it will save a large download when recovering from a failure. It can be regenerated with the satellite-sync tool. In the case of a disconnected satellite, /var/satellite/ must be backed up in order to be able to recover from failure.
Backing up only the files and directories listed above would require reinstalling the RHN Satellite Server ISO RPMs and re-registering the satellite in order to recover from a failure. In addition, Red Hat packages would need to be resynchronized using the satellite-sync tool, and the /root/ssl-build/rhn-org-httpd-ssl-key-pair-MACHINE_NAME-VER-REL.noarch.rpm package would need to be installed. Alternatively, you could reinstall the RHN Satellite Server without re-registering it. This can be achieved by canceling or skipping the Red Hat Network registration and SSL certificate generation sections.
The most comprehensive backup method is to back up the entire machine. This method saves time in downloading and re-installing, but also requires additional storage and time to perform the backup.