Adding virtualmin to a multi-server, existing setup

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#1 Fri, 02/18/2011 - 11:58
bill bardon

Adding virtualmin to a multi-server, existing setup

First post. I searched the site, FAQ and forums and couldn't find this info.

I have two existing servers in-house, one for web and the other for email. Both run Debian. I'm using apache2, webmin, awstats, postfix, postgrey, and amavisd-new. These servers have been up for years but are up to date. Now, two questions: Can virtualmin handle a split server setup like this, with apache on one and postfix on the other? I'm not concerned about two instances for myself, but the end-user side -- will their control panel be one integrated site or would they have to manage their web site at one page and email at another?

How do I manually install virtualmin and be sure that it doesn't mess something up in my current configuration? (I'm completely new to virtualmin but an experienced admin other than that.) These are live servers. Will I need to back up, take them down, install virtualmin and then rebuild all my services? Or can I install virtualmin and gradually give it control of each service in turn by activating settings? Have looked at the manual install docs but don't see the answer to this question.

Sat, 02/19/2011 - 17:35

Virtualmin can handle such a distributed server setup, but you'd indeed need to manage the respective parts on the respective servers. That includes setting up the domains on both servers, on each with only those features turned on that shall reside on that server.

I'm not aware of any functionality to "link" two hosts together so that you set up stuff only on one and have it auto-created other stuff on the other. At least not globally - such things exist only for e.g. DNS.

Installing Virtualmin on a live server and "gradually giving it control" is probably possible, but a rather complicated endeavor and prone to break things inbetween (Virtualmin runs smoothest if installed on a fresh system and with the packages / server variants it prefers).

So I personally would not recommend to do that except the sites hosted on the server can live with some downtime now and then. :) It's highly suggested to try this procedure on a virtual machine first.

Sat, 02/19/2011 - 18:57 (Reply to #2)
bill bardon

Thank you for the reply. The virtual machine test is a good idea. I have decided that it would be best to reinstall the OS and Virtualmin from scratch and then recreate the services on the "new" box. As I only have the two servers to work with and they have to stay live, I will do my testing in a VM and work out every step of the process, then take each live server down in turn during an overnight session and do the rebuilds when the impact on users will be the least. Seems like the best way forward.

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