[Mailman-Users] Disaster recovery: fastest / best route advice sought

Richard richard at KarmannGhia.org
Fri Sep 20 23:46:45 CEST 2013

Hello All,

It's been a long time since I've been subscribed - haven't need any help; 
things just work. But now I'm in need.

Last Saturday, nearly a week ago, we lost a disk drive on a critical 
system - runs our email lists, among other vital services - and the road 
to recovery has been a rough road. I never thought it could take so long 
to get things back online... Big Picture; tomorrow our group has a big 
gathering and we haven't been able to email our community... We need to be 
emailing each other TODAY if we can!

On the one hand we desperately need our list for group communications, but 
on the other, I'm hoping not to have to backtrack too much later for a 
better configuration. I'm looking for best options - a balance between 
wall-clock-time to configure vs the quality of the solution - please don't 
be afraid to chime in now; later won't do any good!

If I could figure out how, "the best" would be if we could put the web 
services for our email list on a new "external" Fedora Core 19 system 
already up and providing web services and put mailman on an older FC 16 
"internal-only" email system that has already taken over the email load - 
that system may be "old" but it's got a lot of horsepower. The external 
"web" system could not easily take over the email because it presently 
forwards port 25, and there aren't any ready prospects that could do it.

The only other prospect is a vastly older "backup" web server (fc14) that 
I've thought for over two years could die at any moment. There are upgrade 
plans, but they won't happen soon enough for helping here. If forced to, I 
could maybe get it to serve in this duty - the heat load might kill it. 
Or, maybe I could add a network card and get it to serve as an additional 
gateway / firewall, and thus relieve the new FC 19 system of it's 
port-forwarding duties, and thereby let it handle both the email, list and 
web duties...

Another area I could use assistance with is versions! I have no idea what 
I'm in for! I DO have good backups of the dead system; how can I tell what 
version of mailman was even running? (I captured both /var/lib/mailman and 
/usr/lib/mailman before it was completely dead - it's unreadable now.) 
Aside from these two trees, what might I have NOT captured that I might 
want to find from backup? What issues might I have in "upgrading"? What's 
my fastest / best procedure? For example, do I just create new lists and 
populate them with the list members? And what about all those archives? 
Can I just plunk them into the tree and expec them to work? (I really 
don't look forward to merging archive trees!)

Any and all advice GREATFULLY RECEIVED! And, please be gentle if I've made 
some major gaff - at least I have good backups! -smile-

With kind regards,

Richard Troy, Founder & current President
The Karmann Ghia Club of North America
4200 Park Blvd, #151, Oakland CA 94602, USA

Richard at KarmannGhia.org, http://KarmannGhia.org/Richard/

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