Backing Up Everything to Removable Disks

Charles Curley charlescurley at charlescurley.com
Mon Feb 25 16:44:40 MST 2013


On Mon, 25 Feb 2013 15:56:23 -0700
Tod Hansmann <plug.org at todandlorna.com> wrote:

> I'm looking at replacing work's current tape backup system.
> Currently, this is a poblem where we're using tapes of a certain
> size, and we're maxing out that size so it's spilling over to two
> tapes, which is messing up rotations. 

Amanda will handle this problem. And you can add more tapes in as
needed. Of course, someone/something has to change the tapes. One
advantage to emulating tapes on disk is that changing "tapes" can be
automated easily.

> Getting bigger tapes in this
> instance requires upgrading the tape system, which is ridiculously
> expensive.  So, disk storage being cheap as all get, and easy to
> implement (physically anyway), I figured I'd look at that direction.
> 
> We have Windows servers and a lot more Linux servers to backup bits
> from. Every piece of software I've looked at sucks, and very few of
> them want to do DAS targets.

DAS?

Amanda will write to what it calls "virtual tapes", or vtapes, as well
as tape drives. Vtapes emulate physical tapes with directories and files
on disk.

> DAS would probably make managing the
> drives for swapping out easier, but that's just my opinion.  Not to
> mention, all the software I have found is also rather expensive for
> managing the copying of files.  I'd pay a few hundred for something,
> but everything I've found either doesn't do DAS (online is the new
> thing, unless you have TBs of data to backup and can't do that
> online) or kills you in all the "agents" licenses they'd need.

I do everything with Amanda, rsync and some scripts I wrote. All free
and open source.

> 
> What have you seen that isn't crap and will backup to a local disk I
> can then swap out like a tape?

Amanda will do something similar; see above on vtapes. Or you can copy
to another, removable disk, and swap that out for off-site storage.
That's what I do now. You have to be careful to copy not only the
backups but also the metadata, and I have scripts for that.
http://charlescurley.com/blog/articles/backing_up_amanda_metadata/index.html

> Also, Amanda is cool, but I can't
> seem to find any docs about DAS as a target.  The enterprise zmanda
> does, but Amanda seems fairly limited.  I might mess with it if
> someone has better experience than my VERY limited exposure.
> 
> (As an aside, seriously, backup software sucks, especially in the
> restore area.  What ever happened to backing up files and then just
> giving me a dialog to choose what files and what timeslice I wanted
> to restore them to?  Why is that so difficult for backup vendors to
> get?)

Amanda actually does that reasonably well. It doesn't have tab
completion, or I'd call it excellent.

> 
> Cheers,
> -Tod Hansmann
> 
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