Backing Up Everything to Removable Disks

Alan Evans alanwevans at
Mon Feb 25 16:26:03 MST 2013

I used to use cron and rsync.

The --copy-dest --link-dest options allow for some really really
interesting options.

rsync --copy-dest /path/to/dailybackup server:/ /path/to/fullbackup
rsync --compare-dest /path/to/fullbackup server:/ /path/to/dailybackup

copy-dest/compare-dest options allow you to compare against a third
location and copy/link to it appropriately.

So for above the copy dest says copy from the most recent daily and
the source server to /path/to/fullbackup.
The compare-dest then said look at this directory and the source
server and only copy files not in either.  If there are deltas it uses
the local compare-dest to source the file.

The result was a weekly full backup and a daily incremental backup.

I backed up NetWare servers over 768k links like this for years.  It
took FOREVER for the first backups to occur but once I got the first
full done the dailies and subsequent weeklies took < 1-2 hrs.

After getting the files to disk I put them on tape and I was in a
situation like you where my backups spanned multiple tapes so I copied
each weekly to tape which took 2 days but since I could run it during
the day it didn't matter.  Then each subsequent daily went on a single
tape each day.

I had two tape drives, an LTO-2 for the weeklies and an LTO-1 that I
ran the dailies to.  I just used BackupExec to do those one day after
their corresponding cron jobs.  The weekly took 2 days to put on tape
but since once rsync was done the files were just sitting there on the
disk it didn't matter.  I would pop a tape in Friday, Monday
BackupExec would start copying the fulls to tape.  Some time Monday
night it would ask for another tape which I would insert Tuesday.  The
full finished Tuesday before I left which meant I could take them off


On Mon, Feb 25, 2013 at 4:02 PM, Jessie A. Morris
<jessie at> wrote:
> Bacula also allows for backing up to files or directories. I currently have this set up and life is good. I would give a hearty recommendation to Bacula.
> --
> Jessie A. Morris
> 801-210-1526
> jessie at
> On Monday, February 25, 2013 15:56:23 Tod Hansmann 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.  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 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.
>> What have you seen that isn't crap and will backup to a local disk I can
>> then swap out like a tape?  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?)
>> Cheers,
>> -Tod Hansmann
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